Interdisciplinary Working Group Awards

What: Awards of up to $3000
Who: CHASS Faculty
When: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Deadline to apply: April 6, 2021

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, closed working group meetings.

Awardees are asked to seek matching campus contributions of at least 10% of the awarded amount.

Submit the online application form and all required documentation by 11:59 pm on the deadline. All required documents should be prepared in advance and uploaded to the form at the time of submission. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

*Note: You will not be able to save your progress once you start the application. We suggest that you preview the questions.

Online application form

Complete applications include:

  1. Project title and abstract (300-word limit)
  2. Description of proposed project: Limit the proposal to 1000 words or less, not including bibliography or CVs. When drafting, note the criteria outlined in the other sections of this call, particularly under Evaluation. 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. Upload the proposal to the application form as a PDF or Word document.
  3. Budget and Budget Justification: Itemize all expected costs associated with the project or research activity. Include explanations of how estimates are calculated and give 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, how will the group adjust its project scope? Indicate cost-sharing, matching funds, cosponsorships, and other funding, committed or pending. Enter budgets and justifications on the CIS Project Budget template. Download budget template.
  4. List of organizers and confirmed 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). Combine CVs and participant list as a single PDF or Word document and upload to the form.

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 perspectives.

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 10% of the awarded amount.

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 possible, projects should 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, Associate Director, at