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Faculty Fellowship ProgramDoctoral Fellowships in the HumanitiesConferences and Lectures

Conferences and Lectures

The Institute accepts proposals for funding conferences and lectures, usually as a co-sponsor with other University of Chicago departments, divisions, schools, or graduate workshops; and/or from other institutions. These awards aim to encourage innovative, cross-disciplinary research in the humanities. In addition, the Franke Institute encourages proposals from groups of graduate students seeking to host conferences organized around a particular theme. (Please note: An event proposal from graduate students must be supported by a letter from the faculty advisor for the planned event.)

Proposals for event grants are accepted during autumn, winter, and spring quarters every year, and the deadline for proposals is the fifth Friday of each of these three quarters.

Applications for Franke Institute Funding for 2020 and 2021

The deadline for submission of funding proposals to the Franke Institute for the winter meeting of the Institute’s Governing Board is Friday, February 7th  at 5:00 pm. At this winter meeting, proposals will be considered for funding for 2020 and 2021. The Institute’s Governing Board will meet at the end of the quarter to consider these proposals. Proposals should include all information that will enable Board members to evaluate fully the intention and reach of a potential event.

Please include a full account of:

  • the purpose of the event, who would be involved in the planning process and who might participate in the event itself,
  • what kind of audience you envision, and
  • what kind of results you would anticipate;
  • a tentative budget of costs and other sources of funding should be included.

Normally, a proposal of two or three pages is sufficient, but sometimes we may ask for further information if members of the Board feel that they need it. For example, it’s valuable to include a list of possible speaker(s) for your event, indicating whether they’ve been invited or confirmed, with information about each speaker (title, department and institution, likely topic of talk). As always, we at the Franke Institute are eager to help in the planning and application process, and we recommend that you submit early drafts to us so that we can help you with the final application.

As you know, the Institute entertains proposals for conferences, colloquia, visiting scholars, and similar kinds of events that focus on interdisciplinary topics and that therefore reach a range of audiences. Normally, we fund — or rather collaborate in funding — proposals that involve multiple departments and programs, and we actively encourage Humanities faculty to work together across departmental lines and with faculty in other Divisions or Schools. [The Institute’s Governing Board follows two rules of thumb in making awards for events: the maximum grant is $4,000 to $5,000, and a grant can be no more than one-third of an event’s overall budget.] Since the Board meeting takes place at the end of the quarter, it’s advisable to submit your proposal at least two quarters before your event is planned (e.g., in autumn quarter for a spring event), if possible.

It is helpful to know from the start what other potential sources of funding (departments, committees, workshops, external grants) might be available. Most of our events are joint efforts, jointly planned and supported by all the potential interested groups. In addition to public events, the Institute can sometimes provide modest support for faculty groups working together on research topics or on curriculum planning, or for faculty projects that involve collaboration with colleagues from other institutions.

Please contact Richard Neer (Director) at, or Margot Browning (Associate Director) at, if you have questions about the preparation of proposals. Here is a budget template, if useful to you: download budget template (MS Exel).
Please send your proposal as MS Word, MS Excel [budget], or pdf files to:

Harriette Moody:
Margot Browning:



"In the great interdisciplinary tradition of the University of Chicago, we've created a physical and intellectual home for scholars in the humanities. For them, the Franke Institute is at once a time and a place and a public venue. It is a time when scholars, thanks to a generous fellowship program, can engage in intensive research. It is a place for these scholars to share their findings and debate their ideas, particularly with those from other fields and other universities. Finally and increasingly, it is a venue through which humanities scholars can engage more fully with their non-academic audiences."

Hugo Sonnenschein
President Emeritus, University of Chicago

Office window at the Franke Institute
Photo Credit: Mai Vukcevich

The Franke Institute for the Humanities | 1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-118 | Chicago, Illinois 60637 | 773-702-8274