Research Cluster Grants

  • Deadline: April 29, 2024  
  • Value $15,000/Cluster. Up to 2 Clusters funded. 
  • Eligibility: Principal Investigator must be a UBC-V Faculty member (tenured/track) in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, or Allard School of Law. Research Cluster team members must be appointed to a minimum of two different departments. 
  • Supports innovative public humanities research and emergent stages of collaboration, and/or knowledge mobilization among interdisciplinary teams of public humanities scholars at UBC and beyond (5+ UBC faculty members from 2+ departments) with the intent subsequently to apply for Tri-Council funding.  
  • For queries related to this grant, please contact the Public Humanities Hub manager, Heather Tam,


Terms of Reference


Cluster Grants support interdisciplinary research cluster development among Humanities scholars in the Faculties of Arts and Education and the Allard School of Law at UBC-V. The grants are intended to promote research activity and collaboration among humanities scholars at UBC and beyond and to help collaborators leverage funding to secure additional support.  

Unlike the VPRI Cluster Grant funding program, the Public Humanities Hub Cluster grants permit the use of grant funds for the direct costs of research. The Public Humanities Hub Cluster grant funds direct costs of research activities and the costs of cementing the group by means of collaborative gatherings and/or events. 



Cluster Teams:

The Public Humanities Research Cluster Grant Fund will provide funding to research teams made up of at least five full-time, tenured or tenure-track UBC-V faculty members appointed to a minimum of two different departments, plus graduate students and staff in Arts, Law, and Education to work on Public Humanities research, including the development of the cluster itself.  

Relationship to VPRI Cluster Grant Program. Cluster Grant applicant groups must fall into one of two modes of relationship with the VPRI Cluster Grant program:  

(a) Applicants have not applied for, nor have been awarded a VPRI Cluster Grant. The intended PHH Cluster Grant must not have been awarded funding previously. 

(b) Applicants have applied for, and been granted, funds for a VPRI Cluster Grant.  

All other things being equal, the PHH Cluster funding will prioritize those applicants who have not already been funded by the VPRI Cluster grant program.  

Applicants who will hold additional cluster support through another award or grant during the tenure of this award must disclose this.  




The research cluster proposal will be assessed by an adjudication team made up of public humanities faculty members who are members of the Public Humanities Hub Advisory Board. The proposal will be assessed in terms of the following criteria:

  1. Humanities? Framed and designed through Public Humanities methods and scholarship. Applicant/s’ academic trajectory provides evidence of sustained academic contributions to the public humanities;
  2. Public Humanities? Cluster prioritizes: (a) public-facing engagement; and/or, (b) academic engagement that seeks to transform and redistribute access to knowledge amongst diverse publics.
  3. Knowledge Advance. Identifies a significant public humanities knowledge advance that represents the major academic contribution of this scholarly work;
  4. Capability. The principal investigator and team’s expertise and capability to succeed in relation to the project’s stated aims;
  5. Innovation and Feasibility. Novel trajectory of scholarly inquiry and appropriateness of the timeline and budget;
  6. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID). Represents research with a clearly articulated aim to achieve inclusive excellence through public humanities scholarship. EDID expertise of the principal investigator and team.
  7. Includes plans to develop a longer-term research agenda and apply for external (e.g. Tri-Agency) funding;
  8. Contain appropriate expenses in the budget.

Notification of awards will be made by May 2024. 




The grant consists of  

  1. Up to $15,000 of funding 
  2. Administrative support from the Hub staff.  

Typically, though not without exception, research teams should accomplish most of their research goals within two years of receiving funding. Eligible expenses include all SSHRC-eligible expenses, both direct and indirect research costs.   

Successful applicants are expected to attend Public Humanities Hub events throughout the year, to acknowledge Hub funding in any publicity linked to their research project and, at the end of their award, to write a short public-facing reflection on their research and cluster-related activities, which will be shared on the Hub website and social media channels and in the Hub’s annual report. 

The Public Humanities Hub will: 

  1. help publicize the Cluster’s research  
  2. promote events related to clusters’ projects on all its communication channels 
  3. introduce cluster members to relevant community partners 
  4. invite cluster members to contribute to our Public Scholar Training Series, our Massy Reads series and/or other Hub programming, and  
  5. support clusters’ applications for additional research funding. For example, all forms of support outlined above can also be mentioned as monetary/in-kind “matching funds” on SSHRC Connection and other grant applications. 




Grantees are highly encouraged to use PHH funds to hire Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), although most direct costs of research 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 collaborator travel expenses in excess of $500. If the group has been funded for a VPRI Cluster, then the budget may not include any costs for events or gatherings.




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 two years. 




Recipients agree to submit a final brief report on the project supported by the Cluster 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. 




Please complete the following: 


The completed Grant Proposal 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). 

Grant Proposal Attachments as Described Below 

  1. Detailed Description (maximum 2 pages). A description of the proposed research and cluster-related activities that effectively communicates: a. The research questions to be explored through the proposed activities; b. Rationale and significance of the proposed research and cluster-related activities grounded in relevant literature; c. The methodology for the research activities; and d. How the research cluster grant funds will help advance a new line of research. <<PDF Bookmark Label: Detailed Description>> 
  2. Attachment: How will your research advance knowledge in the public humanities? ((maximum half-page) as defined here) <<PDF Bookmark Label: Knowledge Advancement>> 
  3. Attachment: How does your project/methodology represent a commitment to social justice? (maximum half-page) <<PDF Bookmark Label: Social Justice>> 
  4. Attachment: How will your project offer opportunities for graduate student training and/or mentorship? (maximum half-page) <<PDF Bookmark Label: Graduate Student Training>> 
  5. Attachment: Principal Applicant’s peer-reviewed publication history since 2015 and Principal Applicant’s competitively adjudicated research grants history since 2015. Please do not submit full UBC CVs and please do not submit Team Member CVs (no page limit). <<PDF Bookmark Label: Principal Applicant Publications & Grants>> 
  6. Attachment: Team Member’s peer-reviewed publication history since 2015 and Team Member’s competitively adjudicated research grants history since 2015 (1-page per team member). <<PDF Bookmark Label: Team Member Publication & Grants>> 

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 

(How to bookmark a PDF) 

(How to merge PDFs) 

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: 



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

Proposals are due April 29, 2024. 

For queries related to this grant, please contact the Public Humanities Hub manager, Heather Tam,