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Humanities Without Walls Seed Grant

The Institute for the Humanities is pleased to announce seed grant funding for Grand Challenge Research grants. Grants are sponsored by Humanities Without Walls (HWW) based at UIUC, an initiative supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan.

The next round of Seed Grant applications are due Friday, May 6, 2022

Two to three seed grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded per collaborative team to support proposal development leading up to the Grand Research Challenge application deadline in November 2022. The Institute, in collaboration with HWW, seeks to fund interdisciplinary, collaborative proposals that take a research-based approach to the wide range of subjects and concerns animating the humanities and arts today. Review a list of Grand Research Challenge projects supported by HWW over the last five years.

This round of HWW Grand Research Challenge grants have no theme, but successful proposals will build a commitment to methodologies of reciprocity and redistribution into their project design that is clearly communicated in their proposal narratives, regardless of the research topic or area of focus. That is, they will demonstrate how the collaborations and partnerships within their project are grounded in reciprocal and equitable relationships and illustrate how the project is designed to distribute its work beyond the team and its home institution.

Learn more about HWW and the Grand Research Challenge initiative.


In keeping with HWW’s priorities, proposals must include collaborators outside the University of Michigan system. Collaborators must include colleagues at any one of HWW’s consortium partner institutions; and may include community partners and/or faculty or staff at campuses beyond the HWW consortium, especially local and regional community colleges, Tribal Colleges, HBCUs, or Minority Serving Institutions.

The Principle Investigator (PI) must be a U-M tenured/tenure track faculty member. Team members may include lecturers, research scientists, and graduate students. We suggest at least three team members and up to eight but applicants must identify at least two team members including one from a HWW consortium partner institution.


Seed Grant funding anticipates work will be conducted between May and October 2022. The HWW grant application will be due late November 2022. Exact details will be available on the HWW website in March 2022.

Application Guidelines

Seed Grant Funding applications should be up to 3 pages double-spaced (longer applications will not be reviewed) and must include the following:

  • Clear statement of research question and rationale for the project

  • Description of the research team (known & anticipated) including names, affiliations, and expected contribution to the project.

  • Preliminary ideas for how reciprocity and/or redistribution are relevant to the project

  • Outline/description of proposed summer activities

  • The project’s Primary Investigator must be a U-M tenured or tenure-track faculty member.

Required Supplementary Materials

  • Short (three page) CV for each team member.

  • Line item budget outlining anticipated expenses/use of seed grant funds.  

    • If any other funding will be contributed to the seed grant (not required), the budget must include the source, amount and purpose.  

    • Seed grant funds may not be used for travel (collaborative work with partners should be remote) or equipment expenses.

    • Budgeted hosting expenses are subject to U-M and/or LSA guidelines in place as of May 1, 2021.  

    • The budget is expected to support work on the research proposal itself; we anticipate the primary use of funds will be compensation taken as additional pay or research funds by members of the team, but we welcome other creative uses of funds.

    • Please contact Sheri Sytsema-Geiger at for budget related questions.

The application and supplementary materials MUST be submitted as a single PDF to by Friday, May 6, 2022 at 11:59 pm. Please indicate “HWW Seed Grant” in the subject line of your submission.

Application Deadline Date

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 11:59pm

Contact/Additional Information

Please contact the Institute at for more information or questions.