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The Franke Institute for the Humanities’ Faculty Grant Program was launched in 2021. Grants in the range of $5,000 - $30,000 can be made for a limited number of new research and/or public-facing projects. Awards can be dispensed over multiple years (1-3) as appropriate. Basic research and public-facing projects are equally encouraged. At every level the Institute hopes to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research, teaching and/or public engagement in the humanities. To that end we particularly welcome applications that represent multiple departments as well as applications that involve an individual and/or group in collaboration with outside institutions, including community-based organizations (in the event of collaboration with other research universities we expect partners to provide substantial support as well). Successful proposals in the past have included a project that develops and makes publicly accessible an archive of early Black cinema in collaboration with the Chicago Film Archive; a collaborative project to monitor archaeological sites in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal; and a project on global cosmopolitanism involving multiple universities and research nodes. The Franke has also worked with faculty and the College to include undergraduate research assistants for some projects as desired.

All tenure-track or tenured members of the Humanities faculty are eligible to apply—we emphasize that this includes junior faculty. Budgetary constraints mean that unfortunately we cannot guarantee that every application will be funded but we are happy to work with you to discuss proposals in advance of application.


Please note that freestanding or one-off events (such as conferences) are more appropriately addressed through the Franke’s longstanding program of event funding. The Call for Event Proposals is circulated at the beginning of each quarter; details can also be found here on the Franke website. If you are unsure which rubric is best for your project, please do not hesitate to ask! 

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Applications for Franke Faculty Grants


The Autumn deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, October 27th, 2023. Proposals will be vetted by the Franke’s Governing Board at the end of the Autumn quarter.  


In general, we recommend applying at least one quarter in advance of the project start date, e.g. applying in Winter for a Summer project. We recognize, however, that COVID may make flexibility necessary.


Applications should include all information that will enable members of the Franke Board to evaluate the intention and reach of your project.  A proposal of about five pages is usually sufficient. Please include a brief account (with a project title) of the primary research question(s) that the project will address and/or modes of community engagement it will foster; a plan with a timeline for how the project will attain its objectives; and a tentative budget including an itemized estimate of costs and of any funds to be contributed from other sources at UChicago or elsewhere.  


Please state briefly whether and how your project would proceed in the event of a renewal of COVID-related restrictions on travel and other normal features of university life.  We neither expect nor require that all proposals be able to proceed in such circumstances! 


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.

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


Please send your proposal in MS Word, MS Excel [budget], or PDF to Vee Bonney: and Margot Browning:


Please note that the ongoing program of Franke Event Grants continues as usual; the customary Call for Event Proposals will be circulated at the beginning of autumn, winter, and spring quarters. 

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