Whiting Public Engagement Programs, 2022-23 cycle

The Office of Research and the Office of Foundation Relations are pleased to announce the internal competition for Syracuse University’s nominations for the 2022-23 Cycle of the Whiting Public Engagement Programs. The Whiting Public Engagement Programs, including the Public Engagement Fellowship and the Public Engagement Seed Grant, celebrate and empower early-career humanities faculty who embrace public engagement as part of their scholarly vocation. Nominees must be full- or part-time humanities faculty in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. Faculty need not be on a tenure track to be eligible. Nominees must also be early-career: they should have received their doctorate between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2020.

Click here to view the full competition information.

Sponsor Program Announcement: https://www.whiting.org/scholars/public-engagement-programs/about
Number of Possible Internal Nominees: One for the Fellowship program and one for the Seed Grant program (2 total)
Internal Submission Due Date: April 21, 2021, 5:00 PM
Sponsor Deadline: June 14, 2021

A Limited Submission Opportunity (LSO) is a funding opportunity in which the sponsor sets an institutional limit for the number of proposals it will accept. In order to participate in an LSO, Syracuse University must organize to submit our most competitive proposals. This requires an internal competition and institutional peer review.

Synopsis of the Program

The Whiting Foundation invites selected schools, scholarly societies, and other humanities institutions to nominate for the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship and Seed Grant. These programs celebrate and empower early-career faculty who embrace public engagement as part of their scholarly vocation by funding ambitious, often collaborative projects to infuse into public life the richness and nuance that give the humanities their lasting value.

The Public Engagement Fellowship of $50,000 is for projects far enough into development or execution to present specific, compelling evidence that they will successfully engage the intended public. For the strongest Fellowship proposals, both the overall strategy and the practical plan to implement the project will be deeply developed, relationships with key collaborators will be in place, and connections with the intended public will have been cultivated. In some cases, the nominee and collaborators may have tested the idea in a pilot, or the project itself may already be underway.

The Public Engagement Seed Grant of up to $10,000 supports projects at a somewhat earlier stage of development than the Fellowship, before the nominee has been able to establish a specific track record of success for the proposed public-facing work. It is not, however, designed for projects starting entirely from scratch: nominees should have fleshed out a compelling vision, including a clear sense of whose collaboration will be required and the ultimate scope and outcomes. They should also have articulated specific short-term next steps required to advance the project and understand the resources required to complete them. We anticipate that a recipient might use the grant, for example, to test the project on a smaller scale or to engage deeply in planning with collaborators or the intended public.

In this cycle, the Foundation is focusing on the following disciplines: history; the study of literature, visual art, music, and other arts; philosophy; and area studies combining these fields, like classics and African-American studies.

See the Whiting guidelines for full details around eligible projects and programs.


Nominees must be full- or part-time humanities faculty in both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. Faculty need not be on a tenure track to be eligible. Nominees must also be early-career: they should have received their doctorate between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2020.

Applicants may submit internal applications to both the Fellowship and Seed Grant program. However, both projects must be distinct. An applicant may only be the chosen Syracuse University nominee for one program.

Application Materials

Applicants must submit:

  • Project Summary (2 pages maximum): Provide a compelling summary of your public-facing project, making clear the humanities content, format of engagement, and anything to be produced by the project (if applicable). Describe existing work on similar subjects or in similar media. Lay out all of the activities and timeline you and your collaborators will undertake. Specify your desired outcomes as clearly as possible. Identify the partners who will be critical to the project’s success. Describe the non-academic skills required for success
  • Resume/CV of Principal Investigator: Include a concise resume or CV highlighting your work most relevant to the project and any previous public-engagement experience, if applicable.
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed budgets are not required. Also list any other funding you have secured or intend to pursue for the work.

Limited Submission Selection Process

If the number of proposals submitted to this competition exceeds the number that the University can submit to the sponsor, peer review will be triggered. Under the peer review process, limited submission applications will be evaluated in several categories, including:

  • Potential to engage the intended public. Is the project conceived with a public outside the academy in mind and designed carefully to engage them? Is the plan to reach that public explicit and robust? How significant will the engagement be, in terms of breadth and depth?
  • Ability to complete the project successfully. Is the project management plan sound, detailed, and tailored to achieve the intended outcomes? Does the candidate have the skills, resources, and collaborators needed to execute the project effectively in the proposed timeframe?
  • Intellectual value. Is the project rooted firmly in the program’s focus humanities disciplines? Will it make a meaningful intellectual contribution with its audience, engaging them in the complexity and nuance of humanistic learning? Does it bring to bear the clarity, thoughtfulness, and profundity that characterize the best scholarship? What value does the participation of a scholar in a leadership role bring to the project intellectually?

Reviewers with be internal to the University. These reviewers are not likely to be specialists in your sub-field, so it is advised that applicants avoid excessive jargon.

The PI(s) selected to move forward with full proposals will be notified by email by mid-May. Per the sponsor restrictions, no more than one nominee for the Fellowship program and one nominee for the Seed Grant program may be put forth by the University.

PI Responsibilities

If a proposal is selected and the PI or team decides to forgo an application, they must notify the Office of Research within five days of the selection notice. This allows another proposal to be selected and move forward. If the PI fails to submit a proposal and has not notified the Office of Research, the PI runs the risk of being disqualified from future LSO competitions.

PI Eligibility

For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see our PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible.

Questions: Email LimitedSubmissions@syr.edu

View competition