Public Humanities Research Seed Grants

A cluster of multicolored wildflowers

  • Deadline: December 18, 2023 
  • Value: $2,000/grant X 8  
  • Eligibility: UBC-V Faculty member (tenured/track 5), and UBC-V Graduate Student, PhD (3) in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, and Allard School of Law. 
  • To seed preliminary, innovative and collaborative public humanities research initiatives 
  • For queries related to this grant, please contact the Public Humanities Hub manager, Heather Tam, 


The Public Humanities Research Seed Grant program aims to provide support for new creative, collaborative, and experimental public humanities projects, imagined broadly. The Seed Grants  provide small funds to support early stage research activities that will maintain or strengthen research capacity and research excellence and, importantly, advance knowledge in the humanities. These funds “seed” small projects by providing an initial investment to help incubate ideas, research activities and collaborations that might go on to find larger research funding sources for long-term sustainability as the project grows. The purpose of this program is to seed early-stage public-facing humanities projects by helping to remove initial barriers, support preliminary research activities, and foster collaboration to help mobilize humanities ideas and contribute to knowledge advances in the public sphere.  



Seed grant funds are awarded in Winter Term 2. Up to eight seed grants will be awarded each term up to $2000 each. Seed grants are open to UBC-Vancouver faculty and doctoral students.  



Eligibility for Seed Grants is open to UBC-V faculty members (tenured/track) or PhD students in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, and Allard School of Law. 

The project should: 

  1. Be framed and designed through critical, Public Humanities methods and scholarship;  
  2. Identify a significant knowledge advance that represents a contribution of this scholarly work; 
  3. Acknowledge that public scholarship of necessity attends to human rights and other minoritizing histories and processes that characterize publics and related knowledges and cultural artifacts; 
  4. Include a Principal Investigator from the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, or Allard School of Law;   
  5. Represent research that is clearly designed to address exclusions to access to knowledge; systemic exclusions that restrict the potential publicness of knowledge, reflect the colonial roots of humanities knowledge, and that impact particular publics, including but not limited to, historically, persistently and systemically marginalized groups. 



Grantees are highly encouraged to use PHH funds to hire Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), although all expenses eligible under the Tri-Agency expense guidelines will be permissible except those related to conferences (registration, travel, accommodation, per diem, paper preparation, etc.), computer equipment purchases and event curation (e.g., honoraria, catering, travel).  

What seed grants do not support: 

  • Existing projects: seed funding is not intended for projects that already exist, are entering a “new” phase, or have already received funding from other sources.   
  • Classroom support: seed funding does not cover classroom support or course-based applied projects.  


A UBC Research Project Information Form (RPIF) and brief budget will be submitted with your application. Funds for grant recipients will be transferred to an ORS research account that will be administered by your home department. Funds will be accessible for one year commencing one month after the award of a Seed Grant.  

For student applicants: ORS requires an eligible faculty member to co-administer the grant account. Please complete the RPIF naming your supervisor as the Principal Investigator. 



The seed grant is a research project-based funding stream, which means your project must have a beginning and end, an articulated objective, a defined public, and a budget. Your project must meet all of the following criteria to be considered for a seed grant. The project must: 

  1. Describe a set of research activities that are intended to lay the ground for a research project with (for faculty applicants only) a clear intent to apply for Tri-Agency funding. 
  2. Be framed, designed and delivered through humanities methods and scholarship 
  3. The Principal Investigator must be appointed to, or a PhD student enrolled in a program in, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, or Allard School of Law. 
  4. Research that has previously been funded, in part or in full, is not eligible. Funds are not intended to supplement current or completed Tri-Council or other currently funded projects or duplicate support for projects awaiting funding decisions from other sources. 
  5. Preference will be given to proposals that offer opportunities for graduate student training/mentorship. 
  6. Projects must support new research and proposals must make clear how these seed funds will enable future research (e.g., lay foundation for an external research grant). 
  7. Preference will be given to projects which lay the foundation for a (specified) external research grant. 



Recipients agree to submit invoices/receipts to the Hub as well as a final brief report on the project supported by the seed grant, and to be featured in Hub communications (including our website, annual report, and social media). Any promotion of your project should acknowledge that this is a Public Humanities Hub-funded project by including the Hub logo. Depending on your project, the Hub may also be able to provide communications and event support.  

The adjudication will be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary committee chaired by the Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub (Dr. Mary Bryson). Notification of awards will be made by late January 2024. 



Please complete the following: 

  1. Application form (PDF) 
  2. Research Project Information Form (RPIF) (PDF)

Please save these documents, in this order, as a single, bookmarked PDF file and name the file by using the following format:  


Please upload it via the online submission form below.

*Public Humanities is defined here

Applications are due December 18, 2023.