Karl Kirchwey, Associate Dean of the Faculty for the Humanities, reads citations of John Oddy Memorial Award recipient, Zoe Tran. Joseph Bizup, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs and Policies, and Tamzen Flanders, BU Center for the Humanities Administrator, look on.


Faculty Fellowships

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 and graduate dissertation Fellows. 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 almost every week to discuss work in progress by one or more of its members.

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 almost every week, 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.

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: http://www.bu.edu/handbook/leaves-absences/sabbaticals-and-leaves-of-absence/

In light of the Provost’s new policy the BUCH has returned 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.

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:  colloquia, symposia, guest lectures, gallery talks for exhibitions, workshops and lectures by visiting artists, and graduate student conferences 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 four endowments that provide funds for library acquisitions, such as purchasing a significant private library, the complete run of a journal, an important manuscript, a rare printed book, or a database of otherwise inaccessible material.

The Humanities Library Endowed Fund
– no restrictions
The CAS Class of 1933 Humanities Book Fund – no restrictions
The Ted Kyrios Memorial Book Fund – restricted to writings in the areas of immigration, ethnic studies and Greek literature if possible
The Kenneth Setton Library Fund – restricted to writings in the areas of Greek and Latin Classics and the Medieval and Renaissance (political and diplomatic) history of Europe.

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 proposed for purchase to a community of users; these funds are not intended to purchase materials of interest to only one faculty member.

Applications for library acquisitions should involve at least one faculty member and at least one librarian. If you are a faculty member seeking to prepare such an application, please consult with the collection development librarian in your area; all such librarians are listed here:


If you are a librarian seeking to prepare such an application, please make contact with a faculty member whose research interests would be served by the purchase. However the application originates, the librarian and the faculty member should create the project proposal jointly. All applications must include a letter of support from the chair of a relevant department.

Publication Costs for Faculty in the Humanities

Faculty may apply for funds to support production costs of humanities related publications after a peer-reviewed monograph has been accepted for publication but before it has gone to press. 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 and Fellowships

Each year the Boston University Center for the Humanities gives awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,000 to distinguished undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities.  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. Starting with the March 2018 applications, Boston University Center for the Humanities will no longer accept self-nominations for undergraduate and graduate student awards. Each eligible department is charged with making sure that at least 2 eligible students at each level apply. All nominations go through the director of undergraduate studies or the director of graduate studies in each department. The Student Award application deadline is March 1st and the awards are given out in a ceremony the week before graduation in May. Students may only win a BUCH Student Award one time. Students may use their award money in any way they see fit. These are not Fellowships.

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. The Department of Classical Studies nominates students for the following two 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 has offered residential Graduate Dissertation Fellowships lasting one semester. In 2016/2017, these fellowships will pay a stipend of $11,500. These fellowships are separate from the existing Graduate Student Awards. A student who has previously been awarded a BUCH Graduate Student Award is eligible for a Graduate Dissertation Fellowship, but a student may only hold a BUCH Graduate Dissertation Fellowship once. Students may only apply for Graduate Dissertation Fellowship when they are nearing the end of their writing process. 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 receive monthly stipends through the Graduate School just as Teaching or Research Fellows do. They are also eligible, if space permits, for office space in the BUCH suite.

Revised 8/22/2017