Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships 2016 for 2017-18

This 2nd year pilot program is designed to celebrate and support humanities faculty who embrace public engagement as part of the scholarly vocation. These fellowships aim to identify professors with a demonstrated commitment to using their intellectual expertise to reach wider audiences and to fund ambitious projects designed to have direct and significant impact on a specific public outside the academy. The fellowship is designed for professors whose expertise and proposed project are both squarely in the humanities, such as those listed at http://www.humanitiesindicators.org/content/document.aspx?d=180. Prospective nominees may wish to view the list of last year’s Fellows and projects at http://www.whiting.org/humanities/public-engagement-fellowship/fellows.

A fellowship of $40,000 will be provided to fund six consecutive months of leave; an additional stipend of up to $10,000 will be made available to cover project costs such as travel, collaboration, technology, and training – any cost reasonably necessary for the success of the project is eligible. This is the default model. Note that nominees may propose in the application an alternative use for the $50,000 fellowship – e.g., course release over more than one term, or more of the funds directed toward project costs – if the default model is not the most effective way to further the candidate’s public-facing project. The sponsor’s goal is to provide the support that will best advance the work. (So, for instance, a 9-month UM faculty member may wish to take a 4.5-month paid leave during the academic year and also receive 1.5 months of summer salary support.)

Fellows may choose to take the leave in the fall of 2017 or the spring of 2018 (or both, if the fellow and home institution agree). All fellows will participate in two convenings, one each in the summers of 2017 and 2018, and provide a brief final report at the end of the fellowship.

In cases where the $40,000 grant does not fully cover half of the nominee’s annual salary and benefits, the sponsor expects that the home institution will ensure that the fellow continues to receive full benefits without interruption. This will be the responsibility of the faculty member to negotiate with their chair and dean at the time they are selected as the UM nominee. The Public Engagement Fellowship can be taken consecutively with institutional or other grant-supported leave if the nominating institution approves.

UM and Whiting Foundation Process

UM humanities faculty members who took up tenure between fall 2011 and fall 2016 and who wish to be considered for institutional nomination should upload a short form application to the UM InfoReady Review Portal at https://olemiss.infoready4.com/ by July 25, 2016. If ORSP receives more than one such application, ORSP will coordinate the selection of one institutional nominee by August 8, and submit the name of the nominee to the sponsor by August 15. The final version of the short-form application will be due to the Sponsor September 1. Applicants will be notified of the results of this first round in mid-September.

Nominees invited to the second, final round will be asked for a modestly expanded version of the application incorporating feedback provided by reviewers in the first stage, as well as letters of recommendation and institutional support, by October 24, 2016. Applicants will be notified of the results of this final round of review in February 2017.

The Short-Form Application should be prepared as one document consisting of:

Project Precis and Status (limit: 250 words)

A summary of your proposed project, describing the subject matter, the form it will take, and your desired outcomes. In addition, indicate the project’s current status and, if applicable, describe any work already completed. Note that "project" here refers not to your broader intellectual project but the public-facing project you would advance during the fellowship period.

Intended Public and Plan for Outreach (limit: 200 words)

Identify the segment of the public you intend to engage through your fellowship project and describe (a) how your project will affect them, and (b) your plan to ensure that you reach them.

Be sure to make clear, in language compelling to a non-specialist, why the project will be engaging to the public you have chosen. Bear in mind the difficulty of capturing attention in our media-saturated world; the sponsor is looking for evidence not just that your project will be available to a public but that they will be moved to participate in and be affected by it. The sponsor is also looking for evidence that you have thought through the ways you will adapt your approach for your intended public - and that you have selected that public carefully.

Technical Skills (limit: 200 words)

Any public-facing project draws not only on the intellectual acumen and subject-matter expertise that will be clear from your CV but also on skills less obviously associated with traditional academic work. The foundation is calling these latter skills "technical." For example:

·      For digital projects, technical skills may include technological expertise such as coding or web design;

·      For podcasts or films, they may include mastery of recording technology or distribution pathways;

·      For public programming, they may include exhibition design or event marketing;

·      For educational projects aimed at primary or secondary school students, they may include pedagogical knowledge tailored to the appropriate grade level;

·      For the writing of a book or series of articles aimed at an educated general public, they may include accessible style and an understanding of how to structure work for a non-academic readership; and

·      For all projects, they will likely include adapting communication to bring to bear intellectual depth in a non-scholarly form for an audience outside the academy.

Indicate the technical skills required for the success of your project and, for each, describe how you have demonstrated, will acquire, or will collaborate with someone who has demonstrated expertise in them. (You can elaborate on collaborators in the next question.)

Collaborators (optional; limit: 200 words)

Identify any partners who will be critical to the success of the project, if applicable. Describe their qualifications, your plan to work with them, and the current status of your relationship (e.g., not yet contacted, in conversation, firmly committed). If you plan to seek out collaborators you have not yet identified, please indicate what kind of people or organizations they might be.

Timeline (limit: 200 words)

Indicate the broad timeframe for your project, including the timing of any major milestones. If the project will not be completed within the term of the fellowship, be sure to indicate how that term fits into the larger timeline. 

Note that projects may already be in progress when the fellowship begins and need not be finished during the fellowship period, but the sponsor expects that substantial progress will be made through the concentrated attention it allows.

Use of Funds (limit: 200 words)

By default, the fellowship takes the form of $40,000 to your institution to secure a semester (or six months) of leave, plus a stipend of up to $10,000 to cover project-related costs (e.g., travel, collaboration, tech, program costs). If you are following this model, please summarize the main costs aside from your time and indicate which, up to $10,000, you wish to cover with the stipend during the fellowship. 

If you wish to propose an alternative model for the fellowship funding (e.g., course release over more than one semester, or directing more of the funds to project costs), please describe how you would like to use the funds.

Either way, please also list any other sources of funding you have secured or intend to pursue for the work, if applicable.

Biographical Highlights (optional; limit: 200 words)

If you have experience relevant to your fellowship project that is not included or fully described on your cv, or if you would like to highlight any relevant experience, please do so here

If nominated by UM, you will also need to prepare, as separate documents for upload, the following.

Attachment A: Resume

A concise CV highlighting your scholarly work most relevant to the project and any previous public-engagement experience, if applicable.  Upload as a separate document in pdf, doc, or docx form.

Attachment B: Public Facing Work Sample (optional; up to 3 files)

If you have already begun your public-facing project and have a very short sample you would like to submit (e.g., an excerpt from a book in progress designed for a mainstream audience), you may do so. 

Alternatively, you may include a very short sample from a public-facing project you have previously undertaken. Please be sure to select as concise a sample as possible (e.g., several pages of a book, a couple of minutes of a film). 

General questions about this may be addressed, Jason Hale, Director of Research Development: jghale@olemiss.edu.

About the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship: http://www.whiting.org/humanities/public-engagement-fellowship/about