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Graduate Student Led Seminars

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities:  Call for Proposals  

Due: May 1 , 2020  

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.   M eetings  are  usually  open to all members of the Vanderbilt academic community  and the public.  H owever , 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 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.  

NEW THIS YEAR:  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 $4000.  Catering, when appropriate, provided by RPW (not part of seminar budget) .  

RPW  Impac t  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   initiat e , support, or continue  humanities -based public scholarship and engagement.  

Funding can be used for  relationship   b uilding  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 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 $4000 .  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  s eminar’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  s eminar .   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  a n  RPW staff member.    

These budgets are primarily for RPW planning purposes.  We recognize th at 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 $4000,  to be distributed on a case-by-case basis .    

Email all proposals (in a single .doc or .pdf file) to Mary Gray Lindstrom ( by May 1, 2020.   


Questions?  Please contact RPW Director, Holly Tucker (