Five College Digital Humanities

Five College Digital Humanities Application and Budget Guidelines

Submission deadlines: October 30, 2013, January 30, 2014 and April 11, 2014

How to Apply

Proposals should be approximately 6 pages in length, formatted as a searchable PDF. Submit via email to Nate Therien and Marisa Parham, copied to Marie Muir with the subject line: Five College Digital Humanities Proposal.

All proposals must include:

  • a clearly identified project leader, the names and institutions of the proposal’s major authors and other likely collaborators; ideally, major authors will include at least one faculty member and a librarian or instructional technology specialist and representatives from at least two of the five colleges;
  • a coherent description of the project, with an outline of the work to be accomplished; this should include discussion of how the project is innovative;
  • discussion of the anticipated impact of the project on curriculum and/or student scholarship;
  • a short description of the background/preparation of project participants;
  • project budget and timeline (estimated contributions from sources outside the grant—in cash or in kind—should be noted);
  • formal agreement from any librarians or instructional technology staff members who will be involved and an outline of their responsibilities, with their supervisors’ endorsement of their participation as part of their regularly assigned duties;
  • formal endorsement from the head of the institution’s Instructional Technology, Library, or merged organization for the use of institutional infrastructure;
  • if a visitor from outside the Five Colleges is part of the project, please identify the visitor’s home campus and the visitor’s host campus, explain how the visitor will be hosted there, and give plans for connecting any visitor with students and faculty members on multiple campuses.


The Steering Committee will give priority to proposals that develop innovative collaborative models, curricular units or research practices that have the potential to be shared successfully with others (be they other groups of students, faculty members and/or other courses).

Priority will also be given to proposals that draw upon institutional resources as well as those of the grant—and are explicit about how this will work.

Funding Possibilities

Activities that can be funded include (but are not limited to):

  • Collaborations that explore and/or develop digital projects that support student scholarship in the humanities;
  • Innovative teaching with digital technologies; this may be development of new courses or curricular projects or revisions of traditional curriculum; stipends for course development during the summer or for support for course-release (of one course per academic year) are  allowable assuming campus approvals;
  • Summer travel to support work on student-focused digital humanities projects;
  • Training for teams of people interested in conducting humanities research with students that relies heavily upon digital technology; this could include workshop fees (and travel/per diem expenses) or consultation with outside specialists (who could receive honoraria)
  • Short and long-term residencies by visiting humanities scholars or digital humanities practitioners that will enhance (or develop) student scholarship in the Five Colleges in innovative ways;
  • Intensive summer training for undergraduates working on digital humanities projects who could support future student or faculty projects in the Five Colleges;
  • Travel to conferences to present student-based learning and/or digital humanities projects enhancing student learning and student research;
  • Technical support for student research incorporating the digital humanities; this could be from graduate students or contract employees from outside the Five Colleges.

Because this grant seeks to promote collaborative projects, summer travel and training teams should include a mix of participants (i.e., at least one faculty member plus some combination of participants drawn from library and Instructional Technology staff and/or the Five College student body, as well as multiple campuses).


Applicants will be notified within one month of each deadline about the outcome of their proposal. Any proposal that arrives between grant deadlines will be held until the next deadline.

Budget Guidelines

It is strongly recommended that applicants attend one of the meetings led by the Five College Steering Committee on grant preparation. The dates and locations can be found here. Applicants are also encouraged to consult with Nate Therien about grant budgets (

Financial Stipulations and Considerations

Summer stipends for faculty members should be calculated at $500-1500, depending upon responsibilities and time commitments.

Stipends for employees of the five institutions are not allowable during a period when the employee is employed full time, although professional development support is possible. Consult with Nate Therien for details.

Undergraduate student pay rates are set by individual campuses. All applicants are expected to adhere to appropriate campus guidelines and rules for student payment.

Graduate student participation must adhere to Five College and campus agreements with the University on compensation of graduate students for the academic year and for summer work. Applicants must consult with Nate Therien on these agreements before submitting budgets.

Any course materials developed under Mellon grant funding must be open access—in terms of copyright and intellectual property rights (i.e., made available to others at no cost). If permissions need to be purchased, this is allowable under the grant.

Major equipment or software purchases are normally not allowable from grant funding, but should be supplied from institutional or other resources, and considered a cost-sharing contribution.

As appropriate, proposals should budget for and outline plans for providing adequate server space.

Five Colleges, Incorporated is committed to creating course materials that are accessible to all students; applications should describe how accessibility of materials developed as part of your proposed project could be achieved  (i.e., usable to those with visual, auditory or physical movement challenges); it is recommended that proposals describe consultations with information technology  staff members and disability support staff members that could assist in this endeavor. Requests for funding to ensure materials will be accessible are allowable.