Seed Grant

The Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce a second round of Seed Grant Funding for the 2022 Grand Challenge Research grants, sponsored by Humanities Without Walls (HWW), an initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation.

Seed Grant applications are due May 15, 2022.

Seed Grant Funding of up to $2,000 will be awarded per collaborative team to support proposal development leading up to the Grand Research Challenge application deadline in November 2022.

We are looking for interdisciplinary, collaborative proposals that take a research-based approach to the wide range of subjects and concerns animating the humanities and arts today. Review a list of Grand Research Challenge projects supported by HWW over the last five years.

This round of HWW Grand Research Challenge grants has no theme. But successful proposals will build a commitment to methodologies of reciprocity and redistribution into their project design that is clearly communicated in their proposal narratives, regardless of the research topic or area of focus. That is, they will demonstrate how the collaborations and partnerships within their project are grounded in reciprocal and equitable relationships built on projects that are co-created and co-designed with those collaborators. And they will illustrate how the project is designed to distribute its work beyond the team and its home institution. Learn more about HWW and the Grand Research Challenge initiative.

Application Deadline Date


To be eligible for funding, research teams must include participants from at least two HWW consortial partner institutions OR one or more of the following: regional and community colleges, MSIs, HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, or community organizations. 


In addition to receiving funds to support the development of their larger Grand Research Challenge proposal, Seed Grant recipients will meet with the HRI’s HWW team over the summer to workshop their proposal as their plans progress, all in aid of building the strongest possible application for the November 2022 deadline.

Application Guidelines

Seed Grant Funding applications should be up to 3 pages double-spaced and should include the following:

  • Name of Seed Grant project primary contact
  • Project title, clear statement of research question, rationale for the project, and evidence of plans for project co-design with partners
  • Description of the research team (known & anticipated) including names, affiliations, and expected contribution to the project for each team member
  • Preliminary ideas for reciprocal/redistributive measures
  • Outline/description of proposed summer activities

Submit all materials as a single PDF to . Please indicate the submission using a clear subject line on your email.

Application Deadline Details

Applications for Seed Grant Funding are due May 15, 2022.


Please contact with questions.