Reading and Writing Group Grants


The Center for the Humanities is pleased to offer grants to tenured or tenure-track Washington University faculty and to Washington University humanities graduate students to support reading and writing groups on a particular subject or theme. The groups to be supported should be self-organized by the participants, have an ongoing core membership and meet regularly throughout the academic year. The grant will be used for defraying the costs of speakers, supplying materials or any other expenses directly related to the successful operation of the reading or writing group. We expect that most groups will discuss members' work in progress and published scholarship on relevant topics, and they may include discussion with invited visitors.

Important dates & details

Application deadline:  February 15, 12 PM CST

Award notification: By March 15

Grant amount: $1,200 per academic year, renewable by annual application

Grant period: Academic year (September 1–May 15)

Eligibility: Tenured or tenure-track Washington University faculty or Washington University humanities graduate students

    How to Apply

    Applications must include:

    1.   Completed and signed Reading and Writing Group Application Form (see link below)

    2.   Narrative (no more than 1200 words). Within the narrative applicants should provide the following:     
          o   A detailed outline of the group’s plan for the academic year
          o   An explanation of the group’s theme
          o   An explanation of its importance
          o   The people whom it is expected to attract
          o   A schedule of when the group will meet.

    4.   Short CV for the secondary Convener and each Co-Convener (no more than 2 pages each)

    5.   Letters from at least four faculty members or graduate students or some mix of both expressing their intention to be regular members of the group.

    Application download: (link to application form)

    Evaluation criteria: Proposals are reviewed by the Director of the Center for the Humanities and chosen by a faculty selection committee. If there are more applications that clearly fulfill the goals of the program than can be funded, the groups selected will be those that:

    1. seem most likely to encourage exchange and collaboration among students and faculty who share intellectual interests but may not necessarily have an easily available forum in common;
    2. support the development of research projects and scholarly writing;
    3. contribute to the development of innovative humanistic interdisciplinary dialogue.

    Application requirements: Submit your application as a single pdf to: using the following naming convention for your application pdf: the Group’s subject or theme Reading Group or the Group’s subject or theme Writing Group (e.g., African Diaspora Reading Group, Interdisciplinary Survey of 20th Century Pop Culture Writing Group).

    Grant administration: Seminar grants are administered through the Center for the Humanities. Grants cannot be used for off-campus entertainment expenses.

    • Grantees are expected to adhere to the administrative and financial policies of the university and those specified in the Center for the Humanities’ “Guidelines for Conveners” issued to grantees upon award notification.
    • All funds must be used within the grant period. The Center for the Humanities will not reimburse for expenses incurred after the end of the grant period even if grant funds remain.
    • The Grantee will be required to give a detailed report of the expenditures of the grant at the end of the grant period and submit a short (one- to two-page) narrative account of the seminar by June 1.
    • The Grantee or one of the members of the seminar group will submit an 800-1,000 word article about some aspect of the group’s activities to be published on the Center for the Humanities website. The deadline for this article will be arranged by the Grantee and the Director.
    • Public announcement of group’s activities must contain an acknowledgment of support by the Center for the Humanities.
    • Publications resulting from grant activities must contain an acknowledgment of support and the following sentence: “Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Center for the Humanities.”

    Learn more about groups who received funding in past years.