Academic Senate - Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research

The Committee on Research provides grants that support the collaborative research of faculty from two or more campus departments. Co-sponsored with the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and the Deans of the divisions of the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, the program is designed to foster collaboration across academic departments and divisions.

Two kinds of grants are offered: One in support of co-taught undergraduate or graduate seminars; the other in support of interdisciplinary faculty workshops.


The seminar program provides funds for faculty from different departments to devise and present a collaborative graduate or advanced undergraduate seminar. The purpose is to foster collaboration between faculty in different disciplines in the hope that their joint work will not only enable them to explore new methodologies, refine their arguments, and broaden their field of vision, but will also provide a space for the development of ideas that enhance current research projects and/or develop into a larger research project, potentially with publishable results. The grant provides $5000 in course release funds for one faculty member to co-teach a seminar with a faculty member of a different department and up to two quarters of support for a Graduate Student Researcher (at 50% time) to assist in the preparation for the course.


The workshop program provides up to $5000 towards the establishment of an interdisciplinary faculty colloquium that brings together members of different departments or schools. Here, too, the purpose is to foster interdisciplinary interaction, which might evolve into research projects and collaborative publications. The application must be submitted jointly by faculty from two departments, and the workshop topic should involve at least two traditional disciplines. The funds may be used towards the travel expenses of outside scholars. The GSR will not be available for workshops.

The Committee recognizes that many interdisciplinary programs already exist, and this program will not compete with nor support those established programs. Applications from all Academic Senate faculty are eligible. Priority will be given to topics that are exploratory and bring hitherto unusual combinations.

Applicants must provide the following information:

  1. Proposal outlining the major topic being addressed and reason for the particular team of faculty. The proposal should include an outline and possible readings or invited guests. Explanations why the topic is particularly appropriate for team-taught seminar, or workshop and how this topic contributes to scholarship are also necessary.
  2. Letter of support by the departmental chairs involved. The chair of the department receiving course support should describe which course would be released by the faculty member and which course would be funded by the grant. If an undergraduate course is being released, then it must be replaced by an undergraduate course.
  3. If a Graduate Student Researcher is requested, please include his/her name, the substantive role of the GSR in research planning for the course, number of quarters of GSR support requested, and the GSR rate (salary + tuition/ fee remission) for the student's department.

For information on current solicitations, deadlines, and applications procedures, see Academic Senate Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research.