Annual Research Theme

Apply Now

Request for Proposals: A Time to Heal

Deadline: Rolling deadline

Max Award: $5,000


This competition is open to students enrolled in Ph.D., DMA, and MFA programs as well as all regular faculty members with a primary appointment in the College of Arts and Letters. Students must be in good standing with The Graduate School.


The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts conducts yearly grant competitions that focus on particular research themes of timely importance to society.  We are pleased to announce that the theme for Academic Year 2021-22 is A Time to Heal.

The COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 US presidential election, horrific recent acts of violence against BIPOC and other marginalized groups, and the pall of climate change have brought striking physical, emotional, and mental pain to the lives of millions of people. Informed by the University of Notre Dame’s mission to be a powerful force for good, ISLA seeks to facilitate scholarly engagement with the question of what it means to heal, and how healing occurs across individuals, cultures, geographies, and periods of time. 

These grants will support student and faculty research and creative projects that focus on physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, economic, political, racial, cultural, and environmental healing as well as a wide range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, humanistic, artistic, etc.). It is generally expected that projects can be completed within 12-18 months.

Eligible Expenses

Applicants may request up to $5,000. Eligible expenses include research and creative arts materials needed to directly support the completion of the project, such as transcription services, travel, archive/library assistance, survey and computer programming support, and human subject payments. Funds cannot be used for applicant salary/stipend, professional development activities, office supplies, publication costs, or computer equipment. 

Required Application Materials

All applicants must submit the following materials: 

  • A 100-word project summary written for a broad audience.  
  • A proposal (1000 words max.) that outlines the project’s purpose, research plan, intellectual contribution, and potential benefits to society. 
  • A timeline identifying key goals and targeted completion dates (1 page max.). 
  • An itemized budget and narrative budget justification (max. 1 page). 
  • Graduate student applications must also include an advisor's letter of recommendation (2 pages max.). This letter should specifically address the student’s ability to undertake and complete the proposed project as well as the project’s connection to the student’s broader scholarly interests, trajectory, and career goals.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on suitability for the theme, intellectual merit, broader impacts, financial need/justification, and the researcher’s qualifications to conduct the proposed work. Priority will be given to proposals that explore creative, original, and potentially transformative ideas and approaches.  Budget items with insufficient justification may be reduced or eliminated in an award offer.

Proposal Preparation and Submission

All proposals should be double-spaced, with one-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman font. Up to two critical figures, illustrations, or images may be included to supplement the project narrative.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis throughout the academic year beginning August 1, 2021 and continuing until allocated funds for this RFP are exhausted.     

Questions and Additional Information

Please direct questions and requests for additional information regarding this RFP to the Director of ISLA and Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives, James Brockmole.

Apply Now