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Guidelines for a Successful Proposal

Details Matter!

Corridor funding is awarded to those who write proposals with strong rationales, clear tie-ins to the humanities, detailed budgets, and meaningful collaboration.

  • Provide a descriptive title for each proposed activity as opposed to something overly generic. "Environmental Humanities, Illustrated" is better than "Fall Lecture."
  • Outline your planned activities in some detail, including a brief description to help the review committee understand your vision.
    • If you plan to invite speakers, please list their names, titles, affiliations, and brief bios.
    • If you haven't yet identified a specific speaker, indicate who you might invite and why.
    • If your activity fits a specific purpose, identify it.
    • If your group incorporates mentoring of any kind, mention it.
  • Be succinct, but provide context on what you’re aiming to do. What are you trying to accomplish and what are your plans and expectations?
  • Go easy on yourselves. Recognize that collaborative work is an investment of organizational labor and time, so think about what activities will best feed your research needs and intellectual community. Consider prioritizing "quality" over "quantity" in what is most useful to you as scholars.
  • Specify your group's contribution to the humanities. Explain how your group's collaborative work links to the humanities.
  • Carefully Select the Host Campus and Semester
    • The host campus is where the Corridor funding will be spent, even if the proposed activity is online.
    • Because our funding stems from different sources. Awards are tied to these sources via the host campus and semester specified in your proposal. Changing a host campus = changing the funding source. These requests may not be possible, as money cannot “move” between our endowments.
  • Follow our Budget Tips below as you develop your ideas and when submitting your proposal.
  • Review models of working group activities and/or our calendar for guidance or inspiration.
  • Preview the CFP questions as a group before answering the proposal form. This will allow for a smoother application process. Upon proposal completion, you'll receive an emailed copy (as will all listed collaborators). The confirmation email to the proposal initiator will include a link to revise and resubmit your proposal up until the deadline.
  • Review a sample proposal as a guide.

Budget Tips

Funding Categories

  • Fees/Honoraria
    • For speakers, facilitators, performers, artists, etc. from non-Corridor Institutions. (Individuals from Corridor institutions cannot receive honoraria from our funds.)
  • Travel
    • Air/Ground Travel for speakers, performers, artists, etc. from non-Corridor Institutions.
    • Hotel/Accommodations for speakers, performers, artists from non-Corridor Institutions.
    • Intra-Corridor Travel Supplement* reimbursements help convene Working Group members from Corridor campuses and help faculty, academic staff, and graduate students attend Corridor activities.
  • Group Meals and Receptions
    • Food fosters community!
  • Scholarly Materials tied to proposed Working Group collaborations (e.g., books, films, musical scores)
  • IT/Tech Support (e.g., webinar license fees, recording/sound technicians, videography, etc.)
    • Technology support varies widely across Corridor institutions. Consider hosting your activity at a campus that offers robust tech support/staffing for the specific type of event you are trying to host.
  • Accessibility Funding*
    • To support inclusive format activities, complete the Accessibility Funding section on the proposal form if you need real-time captioning, ASL, or other accommodations.

*Accessibility Funding and the Intra-Corridor Travel Supplement are both available above and beyond amounts proposed/awarded via your Activity Budget.

Things to Avoid in Budgets

  • Paying students
    • Direct payments to students are not allowed using Corridor funds; this includes both undergraduate and graduate students. The reasons for this policy are complicated, but there are potential unforeseen impacts to need-based student financial aid packages, as well as restrictions on international student compensation. The mechanisms and policies for hiring students also differ across our institutions, and a majority of our Corridor institutions do not have graduate students.
    • Exceptions to this rule arise if a student is already a formal employee of an institution serving as, for example, a student IT staff member who is hired through their official existing IT employment designation, rather than being paid a stipend via a student account.
  • Paying individuals within the Corridor
    • We can't pay ourselves or each other. Corridor funds cannot be used to pay honoraria, commissions, or stipends to employees at the 11 Corridor institutions.
  • Websites
    • Corridor funds cannot be used to create new websites for Corridor events or groups.
    • Every Corridor Working Group has its own web page, and we can help you add more content, images, or video if you wish.
  • Equipment
    • Corridor funds cannot be used to purchase equipment. Equipment purchasing policies differ across our 11 institutions, and equipment often becomes property of the purchasing campus, not of the individual or group. Equipment includes, for example, virtual reality headsets, video recording devices, and computers.

Rationale Behind the Review Process

  • Proposals are reviewed based on the criteria mentioned above, but we often receive questions about the rationale behind the review process.
  • A Working Group is the heart of the endeavor with grassroots origins. Building both community and humanities capacity within the consortium, via reciprocal collaboration, are the crucial components. Corridor funding goes toward activities that are integral to the community people are trying to build.
  • Out of the Working Group should emerge activities, conferences, and symposia. It should not work the other way around. The Corridor is not intended as a co-sponsorship mechanism for an otherwise occurring activity.
  • Our goal is to seed collaboration, not to fund one-off events or existing professional conferences. (That said, many Corridor-funded groups do seek co-sponsorship funding from elsewhere, and we encourage that engagement.)
  • While funding repeated events is not our goal, we do fund some recurring activities that demonstrate collaboration and reciprocity and have a rationale for the repetition; this is, showing impacts/outcomes that are beyond individual results [e.g., curricular, co-authored works, mentoring circles, expanded archives/data sets, etc.]
  • The Corridor needs to be foregrounded in the work the Working Group is doing. How is your group building capacity within the Corridor? Our funds are aimed at supporting collaborations that build out capacity at our institutions.
  • Host campus rotation is about finances, labor, and demonstrating shared commitment. We see host campus rotation from year-to-year as key to shifting the dynamics of the group and ensuring collaboration. This rotation also ensures that no single Corridor funding source is bearing the entirety of any single Working Group’s activities.
  • In a previous proposal, did you receive feedback in your award letter? If so, tell us how you addressed that feedback, incorporated it into your earlier activities, or adjusted your plans for next year.