Funding Opportunities

CHR Residential Fellowships (Faculty and Graduate Student)

*Please note that the deadline for 2021-22 residential fellowship grants has passed. This page will be updated early in the 2022 spring semester for 2022-23 grants. Please check back then for updated application instructions and deadline.

The Center for Humanities Research is now accepting applications for Faculty and Graduate Residential Fellowships for the 2021-2 academic year! 

For faculty members, this fellowship releases the recipient from two courses during the semester of residencyFor doctoral students, thisfellowship covers tuition, stipend and health insurance for the semester of residency. Recipients are required to be “in residence” at the Center, participate in regular meetings with the cohort of fellows, publicly present their research, and attend all Center events. We will aim to accept fellows from a wide range of disciplines, departments, and programs who are working on projects related to the theme . . .

Since March of 2020 we have been living in what political theorist Elizabeth Povinelli might call a “durative present.” In some ways the past, or pre-times, feels irretrievably lost, and the future unimaginable, just beyond our grasp. But it is equally true that this durative present has revealed that much of what we thought to be past, over and done with, lives on in the present. The Black Lives Matter protests, for instance, have made publicly visible how past racial violence infuses the present, what Saidiya Hartman has called the “afterlives of slavery.” And neither, we have learned, does the future unfold as we think it will. Furthermore, our attempts to articulate distinctions between pasts, presents and futures, are predicated on conceptions of time and temporality that are neither neutral nor fixed. Conceptions of time have, historically, delimited what we are able and unable to see, lending certain events, peoples, and subjectivities visibility while pushing others into obscurity. Temporal formations can constrain, do violence, or create possibilities; they can be mobilized in ways that normalize, or as strategies of resistance. Temporality permeates humanistic studies across periods, disciplines, genres and geopolitical regions. 

The Center for Humanities Research invites applications from faculty and advanced PhD candidates whose research takes up temporal encounters between pasts, presents, and futures in the broadest possible sense. We are open to all proposals that engage substantially with temporality as a theme (rather than primarily as a fact of research) and the problematic of past/present/future, including those that might address any of the following questions: What does the present tense open or foreclose, and for whom? Do societies, religions, states, individuals have an obligation to the past? To the future? How has that obligation been articulated in the many archives of the past (narrative, image, speech, ritual or performance)? Is there an ethics of remembering? What is the temporality of change, and how is it initiated? What are the contours of futurity? How, and in what contexts, is it possible to imagine a different future?  

We ask that faculty applicants submit a brief, 2-page proposal, outlining the larger project, its relationship to the theme, and your specific plans for the study leave; a brief, 2-page CV; and a signed statement from your chair or program director that simply acknowledges that you are applying for a leave (this is not a recommendation letter). Please also indicate when you last had a study leave. Tenured and tenure-track faculty across the university are eligible to apply (current and previous fellows are not eligible). This fellowship releases the recipient from two courses during the semester of residency. 

Advanced doctoral students whose dissertation engages the theme may apply for a Dissertation Writing Fellowship. We ask that doctoral students submit a brief, 2-page proposal, outlining the larger project, its relationship to the theme, and specific plans for the study leave; a brief CV (no longer than two pages); and a signed statement from your dissertation director that simply acknowledges that you are applying for a leave (this is not a recommendation letter). Please indicate if you’ve received any other fellowships or grants. The deadline for all applications is Friday, April 16th, 2021, by noonPlease assemble all pieces of your application into a single document, clearly labeled with your last name leading (ex. Smith CHR Fellowship Application), for submission. Please submit your application via email, with the subject line “CHR Faculty or Graduate Fellowship” to


CHR Summer Research Grants

*Please note that the deadline for summer 2021 research grants has passed. This page will be updated early in the 2022 spring semester for summer 2022 grants. Please check back then for updated application instructions and deadline.

The CHR invites applications for summer research funding. Applicants may apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to support humanities-related research. All tenure track and term faculty members (on a 9-month contract) are eligible to apply.  Please note that in any given year a faculty member may not receive both a CHR residential fellowship and summer funding. Tenure-line faculty who apply for both can only take up one award in any given year. 

Application cover letter: Name, Department, Rank, Years at Mason, List of Previous Research Funding While at Mason (if applicable)  

Project description: not to exceed one-page, single-spaced, including a clear account of the specific work to be accomplished with this funding (e.g., if you are writing a book, what chapter or piece of it will you be working on with this grant?) 

Amount requested and justification for funding: Your justification need not take the form of a formal budget, but it will be helpful for the committee to understand how this funding will enable you to engage in research over the summer; in other words, your application may include not only research costs, but also the costs of freeing up your time–for example, relief from summer teaching, monies for daycare and/or eldercare expenses, and the like.  

CV: Please append a short (not more than 2-page) CV. 

Contribution to the CHR: All recipients of summer funding must contribute to the life of the CHR in the following academic year. This could take the form of an informal, lunchtime research presentation, a formal academic talk, a talk aimed at a public audience, or even the hosting of a workshop in some way connected to your research. Please explain the kind of contribution you would propose to make. 

Applications due by Friday, April 9th, 2021 at noon. Please compile all of the above components into a single application document. Please email that application document to, with “Summer Funding Application” in the subject line.