Professor Robert Murowchick, Director of the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History and his student Kaoru Ueda-Makino at the May 2011 Student Award Ceremony


The time to think, write, and develop a project is one of the most incredible gifts anyone can receive, and I was particularly grateful to be able to have this time here at BU, where it's too often the case that one is surrounded by fascinating colleagues but too busy to take advantage of their insights and expertise.

Being part of a group drawn from disciplines far from or adjacent to my own was particularly helpful--it helped me articulate why I'm drawn to some problems more than others, and why others might want to read what I'm writing. It was fabulous to have the time to learn about the intellectual work my colleagues in the humanities are doing. It is hard to overstate the positive effects that uninterrupted time to think has on the quality of the work we do as scholars.

I feel as if even on my deathbed, I'll still be grateful for the time I was given.

– Anna Henchman, Junior Faculty Fellow, 2012-13



The core of the intellectual community supported by the Boston University Center for the Humanities  is the Fellows’ Seminar. This group, which has been in continuous existence since 1984, serves as a forum for research, debate, and public dialogue among humanities faculty from different disciplines and between junior and senior faculty. The seminar assists Junior Faculty Fellows in the development of their careers and engages the larger questions of culture and imagination that the humanities have always examined. Since 2008, the Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellows have also participated in the seminar, which gathers every two weeks to discuss work in progress by one or more of its members.

Junior Faculty Fellowships

The provost has announced eligibility of junior tenure-track faculty to apply to the dean of CAS for one semester of paid Junior Scholar Leave after completion of six semesters of FT service and a successful midtenure review. For more information, please see the Faculty Handbook:

In light of the Provost’s new policy the BUCH will be returning to a one-semester Fellowship for tenure-track faculty. These Fellowships will be considered a Leave-of-Absence and BUCH Fellows will  attend a one-semester Fellows Seminar. For more information, please read the information section of the Junior Faculty Fellowships under Deadlines and Applications.

Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellowships

Since 2004, the Center for the Humanities, in collaboration with the College of Arts & Sciences, has offered research fellowships to senior tenured faculty from Boston University. In 2007, these fellowships were named in honor of CAS Dean Jeffrey Henderson, who did much to make them possible. Application pools have become steadily larger, and competition for awards is keen. We are actively engaged in fund raising to support more Fellows in the future, but at present we are able to fund only about one quarter of those who apply. Senior Research Fellows will receive one semester’s leave of absence at full salary, with the Center for the Humanities  providing their departments with course replacement funds. Fellowship recipients are expected to participate in the Fellows’ Seminar, which meets every two weeks, with other faculty fellowship recipients during the semester in which they hold the fellowship. If a Senior Fellow’s research project requires residence abroad or away from Boston during the period of the award, the Fellow attends the seminar during the first semester of teaching following the award.

Humanities Enhancement Project Awards

The Boston University Center for the Humanities  welcomes proposals for Humanities Enhancement Awards from individual BU faculty members, or from groups of faculty within a department, program, or interdisciplinary group.  BUCH invites proposals for innovative humanities projects. While proposals may vary widely in focus and scope, each project should do something to promote the development of the humanities as a whole at the University. We are unlikely to support proposals that address only the specialized needs of individual departments and faculty. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: curriculum development activities, faculty workshops, colloquia, pilot courses, visiting scholars and residencies by distinguished humanists, lecture series, conferences and symposia, special library acquisitions, and deserving graduate and undergraduate study projects that cannot be supported by existing resources.

Awards may be made in the following areas:

Humanities Enhancement Projects and Visiting Scholar Awards

Under the category of Visiting Scholars, the Center for the Humanities has typically supported Special Lecture Series, Conferences, and Workshops. BUCH also supports the following kinds of projects: Exhibitions, Artistic Productions and Competitions, Colloquia, Symposia, Journals, and student competitions sponsored by Humanities Departments.  The Center does not fund full-time visitors who offer regular courses; proposals of that kind should be made to the Dean of CAS. We do support short-term visitors, and we especially encourage proposals to bring in visitors whose work is of interest to more than one department. Residences lasting a week or a month are often more productive than very short visits involving only one public lecture.  In all cases the main applicant must be a BU faculty member. We do not accept applications from students or staff members.

Library Acquisitions

The Center for the Humanities manages several endowments for library acquisitions, such as purchasing a significant private library, the complete run of a journal, an important manuscript, or a database of otherwise inaccessible material. These funds are meant to supplement, not replace, the normal library purchasing fund, and may be used to build the collection in one of the university’s recently inaugurated areas of study. Proposals should specify the importance of items beyond an individual faculty member’s research area. Faculty making applications for library acquisitions must include a letter of support from the appropriate collection development librarian and the chair of the relevant department with the application.

Publication Costs for Faculty in the Humanities

Faculty may apply for funds to support production costs after a peer-reviewed monograph has been accepted for publication. Applicants must submit a letter from the press as well as a letter from their department chair. Applications for these awards are accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis.

Student Awards

Each year the Boston University Center for the Humanities gives awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to distinguished undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities. Students are nominated by their departments or programs or may submit an application individually. We give awards to undergraduates in their sophomore or junior year who are declared majors in a humanities department or program, and to humanities graduate students who have completed all PhD requirements except the dissertation. Students in eligible departments and programs are encouraged to apply. The Student Award application deadline is April 1 and the awards are given out in a ceremony the week before graduation in May.

The following funds support general unrestricted awards:

  • The Helen G. Allen Humanities Award
  • The Alice M. Brennan Humanities Award
  • The Clarimond Mansfield Humanities Award
  • The Angela J. & James J. Rallis Memorial Award
  • The Edwin S. and Ruth M. White Prize
  • The Robert E. Yellin Humanities Award

The Center for the Humanities also gives student awards from two restricted funds. Eligible students may apply for both unrestricted and restricted awards.

  • The Dean Elsbeth Melville Latin Prize: Undergraduate in Classical Studies
  • The John Oddy Memorial Award: Undergraduate  junior  and senior women who have taken a classical history course

Graduate Dissertation Fellowships

Beginning in the 2014/2015 academic year, BUCH will offer residential Graduate Dissertation Fellowships lasting one semester, paying a stipend of $11,000. These new fellowships are separate from the existing Graduate Student Awards. Graduate Fellows will be expected to reside in the Boston area and attend the BUCH Fellows’ Seminar during the semester in which they hold their Fellowships. They are also eligible, if space permits, for office space in the BUCH suite. A student who has previously been awarded a BUCH Graduate Student Award is still eligible for a Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, but a student may only hold a BUCH Graduate Dissertation Fellowship once.


Revised 2/2014