Checking out the historical display at the “African Americans in Boston” conference, April 2009

Applicants’ and Awardees’ FAQs


Who can apply?

Explain the application deadlines

What if the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday?

How far ahead of time may I apply for funding for a project?

Do you accept off-cycle applications?

How do I use your online applications?

Since I am attaching a lengthy description of my project, can I just write “see attached” in the space for the abstract?

How should my referees submit their letters of recommendation?

Can students apply for money for a student activity?

Do you offer post-doctoral fellowships?

I am a senior faculty member. What are the eligibility requirements for applying for the Henderson Senior Research Fellowship?

I am a junior faculty member and held a Junior Faculty Fellowship in the past. May I apply for a second Junior Faculty Fellowship?

What are the Student Awards?

I received an Award. Is there anything I need to know to process my award?  Guidelines for using Concur to claim expenses.    I also want to pay a non-US citizen (foreign national non permanent resident) an honorarium or hire a international student to do work for me. How do I process that request?     

 

 

Who can apply?

The BUCH welcomes proposals from individual BU faculty members, or from groups of faculty within a department, program, or interdisciplinary group.  In all cases the main applicant must be a BU faculty member. We do not accept fellowship, project, library, or publication applications from students or staff members. Students may only apply for awards in the category “Student Awards.”

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Explain the application deadlines

The Boston University Center for the Humanities offers many different programs, and we recognize that it can be difficult to keep up with the deadlines.  For over thirty years, the BUCH had a single deadline for Humanities Enhancement projects, usually 1 March. Proposals submitted in March described events taking place in the next academic year. Since  academic year 2009–10, there have been two opportunities to apply for Project Awards, as opposed to the one annual opportunity offered in the past.

When we went to a two-deadline system, with proposals submitted on 15 November or on 15 February, our aim was to encourage our colleagues to plan even further in advance, and we have encouraged those planning events two or three years in advance to use the earlier deadline.

In an effort to make these deadlines as easy to remember as possible, we have established the following yearly deadlines.

The yearly application deadlines are as follows:

Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellowships
for academic year 2016/2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017)
October 15, 2015
Junior Faculty Fellowships
for academic year 2016/2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017)
October 15, 2015
Humanities Enhancement Project Awards (round 1)
for academic year 2016/2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017)
November 15, 2015
Humanities Enhancement Project Awards (round 2)
for academic year 2016/2017 (July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017)
February 15, 2016
Library Acquisition Awards
Rolling deadline
Student Awards
for the current year
March 1, 2016
Publication Production Awards
Rolling deadline
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What if the deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday?

By setting all our deadlines on the first or fifteenth of the month, we will sometimes have a deadline that falls on a Saturday or Sunday. In that case, we shall expect all applications to reach us—either in hard copy or in electronic form—before 9 a.m. the following Monday morning. Please do not ask us to consider late applications.   Supporting letters from chairs and other faculty should be sent to us directly and we will add them to your application.  Please urge these people to send in the needed letters as quickly as possible.

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How far ahead of time may I apply for funding for a project?

The Center for the Humanities has set aside funds to be allocated up to three years in advance for large projects that require extensive advance planning. Early applications may be especially helpful in cases where the organizers are submitting grant proposals to outside funding sources and need to show an institutional commitment. If you are planning a project that will take place sometime after the next academic year, please make every effort to apply to us by the earlier deadline (November 15), especially if your request is a large one. We also welcome applications for events to take place in the next academic year on that earlier schedule, and will allocate significant funds at that time. Faculty planning projects with smaller budgets may use the later deadline (February 15). Regardless of when you apply, please furnish detailed plans and precise budgets. Experience has shown that the Executive Committee tends to respond negatively to vague estimates.

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Do you accept off-cycle applications?

The Center for the Humanities realizes that on occasion sudden opportunities appear that could not have been planned for ahead of time or within the time frame of our usual deadlines. In these cases, faculty should speak with their departmental chair to see if there is money available in the Departmental BUCH Block Grant to cover the expense. If there is not, the faculty should call or e-mail the BUCH office to let us know of a pending off-cycle application. Using the Off-Cycle application form and procedure, please send us a complete application as soon as possible, with all supporting materials and a detailed budget. Be sure to include an explanation of why this proposal was not submitted in one of the two regular cycles and why your Departmental Block Grant can not cover it. The Executive Committee will not consider off-cycle requests that do not include a complete application. Also, please note that because the budget is set one year in advance, Off-Cycle awards are usually small and thus can support guest lectures but not conferences.

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How do I use your online applications?

The current application forms are interactive PDFs with writable fields which were created using Acrobat 9Pro. In order to use them you must have Acrobat Read/Write software. If you do not have write-capable software, open the PDF, print out the blank form, fill it out, and take it to your administrator to fill out on the computer. Most administrators have the complete software rather than the free read-only software.

If you do have read/write software, open the file and save it under a new name to your computer. Close our website and work on your saved application.

The BUCH application process has gone completely electronic.  We request that you submit all materials  as a single PDF file that contains all the required elements in the order in which they are listed on the application form. Supporting letters may be sent to BUCH directly and we will add them to your application.

Fill out the application and save it. Reopen it to confirm that everything has been saved. If it has, you can send it to the Center for the Humanities at buch@bu.edu.

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Since I am attaching a lengthy description of my project, can I just write “see attached” in the space for the abstract?

If you are filling out an application that has a space for an abstract, please type a 250-word abstract into that space. Please do not write “See attached.” Please do not continue typing after you reach the end of the space even though a slide bar will appear that allows you to continue typing. The extra that you type will not appear when we print the application for our files. We need to have an abstract on the application form/cover sheet. Since this is the abstract of your award application not an abstract of your research,  please include a summary of why you are applying to us for money and what you plan to do with the award money. Please indicate what other departments or entities are supporting your project and when you are planning to carry it out.

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How should my referees submit their letters of recommendation?

If your award application requires letters of support or recommendation, you may ask your letter writers to send us their letters electronically as attachments. Many institutions and departments have created e-letterhead templates for this purpose. If your letter writer has access to e-letterhead for his or her department, that would be best. If she/he does not, please ask her/him to create a document which includes her/his full title, department, university and university address. The letter may be sent as an attachment in  Word format or as a PDF. Please ask the referee not to send the letter directly as an email. Please ask each referee to send the letter directly to  the Center for the Humanities at buch@bu.edu

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Can students apply for money for a student activity?

The short answer is no. The University provides money for student-sponsored activities through the Dean of Students, Student Organizations & Activities office. The Boston University Center for the Humanities does occasionally provide money for graduate student conferences or publications in various humanities departments. Such a conference or publication would be considered a Humanities Project and must be applied for by a faculty adviser of the department using the application form for Humanities Enhancement Projects and meeting the criteria and deadlines for those awards.

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Do you offer Post-doctoral Fellowships?

No. The Boston University Center for the Humanities Fellowships are restricted to tenured and tenure-track faculty, and graduate students of Boston University. Faculty with research projects in the area of the humanities may apply.

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I am a senior faculty member. What are the eligibility requirements for applying for the Henderson Senior Research Fellowship?

In the past, senior faculty members were eligible to hold these fellowships at the time of an earned sabbatical, or at the mid-point between sabbaticals. Although combining a semester of support from the BUCH with a semester of sabbatical remains an attractive option, as of 2013 senior faculty may apply for fellowship support in any year, provided that they are eligible according to CAS faculty leave policy. The current policy stipulates that a faculty member may take no more than two consecutive semesters of leave, and no more than four semesters of leave in any six-year period. CAS policies on leaves and sabbaticals can be found  here; all requests for leave and sabbatical are subject to approval by the Dean. Any colleague who holds a Senior Faculty Fellowship from BUCH may not apply again until five years after the termination of the fellowship. These new policies bring our practice in line with those at peer institutions, and should allow senior faculty members to request our support at the time when they most need it in order to complete a project.

All faculty applying for an HSRF should have submitted good faith applications for outside funding and turned in the necessary Sabbatical/Leave of Absence paperwork (including copies of external funding applications) to the CAS Faculty Actions Office.

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I am a junior faculty member and held a Junior Faculty Fellowship in the past. May I apply for a second Junior Faculty Fellowship?

No.   Since 2008, the policy of the Center for the Humanities is that a junior faculty member may only be awarded a Junior Faculty Fellowship once.

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What are the Student Awards?

Each year the Boston University Center for the Humanities gives awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,000 to distinguished undergraduate and graduate students. We ask that each humanities department nominate two students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Because some departments are much larger than others and thus have more equally deserving students, BUCH also allows for additional applications from any department. All applicants, departmental-nominees and self-nominees, must prepare their own applications and submit them by the deadline.  The Student Award application deadline is March 1 and the awards are given out in a ceremony the week before graduation in May. These awards are in recognition of outstanding academic work. They are not given to student organizations to support projects.

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I received an Award. Is there anything I need to know to process my award? I also want to pay a non-resident (foreign national) an honorarium or hire a foreign student to work for me. How do I process that request?

Yes, if you are a faculty member who received a Humanities Enhancement Award, a Library Acquisition Award, a Publication Production Award, or a Fellowship you will need to read over the:

BUCH Award Guidelines.

BUCH Award Guidelines for using Concur to claim business and travel expenses

Paying Non-US resident (foreign national) guest speakers and students

BU Department of Human Resources information on Paying foreign nationals

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revised 3/29/16