The Franke Institute for the Humanities is pleased to announce a new program of grants in support of Humanities faculty.  Grants of up to approximately $30,000 can be made for a limited number of new research and/or public-facing projects.  Projects can be small or large and can range from faculty working groups and “Sawyer”-type seminars all the way to large collaborations.  Awards can be dispensed over multiple years (1-3) as appropriate.  Basic research and public-humanities projects are equally encouraged.  At every level the Institute hopes to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research, teaching and/or public engagement in the humanities; we particularly welcome applications that represent multiple departments or disciplines or that involve 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).  All tenure-track or tenured members of the Humanities faculty are eligible to apply.  We are happy to work with you to discuss proposals in advance of application.


This initiative will be evaluated in Spring 2022 and, if deemed successful and if funds permit, may continue in future years.


Applications for Franke Faculty Grants


In recognition of the disruptions occasioned by the pandemic, proposals will be accepted starting in Summer 2021 for projects that could begin as early as Fall 2021 (projects with later start dates can be considered at this time as well).  The summer deadline for applications is 5pm on 03 September 2021.  Proposals will be vetted by the Franke’s Governing Board at the end of the summer and the first round of awards will be announced at or just before the beginning of the Fall quarter.


Proposals will also be accepted during Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters. The deadline for these proposals is the fifth Friday of each of these three quarters. In general we recommend applying at least one quarter in advance of the project start date; however, as noted earlier, we recognize that fallout from the pandemic may necessitate flexibility.



Applications should include all information that will enable members of the Franke Board to evaluate fully 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 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 note that as of this writing (June 2021) university funds still cannot be used for travel or large gatherings due to COVID-19. We solicit proposals in the expectation that these restrictions will ease significantly, or be lifted entirely, before the beginning of Autumn Quarter 2021.  Nonetheless we ask you please to state briefly whether your project would proceed in the event of a renewal of travel restrictions and social distancing and, if so, how it would do so.  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 Harriette Moody: 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.