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Seminar Descriptions and Proposal Guidelines

Due: Rolling deadline  

RPW Collaborative Research Seminars  

RPW Collaborative Research Seminars provide a space for faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars to advance and develop emerging research agendas and to explore ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries. Meetings are usually open to all members of the Vanderbilt academic community and the public. However, there may be some circumstances where seminar participation is restricted to a specific group of colleagues, at the discretion of the seminar leaders and in consultation with the RPW Director.   

Each seminar will be organized and led by a team of at least two people, one of whom must be a Vanderbilt faculty member or graduate student. If both or all are from Vanderbilt, at least two must come from different departments. At least two seminars will be specifically reserved for graduate-student lead teams. 

We welcome co-leaders from other academic institutions (Fisk, TSU, Belmont, MTSU, etc.) or from the Nashville community (community organizers, cultural leaders). 

Budget: Up to $3,000. Catering, when appropriate, provided by RPW (not part of seminar budget). 

RPW Impact Seminars  

RPW Impact Seminars bring together diverse participants—from Vanderbilt University, partner schools in the region, and leaders in the Nashville community—to develop productive and sustainable partnerships that initiate, support, or continue humanities-based public scholarship and engagement. 

Funding can be used for relationship building and cooperative efforts with partners outside the university, the development of humanities-based public scholarship, public workshops, exhibits, online projects, etc.   

Each seminar will be organized and led by a team of at least two people, one of whom must be a Vanderbilt faculty member or graduate student. Meetings can take place at the RPW Center and/or off-campus, at community locations or at partner academic institutions. 

Budget:  Up to $3,000. Catering, when appropriate, provided by RPW (not part of seminar budget). Catering for any off-campus events must be approved by RPW staff in advance.  

Proposal Components:   

  • For each of the proposed seminar’s leaders: CV or, for non-academic leaders, a short bio sketch or resumé that includes experience relevant to the seminar. 
  • Narrative: A maximum two-page description of the seminar’s focus, aims, proposed structure, potential participants, and where appropriate, intended impact. 

If you are requesting a RENEWAL of an existing seminar, please describe the seminar’s past activities, typical attendance, and a frank assessment of the seminar’s work over the previous year(s). 

  • Budget: Appropriate expenditures include speakers, symposia, group projects, books, or other related materials necessary for the seminar. Note: Budget may include honoraria or consulting fees for specialists or community leaders from outside academia. 

Some benchmark figures for out-of-town guests: $500 airfare, $500 honorarium, $200/nt hotel, $100 other (taxi, individual meals), plus group dinner expenses ($50 per person). 

The budget should reference any other expected sources of funding (department, research funds, grants). RPW will assist with travel arrangements for a maximum of two out-of-town visitors per semester, per seminar.   

All actual seminar expenditures during the course of the seminar meetings must be pre-approved by an RPW staff member.   

These budgets are primarily for RPW planning purposes. We recognize that the needs of our seminars are not static and may change over the course of the year. RPW will set aside discretionary money for seminars with budgets of under $3,000, to be distributed on a case-by-case basis.  

Email all proposals (in a single .doc or .pdf file) to Mary Gray Lindstrom (  

Questions?  Please contact RPW Director, Holly Tucker (