The Franke Institute accepts proposals to fund conferences and lectures, usually as a co-sponsor with other University of Chicago departments, divisions, schools, or graduate workshops; and/or from other institutions. These awards encourage innovative, cross-disciplinary research, teaching and engagement in the humanities; we particularly welcome applications that represent multiple departments or disciplines. In addition, the Institute encourages proposals from groups of graduate students seeking to host conferences; such proposals must be supported by a letter from the faculty advisor for the planned event.

Proposals for event grants are accepted during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters every year. The deadline for proposals is the fifth Friday of each of these three quarters. Since the Board meeting takes place at the end of the quarter, we strongly recommend submitting your proposal at least two quarters before your event is planned (e.g., in autumn quarter for a spring event).


Applications for Franke Institute Funding for 2021 and 2022

The Institute entertains proposals for conferences, colloquia, visiting scholars, and other events that focus on interdisciplinary topics and reach multiple audiences. Successful proposals typically involve more than one department or program. In addition to public events, the Institute can sometimes provide modest support for faculty groups working together on research topics or on curriculum planning, or for faculty projects that involve collaboration with colleagues from other institutions.

The deadline for submission of funding proposals to the Franke Institute for the spring meeting of the Institute’s Governing Board is Friday, April 30th at 5:00 pm. At this spring meeting, proposals will be considered for funding for 2021 and 2022. The Institute’s Governing Board will meet at the end of the quarter to consider these proposals. Proposals should include all information that will enable Board members to evaluate fully the intention and reach of a potential event.

Please note that university funds cannot be used for travel or large gatherings until COVID restrictions ease. Given that events necessarily require advance planning, the Franke Institute can consider proposals for in-person events with the requirement that the planned event will either be postponed or held as a virtual event if COVID restrictions are still in effect. If your proposal is for an in-person event, please indicate whether your backup plan is to hold the event at a later date (if COVID restrictions are not eased by the time your in-person event is scheduled), or to hold the event online.

We are, however, able to provide introductory technical and other forms of support for virtual events on Zoom, Crowdcast and other platforms.  If you are planning any kind of virtual event, we encourage you to include a funding request for technical support during your event for the use of your event's platform; for example, to pay salary for one or more student assistants. We also encourage applications to fund innovative projects that go beyond the format of the conference, symposium or lecture—especially, but not limited to, ones that engage South Side and other local communities.  We are happy to work with you to discuss such proposals in advance of application.

Please include a full account of:

  • the purpose of the event, who would be involved in the planning process and who might participate in the event itself,

  • what kind of audience you envision, and

  • what kind of results you would anticipate;

  • a tentative budget of costs and other sources of funding.

A proposal of two or three pages is usually sufficient. It is valuable for conference proposals to include a list of possible speakers (including title, department, institution, and likely topic of talk) and an indication of whether they have been invited and/or confirmed. The Franke Institute is eager to help in the planning and application process, and happy to look at draft proposals prior to the final application.

In general the maximum grant is $5,000, and a Franke grant can represent no more than one-third of an event’s total budget.  It is helpful to know from the start what other potential sources of funding might be available.

A budget template can be found here.

Please contact Richard Neer (Director) at rtneer@uchicago.edu, or Margot Browning (Associate Director) at mb31@uchicago.edu, if you have questions about the preparation of proposals.



Please send your proposal in MS Word, MS Excel [budget], or PDF to:


Harriette Moody: hmoody@uchicago.edu and Margot Browning: mb31@uchicago.edu

Please Note:

An event grant from the Franke Institute does not automatically reserve the Franke conference room for your event. If you wish to reserve the Franke conference room for an event, please see the instructions for the FIH Reservation form and contacting Ms. Harriette Moody, the Institute’s Project Coordinator.