Interdisciplinary Working Group Awards

*Updated Jan 31, 2022

What: CIS Awards of up to $3000 + “UC Supplemental Awards” of up to $2000
Who: CHASS Faculty (PI), UC faculty, staff or students (Co-PIs)
When: July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023
Deadline to apply: March 14, 2022

Interdisciplinary Working Group Awards enable cross-departmental groups of faculty and graduate students to explore a theme or subject matter of common interest over the course of an academic year. Possible uses of the funds include but are not limited to guest lectures, panel discussions, works-in-progress workshops and public-facing or community-engaged projects. Up to $500 may be spent on internal working group meetings.

UC Supplemental Awards
Up to $2000 in supplemental funding available for applicants to the Interdisciplinary Working Group Awards. To be eligible, working group proposals must include substantive participation from faculty based at other UC campuses and/or partnerships with programs or departments at other UC campuses. “Substantive participation” may include serving as co-PIs or co-hosting and planning partners, giving presentations and assisting with promotion of working group events or meeting information. The application should include a clear description of the UC faculty participant’s (or UC program’s) expected role and contributions to the Working Group and should also be accompanied by a short letter from them acknowledging their agreement to participate.

Online, public-facing portions of the project must be open to attendees from across the UC system.

Award Guidelines
Awardees are asked to seek matching campus contributions of at least 25% of the awarded amount. Awardees also agree to attend the CIS Award Orientation Meeting on May 9, 2022. (Time TBD)

Submit the online application form and all required documentation by 11:59 pm on the deadline. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Online application form

The online application will require:

  1. Project title and abstract (250-word limit)
  2. PDF of description of proposed project: Limit the proposal to 1000 words or less, not including bibliography. Proposals should address the criteria outlined in the ‘Evaluation’ sections of the call. Identify goals and objectives and clarify the interdisciplinary and/or collaborative aspects of the project. Provide a tentative schedule of events, as applicable to the project.
  3. Excel spreadsheet of Budget and Budget Justification: Download budget template. Itemize all expected costs associated with the event within the Award Guidelines noted in this call, including proposed UC Supplemental Award (if applicable). Include explanations of how estimates are calculated and a line-by-line justification for the necessity of each expense as it relates to the project goals. If the proposal is awarded at a lower amount than requested, indicate how the project scope can be adjusted. Describe cost-sharing, matching funds, cosponsorships, and other funding, committed or pending.
  4. PDF list of organizers and confirmed Working Group participants: Submit short (2 page) CVs of confirmed participants. Identify the roles for each person involved and include a list of potential speakers and invitees (with affiliations). CVs not required for potential invitees.
  5. Optional: UC Supplemental Awards – Describe the planned partnership, including names and contact information for committed UC faculty and/or program partners. How will they substantially contribute to the proposed working group? How will the addition of these UC partners strengthen or expand the reach of the project?
  6. If applying for the UC Supplemental Award: Attach short letters of support from faculty or programs on other UC campuses acknowledging their agreement to participate. Letters may also be emailed directly to

In addition to humanities-emphasis, interdisciplinary collaboration, and location, the advisory committee looks for intellectually sound, clear, and well-organized proposals that represent the following values and standards:

Project Focus

  • The importance of the questions, issues, or problems the project seeks to address.
  • The capacity of the project to enhance or develop insights into or an understanding of these questions, issues, or problems.
  • The extent to which the project has appropriately taken account of existing research and scholarship.
  • The appropriateness, effectiveness, and feasibility of the proposed approach or research methods.

Project Mechanics

  • The relationship between the project and the funds sought
  • The scalability of the project if less funding is available or the possibility of its successfully raising more funding through cosponsorships, additional grants, or other fund-raising approaches.
  • The use of formats and venues that are open and accessible to campus and community audiences.
  • The clarity of lines of responsibility and accountability.
  • The feasibility of the timetable and milestones.


  • The ability of the participants to complete or significantly advance the project as indicated by previous accomplishments.
  • The inclusion of diverse voices and disciplinary/interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary perspectives.
  • UC Supplemental Awards: Demonstration that the faculty or program partners from other UC campuses substantially contribute to the proposed project.

Dissemination and Impact

  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the proposed dissemination methods.
  • The potential of the proposed topic to lay the groundwork for and/or inspire future research, programs, grants, or community relationships.

Final awards are based on available funding. In order to support as many projects as possible, projects may be offered an award for less than requested. Lower awards do not reflect on the quality or importance of the work being conducted.
Awardees are asked to seek matching campus contributions of at least 25% of the awarded amount.

Typically, working group awards do not support individual member’s research projects. UCR faculty are not eligible for honoraria. UC Faculty from other campuses may receive research awards ($250-$500), to be transferred to their home departments. Faculty from other institutions and guest presenters may be paid honoraria.

Major purchases of non-expendable equipment, course buy-outs, faculty stipends, GSR/student tuition or fees, staffing, alcohol, personal conference travel and/or annual meetings or professional organizations and groups are not covered by this award. Reusable supplies and equipment purchased with these funds remain the property of the Center. Expenditures must be within the categories listed in the proposal budget. Written permission is required for budget adjustments or changes to the project scope prior to spending funds.
All project transactions and processes must adhere to applicable/relevant UC, UCR, and Center policies. Expenses must be incurred within the award period and unexpended funds are surrendered at the end of that period. Extensions of the grant timeframe are rare but may be requested in writing to the Center director. Awardees should alert the Center staff if accommodations to the project timeline or budget are needed due to COVID-19 disruptions and restrictions.

Administrative and event support is provided by the Center for Ideas and Society. Where feasible, , projects are invited to make use of the Center’s facilities in College Building South.

Proposals that involve personal interviews or experiments with human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board. For forms and details, visit Such proposals should indicate if IRB approval has been granted and the protocol number. Funds are released only after approval is obtained.

At the close of the project, organizers will prepare a final narrative report that assesses the outcomes (both planned and unexpected) and compares the project as proposed with the project as experienced. What progress was made toward the stated goals? What questions were uncovered or resolved? What challenges were faced? What new areas of research and collaboration were opened? Reports should include a list of participants, audiences reached, publications and submissions and impact on students, teaching, community service, and research engagement.

In papers, conference presentations, or other methods of sharing the results of your project, please acknowledge the support of the Center for Ideas and Society.

From time to time, we may share your name, project title, and/or portions of your narrative report on our website or other reports and promotional materials. Doing so serves our mission by sharing the research of our college with the wider public and helps us emphasize the importance and relevance of humanities-focused projects.

For questions, please contact Katharine Henshaw, Executive Director, at