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 2024 and 2025
The deadline for submission of funding proposals to the Franke Institute for the winter meeting of the Institute’s Governing Board is Friday, February 2nd, at 5:00 pm. At this winter meeting, proposals will be considered for funding for 2024 and 2025. 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.
The maximum award for Franke event grants is $7,500. In addition, no award can exceed one-half of an event's overall budget. Please note these levels represent a significant increase over past levels.
“Festschrift” conferences for retiring colleagues present a special case. Such events may be excellent on their own terms while lacking the interdisciplinary quality that the Franke typically encourages. Accordingly, the Franke funds retirement conferences at a flat rate of up to $4,000 in support. Requests for higher levels of funding must justify the amount by incorporating a robust interdisciplinary component, e.g. by drawing on speakers and other participants from multiple departments at Chicago and/or other universities.
University funds used for travel and events are subject to changing policies due to COVID. If your proposal is for an in-person event, please indicate whether your backup plan is to hold the event at a later date or to hold the event online.
If you're planning a virtual or hybrid event, or an in-person event that might become virtual/hybrid, we strongly suggest that your proposal's budget include technical support. Please confer with Audio-Visual Services (AVS) to determine the type of support (both staffing and equipment) that your event might need. If you plan to hold your event at the Franke Institute itself, please let AVS know that the Franke's conference room has new videoconferencing equipment installed. AVS can be reached at:
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 should be included.
Normally, a proposal of two or three pages is sufficient, but sometimes we may ask for further information if members of the Board feel that they need it. For example, it’s valuable to include a list of possible speaker(s) for your event, indicating whether they’ve been invited or confirmed, with information about each speaker (title, department and institution, likely topic of talk). As always, we at the Franke Institute are eager to help in the planning and application process, and we recommend that you submit early drafts to us so that we can help you with the final application.
As you know, the Institute entertains proposals for conferences, colloquia, visiting scholars, and similar kinds of events that focus on interdisciplinary topics and that therefore reach a range of audiences. Normally, we fund - or rather collaborate in funding - proposals that involve multiple departments and programs, and we actively encourage Humanities faculty to work together across departmental lines and with faculty in other Divisions and Schools. Since the Board meeting takes place at the end of the quarter, it’s advisable to submit your proposal at least two quarters before your event is planned (e.g., in autumn quarter for a spring event), if possible.
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. 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. We are happy to work with you to discuss such proposals in advance of application.
It is helpful to know from the start what other potential sources of funding (departments, committees, workshops, external grants) might be available. Most of our events are joint efforts, jointly planned and supported by all the potential interested groups.
Please send your proposal in MS Word, MS Excel [budget], or PDF to:
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 contact Vee Bonney, the Institute's Manager, Finance and Events.