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 or postdoctoral scholar (3) in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, and Allard School of Law. 
  • Find application procedures at the end of this page 
  • For queries related to this grant, please contact the Public Humanities Hub program assistant, Stanley Chia, 


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, course buyouts, 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: 

  • 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. 
  • Be framed, designed and delivered through humanities methods and scholarship 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Preference will be given to proposals that offer opportunities for graduate student training/mentorship. 
  • 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). 
  • 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: 


The completed Application Form and all attachments must be submitted as a single bookmarked PDF. The Research Project Information Form (RPIF) is submitted as an additional PDF. (Note: Attachment formatting requirements and file-naming protocol provided below)

  1. The Public Humanities Seed Grant Application Form: The 3-page application form includes a numeric budget and narrative budget justification section, as well as a section to explain how the proposal is distinct from past or current funded research.
  2. Attachment: Detailed Description (maximum 2 pages). A description of the proposed activities that effectively communicates: a. The research questions to be explored through the proposed activities; b. Rationale and significance of the proposed activities grounded in relevant literature; c. The methodology for the research activities; d. How the seed funds will help advance a new line of research contribute to the applicant’s ongoing program of research; and e. If applicable, how the activities contribute to graduate student training/mentorship.
  3. Attachment: References to works cited in the Detailed Description (no page limit).
  4. Attachment: How will your research advance knowledge in the humanities? ((maximum half-page) as defined here)
  5. Attachment: How will your research advance knowledge in the public humanities? ((maximum half-page) as defined here)
  6. Attachment: 6-year peer-reviewed publication history and 6-year competitively adjudicated research grants history for the Applicant. Please do not submit full UBC CVs and please do not submit Co-Applicant CVs (no page limit).

For the attachments # 2-6, note Attachment Requirements

The RPIF should be signed by the Principal Applicant, the Principal Applicant’s Department/Unit Head, and the Faculty Dean or designate, typically the Associate Dean Research. Please check the turnaround times for Department and Faculty signatures.

Attachment Requirements

The completed Application Form and all attachments must be submitted as a single bookmarked PDF which conforms to the following formatting conventions:

  • Font: Size 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Page size: 8 ½” x 11”
  • Spacing: Single-spaced
  • Margins: Minimum ¾ inch (1.87 mm)
  • Whole PDF must be Bookmarked

Pagination: Starting with the Detailed Description attachment, insert continuous page numbers throughout the document in the upper right corner. If desired, begin the written portion of the application on the next page of the current document.

Please save these documents, in this order, as a single, bookmarked PDF file and name the Application and the RPIF files by using the following respective formats:



Applications are due December 18, 2023.

Please upload both the bookmarked form & attachments as a single PDF, as well as the RPIF PDF, via the online submission form below.