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Support for Grantseeking and Research Development in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Support for Grantseeking and Research Development in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

External Grants Faculty Advising

The OVCR provides a range of resources for faculty in the humanities, arts, and social sciences:

  • Targeted information sessions for external fellowship and grant competitions, including ACLS, Guggenheim, NEH, NSF-SBE, and residential (sited) fellowships     
  • “Gateway” meetings to discuss research interests and grant-seeking plans
  • Proposal writing groups and individual meetings to discuss drafts
  • Editorial and research services for faculty working on any fellowship/grant application
  • First Book Writing Group for pre-tenure faculty
  • Next Book Writing Group for senior faculty
  • Overview of campus and external resources for grant seeking
  • Suggestions for extending your campus visibility and finding colleagues with shared research interests
  • Campus resources for locating collaborators and identifying funding support
  • Proposal writing resources

External Grants Faculty Advisors

Craig Koslofsky (History, Germanic Languages & Literatures) chairs External Grants Faculty Advising. 

James Kuklinski (Political Science, IGPA), and Carol Symes (History, Medieval Studies) are affiliated with the OVCR as External Grants Faculty Advisors. 

Programmatic Support

Maria Gillombardo, External Funding Coordinator, is the primary point of contact for faculty members who are interested in identifying and pursuing external funding opportunities in support of their research. 

Kelley Frazier, Office Support Specialist, provides programmatic and administrative support. 

Tim Tufte, Pre-Award Shared Services (PASS) Coordinator in the Office of Sponsored Programs, provides assistance in the application for external sponsored funding, including the review of eligibility criteria, budget development, and requirements for proposal preparation and submission. 

Our services for faculty include:


These sessions provide an overview of specific external fellowship and grant competitions and the sponsoring agencies (e.g., ACLS, Guggenheim, NEH, NSF-SBE, residential fellowships).  Panelists are faculty members who recently received these fellowships and grants; they describe their experiences with the proposal writing and application process. Faculty members are invited to join us for any/all sessions that are of interest. If faculty cannot attend a session, we are always glad to provide materials.  Please contact Maria Gillombardo for more information. 

Session topics include:


Faculty planning to apply for external funding are welcome to participate in proposal writing groups. Sessions are typically scheduled to begin several months in advance of competition deadlines, allowing for the opportunity to discuss several proposal drafts with colleagues. Writing groups for social science grant competitions (e.g., NSF, NIH) are ongoing, as these programs have varying deadlines.

Faculty who have participated in the writing groups have found them beneficial for moving their projects forward: the sessions are informal settings in which to comfortably get feedback from colleagues; regular meetings generate and spur draft revision as the application deadline approaches. 

Faculty are welcome to join us at any stage in the writing process. We are also glad to work with faculty individually; and we are always willing read/comment on drafts via email as well. 

For more information, please contact Maria Gillombardo.


These meetings give faculty the opportunity to discuss their research trajectory and strategize options for achieving their goals. We offer ongoing support, such as further research into external funding possibilities, follow-up meetings, and/or reading drafts of application narratives. 

Please contact Maria Gillombardo for more information and/or to schedule a meeting. 


In addition to editing and commenting on drafts during writing group sessions, we are happy to read drafts of proposal narratives at any stage of the application process. Faculty do not need to attend information sessions or participate in writing groups to make use of these services. 

We also provide research pertaining to application criteria and guidelines, an essential component of grant seeking.

We can also review RFPs, program solicitations, and application guidelines and offer suggestions about meeting those criteria in the proposal narrative.


The following suggestions can assist you in finding colleagues who share your research interests—or with particular areas of expertise—who could be potential collaborators on campus initiatives as well as external funding opportunities. These suggestions might also provide some avenues for furthering and supporting your research:

  • Sign up for departmental/unit mailing lists
  • Join campus interdisciplinary reading groups (such as IPRH and the Unit for Criticism)
  • Offer to give a “brown bag” talk for campus audiences you want to reach
  • Look into the possibility of securing zero-time appointments in units that are related to your research interests
  • Check the News Bureau website for articles, press releases, and archives for grant/fellowship recipients


The following is an incomplete list of internal resources related to research. Oftentimes referring to these websites can be a helpful way to locate colleagues who share your research interests. Some of these sites feature research funding support oppportunities and faculty recipients. 

Proposal Writing Resources

The following articles and guidelines may be helpful in crafting a proposal narrative. While some of the articles are contest-specific, the advice given is relevant to proposal writers in all disciplines and fields.

In Memory of Professor Nancy Abelmann
Nancy Abelmann was Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures. In her role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research – Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields, Nancy’s boundless capacity for intellectual exchange and her generosity as a scholar and colleague profoundly energized and connected faculty across our campus. She passed away in January 2016.  

The services Nancy developed and provided through the OVCR are unique to the University of Illinois. Nancy’s generosity and vision, as exemplified through her work in the OVCR, are part of the legacy she leaves to our university.