CUR Proposal Writing Institute

The CUR Proposal Writing Institute will be held July 7-11, 201 at Chapman University, Orange, CA.

This Institute will bring together faculty and administrators interested in preparing proposals for submission to external funding agencies. The four-day institute will consist of one-on-one work with a mentor, writing, small group discussions, and critiquing of proposals. The institute has been developed to assist novice to experienced proposal writers in drafting complete proposals for submission. Prior to the institute participants will be able to access information that will help them begin to draft their proposal. Deadline is May 24, 2013.

More information available by visiting:


Panel Readers Needed For US Department Of Education International Programs

The International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Service in the U.S. Department of Education administers a variety of international programs. IFLE continually seeks language and area studies specialists to serve as readers for grant competitions. Readers participate in a panel review of applications (usually no longer than one to two weeks), and are provided with modest compensation. Most reviews are conducted electronically, via the U.S. Department of Education’s e-Reader system, and travel will not be necessary. In cases where travel is necessary, readers are provided with roundtrip travel, hotel room, and meal allowances. The review process involves orientation, reading of the applications, and daily discussions with other panelists. Scores are based on U.S. Department of Education selection criteria. If you or anyone you know is interested in serving as a reader please visit the U.S. Department of Education Field Reader System Web site at: to enter your information.

via CUR

Voices of Experience: TU humanities faculty share insights about their successful fellowship proposals

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Trinity faculty Jenny Browne (English), Patrick Keating (Communication), Corinne Pache (Classical Studies) and Claudia Stokes (English) led a discussion today about applying for grants and fellowships in the Arts and Humanities.  The event was attended by faculty and staff from Classical Studies, Human Communication & Theater, Classical Studies, Religion, Sociology, Academic Affairs, the Center for Learning & Technology and the library.  Here’s a brief summary of the wisdom imparted:


  • Start early, at least two months before the deadline
  • Join a writing group and/or get feedback on your drafts
  • Whether or not you get the grant, request the reviewer reports.  These can be frustrating and contradictory, but sometimes they contain key insights there that can help improve your proposal for future submissions.
  • You never feel “ready’ to apply, but the process of applying is what makes you ready.  Proposal-writing is process for clarifying your ideas.  Even if you don’t get the grant, this process is valuable.


  • Proposal-writing is a genre to be mastered just like articles and manuscripts.
  • Often humanities research is diffuse and emerges as you go along, but the proposal-writing process can enhance productivity by forcing you to clarify your ideas.
  • When writing the proposal, make sure to emphasize that the funding is necessary to the project, that it could not happen without this support.  Demonstrate the stakes.
  • Be precise and explicit about your timeline, milestones and research process.
  • When you are in doubt about the project, it will show through in your proposal.  You have to really work on making the project concrete.
  • In your literature review, avoid disciplinary turf wars.  You never know who will be reviewing your proposal!
  • If possible, serve as a reviewer for funding agencies to get an inside look at the selection process.
  • There are a lot of opportunities in the Digital Humanities.  Think about how your project might connect to these initiatives.
  • Think well in advance about colleagues outside Trinity who might be able to write letters of reference.


  • Find ways of making yourself known to potential reviewers.  A few years ago I sent free copies of my previous book to important members of the field.  It turns out that one of those people ended up being on the Academy review committee that selected my proposal.  When I applied to the Ransom Center, I was confident about my chances because I had worked with people there before.


  • Let the administration know beforehand of your proposal plans, especially if your fellowship will involve a leave or course reduction.
  • Funders will want to point to the results of their investment, so think about ways of putting the work online.
  • When letters of reference are required, it can help to have them come from previous recipients of that fellowship.

Other advice:

  • Request copies of successful proposals from the program officers.  In some cases, we have such proposals on file in Academic Affairs.  Contact Claudia Scholz.
  • Take reviewer comments seriously, even if you disagree.  If you feel your proposal was misunderstood, perhaps you can examine your narrative for clarity.  Maintain a thick skin about reviewer comments.
  • Don’t forget about student fellowships.  Trinity’s Mellon and Murchison programs support student research assistants during the summer.
  • Request faculty development funds to build the groundwork for a grant proposal (e.g. to travel to an archive to assess its appropriateness, to visit a funding agency to learn about program priorities, etc.)

What Trinity can do to support faculty in applying for external funding:

  • Send more announcements about funding opportunities, especially targeting departments or individual faculty.
  • Maintain a list of fellowship and grant deadlines
  • Organize a writing/critique/support group around grant proposals.

Related Posts

Lawrence Kim awarded prestigious Humbolt Fellowship

Lawrence Kim of the Classical Studies department has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for the 2013-2014 Academic Year. He will be conducting his research at Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany on “The Idea of the ‘Archaic’ in Imperial Greek Literature,” seeking to understand how the Greeks in the High Roman Empire interacted with their literary heritage and history, and how this has affected modern conceptions of classical antiquity.

ACS Workshop on Teaching Research Ethics

On June 20-21, 2013, Centre College, together with Davidson College and Trinity University, will host a workshop about preparing effective materials to train undergraduate students in the responsible conduct of research (RCR) and research ethics.

Participants will leave the workshop with learning activities to implement in their own classes as well as guidelines and inspiration for generating additional materials.

Thanks to a grant from the Associated Colleges of the South, this workshop will be free to attendees from ACS member institutions. Travel reimbursement of up to $400 is available for the first twelve participants who register to attend.  

Expressions of interest are due to KatieAnn Skogsberg by April 30.

Fulbright Association to meet on campus March

Faculty interested in applying for a Fulbright Fellowship are invited to attend this event led by Ruqayya Khan.  Early-career faculty are especially encouraged to participate.
March 22
12:30 – Tehuacana Room (get lunch in Skyline at noon)
Capacity is limited to the first 30 who rsvp via this form:

Please address any questions about this event to Dr. Khan.