Humanities in a Digital Age Grant

The purpose of the Humanities in a Digital Age Grant is to provide “seed funding” for projects in the digital humanities that meet the traditional standards for excellent research in the humanities. It is expected that most of the projects funded by HDA will use the preliminary evidence generated to pursue external funding.

Download the Complete RFP or continue reading below.


Tenured and tenure track faculty in the liberal arts are eligible to apply for HDA Grants. We encourage applications from individuals and interdisciplinary teams that include scholars and tool builders from other colleges and units internal to Penn State.


Proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on the following dates:

  • November 8, 2013 for Spring awards
  • March 21, 2014 for Summer and Fall awards

Use of Funds
HDA Grant funds may be used to support:

  • Collaboration with leading innovators and researchers in the field.
  • Travel to support research activity and/or to meet with potential external funding sources.
  • Technologies or equipment required by the project that are not normally provided by the departments and colleges. (Do not request funds for laptop computers for research assistants, computers for data storage, etc.)
  • Wages for project employees.
  • Graduate assistants stipends.

Funding Priorities
Priority will be given to proposals/requests that demonstrate:

  • Considerable promise for enhancing humanities scholarship through the use of digital technologies.
  • The potential to stimulate significant proposals for external funding.
  • Collaborative efforts among faculty and staff from different departments, units, and colleges at Penn State.
  • Collaborations with other institutions that enhance the value of the research.

Funding Guidelines

  • Awards of up to $5,000 per year may be granted for each study proposed. Additional funding may be available for projects of extraordinary merit.
  • Funding decisions will be announced within four weeks of the proposal submission deadline.
  • All teams submitting proposals will receive feedback from the HDA committee.

Proposal Review
A committee of faculty and staff with significant research and grant development experience will be established to review all proposals.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

Proposals should have the following components:

    • Designated Principal Investigator (primary point of contact)
    • Title of project/request
    • Abstract (limited to 200 words)
    • Names, Titles, Colleges, and Campuses of Team Members
    • Amount requested
    • Term of Grant (e.g. Jan ­ Jun 2014)
    • Full description of proposed project, including:
      • Thesis and list of research questions
      • Explanation of the significance of the work
      • Brief description of the research design and methodology to be used to accomplish the objectives of the project (if appropriate)
      • Brief description of pertinent research already conducted
      • Plans for submission of this or related proposals to external funding agencies.
      • Proposed timeline for the study
      • Brief summaries of the team members’ capabilities, as relevant to the proposed
      • Estimated budget
      • Dissemination plan (a brief statement of how you will let others know about your

A complete application consists of completion of the online form and upload of full project description file as a .pdf or .docx to the HDA website. Please contact Kate Miffitt ( with any questions or difficulties.

Expectations of Grant Recipients
PIs of funded HDA proposals will be expected to:

    • Post project abstracts, updates, and a final report on the HDA website.
    • Share project results with the DH Interest Group community.
    • Publish and/or present results in appropriate journals and/or conferences.
    • Adhere to Penn State research and intellectual property policies.
    • Present their work at the Liberal Arts Scholarship and Technology Summit (LASTS).
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