Collaborative research grant proposals are now closed. Please check back for revised guidelines in spring 2016.

Grants for Collaborative Research

With the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Digital Humanities at Berkeley encourages faculty members, librarians, and museum curators to propose collaborative research projects in the digital humanities. These grants will fund collaborative projects in which faculty, students, research librarians, or museum curators will play the “leading” role.  We encourage the involvement of undergraduates in a meaningful way. Each project must include at least one participant affiliated with an academic department and at least one affiliated with a UC Berkeley nonacademic unit, such as a library, museum, research centers and labs, or campus IT organization. We especially wish to encourage projects that will open new pathways for established scholars as well as those who are at early career stages.

Because the success of projects can be calibrated according to many different measures, and because the field is so diverse, we are asking each applicant group to identify the measures of success they believe to be most appropriate to their work.

Evaluation of Collaborative Research Proposals

Eligible proposals will be reviewed on the following criteria:

  1. Scholarly excellence. The proposal fills a research gap in the digital arts and humanities in terms of the project’s intellectual ambitions and technological underpinnings.
  2. Quality of collaboration. There is evidence of a strong collaborative relationship between academic and non-academic partner or there is evidence of great potential for a newly-formed collaborative relationship.
  3. Impact. The collaborative research will have a considerable reach and impact.
  4. Feasibility. The project optimizes existing resources and has a realistic timeline and implementation plan.
  5. Sustainability. The plan explains the project’s portability, accessibility, and scalability.
  6. Sound technology. Uses software and/or languages that are widely supported on campus. Open source. High degree of reuse of existing tools / libraries. See the resource guide on technical evaluation for projects for more information about issues you should address in your proposal.

Collaborative Research Budget

  • Grants will not exceed $5,000 dollars for undergraduate and graduate students and $10,000 for faculty and staff.
  • Research that is leveraging other funding will be prioritized.
  • Funding may be used to cover training costs (e.g. workshops, subscriptions to training videos, etc.) but local or virtual training is preferred over training that requires travel to be covered by the grant.
  • Funding may pay for graduate or undergraduate research assistants, but may not be used to compensate the PI.
  • Equipment purchases will be considered only if the equipment is not already available on campus through a collaborative partner. Additionally, equipment that will benefit more than one individual will be seen as more favorable.
  • Exhibits, workshops, and installations will not be funded through the collaborative research funds. However, please inquire about intership funding opportunities. 
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a digital humanities consultant to review their budget before May 15, 2015.


Funding for these projects will be available on July 1, 2015. All funds must be spent by June 30, 2016.

How to Apply

Proposal submission

Proposals should be submitted by May 26, 2015 at midnight PST, using this form. Letters of support can be submitted later via the same form, if necessary.

The entire proposal will be no more than 3 pages total, excluding CVs. You may have up to one additional page of screenshots, mockups, diagrams, or other supporting visualizations. Applications must include:

1) Applicants’ names, departments, contact information, and abbreviated CV (no more than 3 pages).

2) Research Proposal - The narrative statement should explain, briefly but specifically, what you plan to do and why, as well as describing any progress already made, making clear the relevance of the project to your professional experience, and discuss the significance of this work within. Applicants should consider disability access issues.

3) Collaborators’ specific and general fields. Please balance the description of specific work plans against an overview of your goals and the contribution this project will make to digital scholarship generally and to the particular scholarly field(s) it engages.

  • Proposals should explicitly state the means and tools (software, applications, interfaces) to be used to accomplish the project's goals.
  • Proposals should present plans for how the project will be sustained and preserved over time, and how the applicant will disseminate notice of its availability.
  • Please give your proposal a brief, descriptive title, and label sections of your narrative as appropriate to assist readers.
  • Please explain the nature of your collaboration.
  • Each project should submit a single application, regardless of the number of collaborative partners.

4) Project plan - providing a coherent plan for development of the project, including a description of tasks to be accomplished within the period of the fellowship. This plan should reflect a thoughtful approach to the project's sustainability, scalability, dissemination, and preservation, and include a statement addressing intellectual property issues.

5) Budget plan - providing a detailed account of the proposed use of the research funds.

6) Letters of support from collaborative partners

Grant Programs