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Center for Humanities and Information (CHI) Faculty Fellows Program

When Oct 08, 2015 08:00 AM to
Nov 17, 2015 12:00 AM
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The CHI Faculty Fellows program is sponsored by the Center, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the University Libraries. This program supports faculty research in the humanities leading toward major projects (a significant publication, a grant proposal, etc.). It will provide up to six faculty members with one semester release from teaching and a $1,000 mini-grant for research expenses and/or materials.

Fellows are expected to be at University Park during most of their funded term, to participate in the Center’s weekly lunches and public lectures, and to make a public presentation of their work. Projects with an interdisciplinary focus and/or that have the potential to attract external funding are especially encouraged. Faculty who wish to submit a collaborative application with an applicant for another CHI program (the predoctoral or visiting fellowships) should indicate so on their application.

Application Deadline

Monday, November 16, 2015


Faculty in any field with professorial rank (i.e., assistant, associate, full professor) and a continuing appointment at University Park or one of the 19 campuses outside University Park that report to the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses are eligible for this program. Non-University Park faculty are expected to be in residence at University Park at least three days a week. Faculty interested in combining this opportunity with another kind of leave in the same academic year should seek approval from their department head or program director. A CHI Faculty Fellowship may immediately precede or follow a semester-long sabbatical during the same academic year. Faculty who have received fellowships in the past are eligible to apply again after two academic years have elapsed (for example, faculty who applied in Fall 2013 for a residency in Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 may apply again in Fall 2016 for a residency in Fall 2017 or Spring 2018). Previous fellows must also demonstrate that they have sought external grant support during the last two years. Applications from former Fellows must be for a different project and must include evidence of the previous project’s successful completion. An applicant’s prior history of CHI support for research and/or creative projects may be considered by the committee in the course of its deliberations.

Applicants from colleges other than the Liberal Arts or the University Libraries are required to secure a letter of support from their Dean, attesting to that college’s willingness to co-sponsor the fellowship. Applicants from commonwealth campuses are required to seek financial commitment from their campus chancellor prior to the application process. Accordingly, non-University Park faculty are strongly encouraged to discuss the financial support expected from a campus with the campus academic officer and chancellor several months before the application deadline.

How to Apply

Applications that do not follow these guidelines will be summarily rejected.

All applications must include the following:

  1. Cover page with applicant’s name, professorial rank and academic title, contact information (including campus address and e-mail), project title, and fellowship semester preference (Fall 2016 or Spring 2017).
  2. Description of project, including scholarly significance, outcome (publication, major grant proposal, etc.) and timetable for project’s completion (not to exceed five pages, double-spaced, 12-point font). Applicants may state a preference for a fall or spring semester residency (in the case of a strong preference, please provide an explanation). Applicants who plan to be on a semester-long sabbatical during the same academic year as the proposed residency must also indicate this plan. Please indicate if this is a collaborative application, and explain the planned structure of the collaboration.
  3. Curriculum vitae (not to exceed four pages). Please include internal and external grants received in the past five years as well as any non-administrative release time from teaching in the two academic years before the fellowship.
  4. One confidential letter of evaluation from the applicant’s department head or program director attesting to the quality of the application and the feasibility of the release time.
  5. For commonwealth campus faculty only: a letter from the campus chancellor. The letter must include a budget indicating the amount of the financial support to be provided if the faculty member is selected as a CHI Faculty Fellow. The budget should cover the following items:
    1. A commitment to pay for a third course release so that the faculty member does not teach during the semester in residence (CHI provides $10,000 to cover two course buy-outs);
    2. Funds to cover travel to and from University Park;
    3. A commitment to cover living expenses while the faculty member is in residence at University Park for at least three days each week when a daily commute is not a realistic expectation.

Faculty members at commonwealth campuses are strongly encouraged to discuss the financial support expected from a campus with the campus academic officer and chancellor several months before the application deadline.

Nominations must be emailed to CHI by the applicant’s department head, program director, or academic officer by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Nov 16, 2015. Please use the subject line “Faculty Fellows.” Attachments should be in Portable Document Format (pdf). All applicants will receive an email receipt; please follow up if you do not hear back within one week.

Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated and recommendations made to the Director by a subcommittee of the CHI Advisory Board.

Awards will be announced by December 15, 2015.

Presentation and Reporting Requirements

Fellows will be asked to give a work-in-progress presentation during their residency semester. Thirty days after the close of the grant period (consult award letter for exact date), a report must be filed with the Center on the results of the residency.