Symposium Fund

The Five College Symposium Fund annually supports larger-scale cross-campus initiatives such as symposia, conferences, and residencies.

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. In accordance with the Statement on Racial Equity & Justice at Five Colleges, Incorporated, events that seek to promote racial equity through their structure and/or content are particularly welcome and may receive special consideration.

Note: The Lecture Fund supports smaller-scale cross-campus initiatives.

Symposium Fund

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 by meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Faculty members from at least 3 campuses are substantively involved in event planning OR
  • Events are sited on at least 3 campuses OR
  • Programming features faculty members from at least 3 campuses (e.g., as speakers) OR
  • Event has received substantial financial/in-kind contributions from at least 3 campuses OR
  • At least 3 campuses are involved in the event through a combination of the above.

  • $2,000-$15,000 per event (typically $2,000-$6,000)
  • Generally no more than 75% of total event budget; rarely up to 100% of total event budget

Proposals that receive higher levels of funding will persuasively demonstrate how they will further Five College collaboration, both during and after the funded events. If you are planning to apply for the maximum ($15,000) amount, 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 is rare and will only be given to events that would not be able to happen without the Symposium Fund.

There are two application deadlines each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Upcoming application deadlines are:

  • November 1, 2021 (for events taking place between January 1, 2022­ – June 30, 2023)
  • March 1, 2022 (for events taking place between July 1, 2022­ – December 31, 2023)
  • November 1, 2022 (for events taking place between January 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024)
  • March 1, 2023 (for events taking place between July 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024)

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

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Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs