Symposium Fund

The Five College Symposium Fund annually supports larger scale cross-campus initiatives such as symposia, conferences and residencies. All proposals should demonstrate a high degree of cross-campus collaboration and benefit.

Most Symposium Fund events will involve a day-long or multi-day gathering of both Five College faculty experts and visiting experts critically engaging around a central, clearly defined topic. In some cases, events may be centered around the work of a single distinguished guest, but they should still feature formal opportunities for engagement with Five College faculty members. Many will also include complementary elements such as class visits, public lectures, lunches with students, or presentations at faculty seminars. 

All proposals must demonstrate a high degree of cross-campus collaboration and benefit. Applicants should take advantage of the wealth of resources at the five institutions and their surrounding communities and build on them to create new connections and opportunities.

Eligibility requirements:

Events must include components that are free and open to the public.

Five College faculty members must be allowed to participate at no cost.

Established events (e.g., a program’s annual symposium) are eligible for funding, but preference may be given to new initiatives.

The collaborative nature of the event must be demonstrated through:

  • Faculty members from at least 3 campuses substantively involved in event planning OR
  • Events are sited on at least 3 campuses OR
  • Event received substantial financial/in-kind contributions from at least 3 campuses OR
  • At least 3 campuses are involved in the event through a combination thereof


  • $5000-$15,000 per event
  • Generally, up to 75% of total event budget, rarely up to 100% of total event budget
  • 2-6 awards granted annually

Note re: award amounts:

If you are planning to apply for the maximum ($15,000) award, your event must meet the following criteria:

  • It must take place during the academic year;
  • It must not be an annual event;
  • It shouldn't have significant outside funding (i.e. grant funding).

An award of that size will only be given to events that would not be able to happen without the Symposium Fund. Please contact Ray Rennard if you have questions.


No proposals will be accepted during the 2020-21 academic year.

To apply

Applications should be sent by email to Rebecca Thomas and Ray Rennard. Submissions must include an application form and a detailed budget as an editable spreadsheet. To download: