Skip Navigation

Initiative for the Humanities and Arts in Society Seed Grant Program

Initiative for the Humanities and Arts in Society Seed Grant Program

Program Overview

In these times marked by challenges of exceptional consequence, the University of Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to foster innovative, comprehensive solutions through research and creative activity and fully committed to moving forward on this basis as outlined in the Lead On Strategic Plan. The Plan’s Pillar 5 defines strategic themes for research and creative activity articulated in the verticals, which identify grand challenges in aerospace, defense, and global security; energy and environmental sustainability; life sciences and the future of health; and society and community transformation to foster flourishing societies. The vision for transformative research and creative activity calls upon faculty from all areas to move beyond traditional academic boundaries, and to collaborate across disciplines and institutions, for the purpose of creating solutions for a better world. Through vibrant regional, national, and international projects hosted in the strategic vertical institutes and cross-cutting foundations, the Strategic Plan leverages collaborative research and creative activity from multiple disciplines to changes lives.

Across these contexts, the critical and creative contributions of the humanities and arts are more necessary than ever before. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships announces the Initiative for the Humanities and Arts in Society (IHAS) Seed Grant Program with the aim to accelerate research and creative activity of OU faculty in the humanities and arts through convergent and collaborative projects addressing the grand challenges. The program targets humanities and arts endeavors envisioning—first and foremost—impactful intellectual outputs of excellent quality, whether monographs, editions, performances, exhibits, digital media productions, and/or community-based outcomes. As a seed program, IHAS is designed, moreover, to support faculty who are committed to seeking funding for research and creative activity beyond the resources available internally at OU. Responding, finally, to the urgent need for convergent research and creative activity to address the grand challenges, IHAS is conceived with a special interest in fostering team-based and collaborative projects to make a difference in communities. Some areas of interest include but are not limited to (for example) the medical humanities; ethics and technology; data and the definition of the human; disparities and security; and culture, energy, and environment. Building from the platform of the IHAS seed program, humanities and arts faculty are encouraged to envision the eventual creation of connections and partnerships, such as by reaching out to directors and faculty in the institutes and foundations. 

Eligibility and Scope

Tenured or tenure-track faculty on the OU Norman and Tulsa (Norman Campus programs) campuses whose research and creative activity engages and develops an arts or humanities area are eligible to apply for IHAS funding. Applications from collaborative teams are especially encouraged. Renewable term faculty, research faculty, and permanent professional/technical staff may serve as co-PIs on proposal teams. Topics and approaches are open and must be clearly described in the application narrative.

IHAS seed funds may not be used for faculty salaries during the spring and fall semesters. Funds may be used as summer salary if no overload or summer teaching is undertaken during the grant period.

Faculty are eligible to receive IHAS seed funding at the same time as other internal research funding such as FIP, JFF, AHFF, and/or CAS JFF/SFF. If concurrent funding is sought, grants must address different stages of the project. The application narrative must specify and explain the distinct roles for each grant.


IHAS proposals are due on November 3, 2023 by 5:00 p.m.. The written proposal should include the consecutive sections listed below. Single space, using Times New Roman 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Compile all sections of the application in order into a single PDF named with the label IHAS_2023_Applicant/PI Last Name_First Name. When the application is complete, submit your application to the web portal (below).

  1. Project narrative (3 p. maximum): Describe the project and provide the intellectual/artistic justification for it. Address the following topics in clearly marked sections:
    • Research and/or creative activity, contribution, and impact, including relation to the field and other relevant contexts and to Pillar 5 of the Strategic Plan
    • Methodology and work schedule
    • Final product(s) and expected outcome(s), including quality indicators and external funding plans.
  2. Selected bibliography (1 p. maximum).
  3. Budget (1 p. maximum): Expenditures should be related to the project and may include: research travel, including field work and archival work; honoraria/travel for external consultants/visiting scholars; course release (PI and team members should consult with unit directors and deans and indicate dollar amount needed to cover course releases; see Teaching Release Form (DOC)); book subvention support; research materials; technology or equipment purchase other than computers and limited to one-third of the overall budget; summer salary; student research assistance; professional development; support for hosting a public event (matching funds would be viewed favorably by the review committee but are not required; in-kind matches are acceptable; describe your efforts at seeking matching funds and include any relevant documentation).
  4. Short CV (2 p. maximum per applicant and team member).
  5. Teaching Release Form signed by the applicant’s unit head and college dean, if a course release is sought; include a separate form for each team member requesting teaching release.
  6. Human Subjects Plan if the work requires IRB oversight and approval.

Submit IHAS Application

Award Amounts

IHAS seed grant funds must be expended within two years from award. In exceptional circumstances, the PI may apply for an extension. The rationale for any requested extension must be clearly explained. Applications for extension will be considered on a case-by-case basis. It is anticipated that larger IHAS grants will be funded at a level of approximately $30,000 to $50,000 and smaller IHAS awards at approximately $10,000.

Evaluation Process

A selection committee will evaluate IHAS seed grant proposals for quality, feasibility, outcome, impact, and potential of the project to enhance future externally funded stages of the endeavor.

Note: Faculty in humanities and arts areas who wish to apply for substantial capital equipment purchases should consult the Strategic Equipment Investment Program (SEIP).


  • November 3, 2023 by 5:00 p.m. CST: Completed applications due
  • December 15, 2023: Notification to applicants
  • December 30, 2025: Final deadline for completion of project and reporting.


Julia Abramson, OVPRP faculty fellow (