The Humanities Institute’s research clusters enable groups of faculty and graduate students to explore new ideas. We fund clusters for up to three years, allowing experimental collaborations and projects to grow into self-sustaining initiatives. Interdisciplinary research breaks down silos so that we can create the dynamic connections across disciplines that are essential today.
See our application process and our current and past clusters below.
  • The Humanities Institute Research Clusters 2017-18
    Deadline: May 1, 2017

    Objective: This program is designed to encourage and support research in any area of the Humanities. In addition to programming (e.g., conferences, workshops, seminars, visiting scholars), we encourage the clusters to view this as seed funding and to think about ways the cluster can serve as an incubator for larger projects in the future (e.g., websites and other digital projects, edited volumes, the establishment of research centers, NEH Summer Seminars, UC multi-campus research groups etc.) and how they can leverage cluster funds to secure extramural funding. Preference will be given to clusters that have not already received multiple years of funding, though all proposals will be considered.

    Number of Awards: TBD; the THI Steering Committee will decide the awards.

    Amount: Up to $5,000 per cluster.

    Eligibility: Groups of faculty from any UCSC Division may apply, as long as some Humanities faculty are involved. Graduate student involvement in the cluster is required, but clusters must be led by faculty PIs. Depending on funding availability, preference will be given to clusters whose PIs are faculty in the Humanities Division.

    Duration: Funding is awarded on a year-by-year basis. Any unspent money on June 30, 2018 will be returned to the THI. All clusters will have to reapply for funding for 2018-19.

    Reporting Requirement: The THI will expect a final 1-page report on July 1, 2018 (or May 1, 2018 if the cluster is reapplying for funds for the following year). This report will detail a) the activities of the cluster, b) how the activities enhanced the work of the faculty and graduate students involved and c) whether the cluster faculty applied for extramural funds (if yes, where; if no, why not).

    Application Requirements:
    1. Cover sheet containing a) name(s) of faculty principal investigator(s), b) title of research cluster, c) amount requested, e) amount of matching funds, if any.
    2. Narrative of no more than 3 pages describing a) the purpose of the cluster, b) the names and affiliations of faculty and graduate students whom you anticipate will be involved and c) projected activities of the cluster.
    3. Budget.
    4. For ongoing clusters, a 1-page report about 2016-17 activities (see reporting requirement above for details). Applications must be submitted electronically (in .pdf format) to

    Staffing: Staff support to the cluster will be included as an in-kind award from the THI. Staff support includes event planning, program management, as well as assistance with research development. Any questions about the program or the process can be addressed to THI Director, Nathaniel Deutsch (

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