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Interdisciplinary Research Innovation Fund: Focus on the Arts & Humanities

Call for Proposals


In order to maintain excellence in research and to support innovation in emerging areas of scientific and societal interest, the Provost is allocating $300,000 in one-time funding for new internal interdisciplinary research grants. Proposals without a research component are not appropriate under this funding mechanism. This program may be continued and adjusted in future years, pending evaluation of this pilot. Considering that areas such as the humanities or the arts currently have limited external funding opportunities, the goal is to foster collaborations between principal investigators (PIs) from these fields with researchers in fields with more funding opportunities, like the social sciences and/or STEM. These interdisciplinary collaborations will ideally establish new pathways for funded research that are currently beyond reach, leading in the near future to strong research proposals for external funding. 


All William & Mary full-time faculty are eligible to apply for these grants. This funding is expected to support new exploratory endeavors that lead to innovative, multiple-PI research proposals rather than typical ongoing scholarly activities. Preference will be given to proposals led by or prominently featuring PIs from the humanities and/or the arts that establish interdisciplinary collaborations across schools and/or disciplines.  


The proposed funding may be used to support personnel, supplies, travel to field sites, and possibly other relevant necessary expenses. The maximum summer stipend for faculty members involved in the proposal is $3,000 each. If a course release is being requested, please include expenses for that release in the budget and obtain approval of the course release from your department chair and Dean or Vice-Dean. Undergraduate or graduate student funding is allowed. The funding for each award will need to be spent within two years of the grant date. 

Types of Grants
  • Research initiation grants will be allocated up to $65,000 total per project for a period of two years and are allocated to support larger-scope projects. The expectation is that these grants result in grant submissions with budgets of over $1 million. 
  • Pilot grants will be for up to $20,000 to support smaller-scope projects, but are also expected to lead to grant proposal submissions in the near future. 

We expect to award a minimum of 4 research initiation grants and 2 pilot grants with this current round of funding.


Proposals should consist of no more than 5 pages total and must include an executive project summary (no more than 2 pages), proposed budget, and plan for external proposal submission. As the review committee will represent broad research backgrounds, each proposal should be in language that is understandable to reviewers outside of the expertise of the PIs. In addition to describing the proposed scholarly work, the proposal should address how the previously mentioned considerations are met by the project, provide a timeline for the project and address the feasibility of completing the project during the proposed timeline.

As mentioned above, proposals should also include a detailed description and timeline of actions to pursue external funding to continue this line of original work. The proposal budget (included in the 5-page limit) should summarize budget items and provide justification for each item. Proposals should also include an abbreviated CV (2-page maximum for each investigator, not included in the 5-page proposal limit). The proposal should indicate a single person who will be the PI and the contact person. There is no limit to the number of co-PIs.  

Review process and timeline

Proposals will be due on February 26, 2024 and should be submitted to [[provost]]. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee that includes representation from all of the schools. This review committee will make recommendations to the Provost, who will make the final funding decisions.

  • For research initiation grants, funding will be allocated in annual increments. At the end of the first year, each funded project will be reviewed by the review committee to ensure that adequate progress has been made, with the second increment of funding dependent on adequate progress. At the end of the 2-year funding period, each research team will be expected to submit a final report not to exceed 5 pages in length, describing what was achieved during the funding period, potential publications that resulted from this effort, and the status of the expected grant submission related to the project. 
  • For pilot grants, final reports are expected to outline next steps in maintaining the established internal interdisciplinary partnership and detail plans to pursue external funding.

For questions, please contact Josh Burk, Professor of Psychological Sciences and Provost’s Faculty Fellow, at [[jabur2]].

Download this call for proposals: Interdisciplinary Research Innovation Fund: Focus on the Arts & Humanities (pdf)