Application Guidelines

Application Deadline: Saturday, June 1, 2024, 5:00 PM

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Center supports on an annual basis Research Focus Groups that aim to bring together faculty and graduate students with shared research interests from different fields and departments or programs in order to foster the development of interdisciplinary research agendas in the humanities and fine arts. Convened by individuals from at least two departments or programs, these groups meet regularly (at least two times a quarter) during the academic year to present work in progress, read and discuss texts and current scholarship, and plan and implement common research projects. Successful RFGs have resulted in new faculty research agendas, new departmental programs, edited volumes, new journals, and new Multi-Campus Research Units. For further information, please contact Christoffer Bovbjerg at

Application must be made by two individuals from two different departments; at least one convener must be a faculty member. Priority will be given to interdisciplinary projects that open new avenues of research. Previous recipients of awards from IHC and members of other RFGs are allowed to apply. RFG conveners must have a UCSB affiliation. Current RFGs may reapply for funding provided they have submitted a final report on the current year’s activities.

A central component of the RFG program is a commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration among UCSB faculty members and graduate students around common research goals and trajectories. The RFG should meet at least two times per quarter and at least one meeting per quarter and at least half of your total meetings should be devoted to research-related activities such as works-in-progress presentations by and discussions of new works in the field with local RFG members.

Budgets and allowable expenses
The maximum allowable request under this program is $1,500. The program will permit the following types of funding when adequately justified: reimbursement for travel costs associated with bringing collaborators and speakers to UCSB, research assistance provided by UCSB graduate students, expenses related to the costs of meeting and honoraria for guest speakers. (Note: We are prohibited from using IHC RFG monies for honoraria for UC faculty members. If you are considering compensating a UC faculty member for participation in an RFG event, please consult with the IHC Business Officer.) RFG funds should not be used for cosponsoring departmental speakers and events, unless these events are central to the RFG’s work. A maximum of 40% of RFG funds may be used toward expenses for food and refreshments. For internal RFG events, no more than $40 on refreshments per event will be reimbursed. Visit here for more details.

The IHC will provide the administrative work necessary to maintain RFG financial accounts and transactions as well as IHC RFG webpages and publicity.

Evaluation and review
Proposals will be reviewed for their quality, their interdisciplinary nature, and their promise of significant results.

Application Instructions

To apply, submit an online application form, which also requires you to upload the following documents as PDF files:

    1. A document (1-2 pages single-spaced) describing the research interests of the group and indicating the names of the conveners of the group, as well as the names of faculty and graduate students who have agreed to participate in the group and/or strategies for identifying and recruiting members.
    2. A completed activities plan for the year using this form. Please note:
      • The RFG must meet at least two times per quarter, with at least half of the meetings and at least one meeting per quarter devoted to research-related events, specifically, works-in-progress presentations by local faculty and graduate students and/or discussions of new research in the field. Remaining meetings may include outside speakers.  
      • You are to specify the date of each meeting; the name of the meeting facilitator; and the specific texts, works in progress, and/or topics to be discussed. Include names of outside speakers who have been or will be invited.
    3. An itemized, proposed budget for the year’s activities (please use this budget if you need a template). Please itemize all expenses and explain any costs that are not self-explanatory. If requesting funds for a graduate student assistant, please include a list of the student’s specific administrative tasks.

Established RFGs must also submit with their applications:

    1. A report of activities in the current academic year using this form. This report should demonstrate that the RFG has devoted at least half of its meetings and at least one meeting per quarter to research-related events such as works-in-progress presentations by local faculty and graduate students and discussions of new works in the field.
    2. A report of expenses for the year (please use this budget if you need a template). Please itemize all expenses and explain any costs that are not self-explanatory. Note that all outstanding RFG expenditure requests must be submitted to the IHC by June 1 for processing before fiscal close. The IHC will not accept expense requests after this date. Unused IHC RFG funds do not carry over.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.