Global Midwest

Call for Proposals: 2016 Global Midwest Projects

Application Deadline: October 15th, 2015, 5:00 p.m., Central Time
Intent to Apply emails to Megan Massino by October 5, 2015

The Humanities Without Walls consortium invites applications for funding from cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students wishing to collaboratively pursue research topics related to “The Global Midwest.” As a member of the Consortium, the Center for the Humanities is assisting in the coordination of applications from UW-Madison’s community of scholars.

The 21st century presents a clear and pressing need to collaboratively mobilize the collective resources of the Midwest’s institutions of higher education. In his A Master Plan for Higher Education in the Midwest (2011), former University of Michigan President James Duderstadt stated that “the nation’s future will be shaped by forces that affect its heartland” (p. 1), and that cross-institutional collaboration is crucial to the creation of new knowledge ecologies in the Midwest...” The Humanities Without Walls consortium follows directly from these assumptions.

This initiative aims to reveal and rethink the Midwest as a major force in the formation of a global economy and culture—both now and in the past. Projects may focus directly on the Midwest or examine the ways locations far from the Midwest have shaped and continue to influence the region’s past, present, and future. Some projects may take the form of “applied humanities” research created through collaborations of artists, scholars in the humanities, and/or scientists (both social and natural); Others may follow more traditional forms of research, yet all studies must be conducted through cross-institutional collaboration. Successful proposals will advance innovative and experimental research and new pedagogical practices. The size of this consortium offers the opportunity to test ideas at scale if appropriate to a project’s goals. Teams are encouraged to consider the ways their various institutional resources—including special collections, archives, digital humanities resources, museums—can be utilized to best advance new knowledge. Potential audiences for Global Midwest studies include humanities scholars, policy-makers, government officials, social scientists, artists, and an enlightened public. The theme is intentionally abstract in order to allow scholars to help define this emerging area of study.

The Humanities Without Walls consortium aims to assemble a broad portfolio of projects that will illuminate various dimensions of the Global Midwest. We encourage teams of scholars to imagine their work as a contribution to a larger intellectual mosaic that will emerge as a result of this initiative. We thus seek to support a wide and varied range of projects and subject areas.

UW-Madison faculty who intend to submit a proposal or are part of an inter-institutional team submitting a proposal must send an email indicating your intent to apply, the title of your project, your external partners, and the total amount of funding you intend to apply for to Megan Massino ( at the Center for the Humanities by October 5, 2015.

Please note also that all applications must have a record in UW-Madison’s WISPER system and be vetted by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prior to submission. If you intend to apply you should immediately get in contact with Linda J. Neusen, Assistant Dean of Pre-Award Services in the College of Letters & Science, contact information below:

Linda J. Neusen, Ph.D.
Asst. Dean, L&S Pre-Award Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Room 413 South Hall
1055 Bascom Mall, Madison WI 53706
PH: 608/265-9655  email:


Qualified applicants will be tenure-line faculty at any of the Humanities Without Walls consortium institutions. [1]

Research teams must include scholars from at least two consortial institutions in order to be eligible for funding. Research teams may also include collaborators from non-consortial institutions, with the understanding that these members maynot receive any Global Midwest funds.

Graduate students may be included as project team members, but they must be included as full research participants and the team must be led by one or more faculty members who will serve as project coordinators.

The lead applicant(s) must also come from a discipline within the humanities and/or arts, but teams may include scholars from any discipline.

Duration and Awards:
All allocated funds awarded to research teams must be expended by no later than August 16, 2017.

The amount of each award will vary according to the budgetary requirements detailed in each application, but no single team will receive an award amount greater than $100,000.

All applicants should work with their university’s Office of Sponsored Programs or equivalent (see information here) to ensure that their application is in compliance with all relevant policies and procedures. We strongly encourage applicants to begin working with these offices no later than ten business days before the submission deadline, in order to obtain all necessary approvals and signatures in a timely fashion.

Recipients must submit a signed agreement form indicating applicant’s responsibility for managing and reporting on the use of all grant funds, before award funds will be released. Recipients must also be prepared to work closely with those administering subaward grants on their campuses, typically the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Grants and Contracts Office, or equivalents.

Application Requirements:

  • Completed application Cover Sheet and Signature Page (available here)
  • Abstract of proposal (no more than 100 words)
  • Proposal narrative of no more than 1,500 words. This must include:
    • Description of project
    • Detailed plan of work
    • Detailed work schedule including detailed list of activities
    • Role(s) of project participants
    • Significance of project and its relationship to the “Global Midwest”
    • Statement of proposed outcomes
  • List of names and contact information for everyone participating in the project for whom you are submitting CVs
  • CV for project leader and all research participants (2-pages maximum per CV)
  • Letter of Intent (on official letterhead) from each university participating in the proposed research (letter template available here)
  • Detailed budget (template available here)

Additional information about emerging and currently funded Global Midwest projects can be found on the HWW website and HWW Global Midwest Project Wiki:

The selection criteria for Global Midwest projects may be found here.

NOTE: Faculty salary replacements, staff salaries, overhead costs and basic equipment purchases (such as computers), and alcoholic beverages included in costs for meals/receptions related to projects will not be funded. Acceptable budget items include, air and ground travel, hotel/accommodations, meals/sustenance, speaker fees (honoraria), venue fees, copying/reproduction costs, reasonable reception costs, publicity costs, graduate student assistantship stipends, hourly research assistant costs. (See FAQ for more information on allowable expenses.) All expenditures must be made in keeping with the relevant universities’ guidelines related to purchases, procurements, and travel.

NOTE: Consortium institutions include Indiana University Bloomington, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Notre Dame, and University of Wisconsin‐Madison.