Working Group Proposal Guidelines

These are the 2019-20 guidelines and will be updated as needed for each application cycle.

What is a faculty/grad student working group?

Working groups require a core group of at least two MI fellows and one graduate student, who take primary responsibility for organizing the working group, planning topics for discussion, inviting speakers from outside the university, and providing opportunities for MI faculty and graduate students to present work-in-progress. Working groups must meet regularly over the course of the academic year (typically four times a semester), and they should be open to everyone in the MI community, subject to appropriate limits of size. Where appropriate faculty and graduate students from other institutions may participate through Skype, Zoom, or any other means. Working groups may invite visitors to make additional presentations to a wider university audience (in some cases as part of the MI Thursday lecture series if scheduling permits it). Successful working groups are encouraged to apply for renewed funding in successive years.

What are the core goals of the groups?

  • Support faculty and graduate student research and scholarship
  • Increase faculty and graduate student publication through presentation of works-in-progress
  • Explore issues across disciplinary or intellectual boundaries
  • Support collaborative research
  • Professionalize graduate students with an eye to employment upon degree completion

Who is eligible to form a working group?

MI fellows and ND graduate students working on medieval topics may submit proposals for a working group to investigate a topic relating to shared research interests, as long as the proposal is in accord with the definitions and goals above.

Proposal requirements

  • Two-page CVs of the core fellows who have agreed to participate in the seminar. Core participants should be in residence during the academic year in which the working group is in session.
  • A one-or two-page statement of the nature and significance of the problem or issue to which the working group will be devoted. The description must explain how the proposed working group will fulfill the aims of this program.
  • The names of other potential participants, both faculty and advanced graduate students.
  • The names and institutional affiliations of potential visiting speakers, with a brief description of the relevance of their current scholarship to the enterprise of the seminar.
  • A detailed budget.

Deadline for submission of proposals

The deadline for proposals for working groups to commence in Fall 2019 is April 1, 2019. Please send us your proposal via our Submittable form. The MI Faculty Committee will review the applications with applicants to be notified in early May.

Criteria for awards

The following criteria, adapted from Stanford University's Humanities Center, will be used in evaluating proposals:

  • Defines an area of intellectual inquiry that is compelling
  • Articulates important emerging issues and trends in humanities scholarship
  • Encourages MI graduate students and faculty, as well as outside speakers, to present work-in-progress
  • Promotes graduate students' professional development by encouraging networking with established scholars in the field, collaborative work with faculty, and presentation of work throughout the year
  • Promotes collaborative work with scholars outside ND
  • Shows promise for material outcomes such as publications


Funding for individual working groups is competitive and subject to availability. Up to $7,000 per group may be approved for such expenses as travel and reasonable honoraria for invited speakers, photocopying of materials for circulation in advance of meetings, light refreshments, and other operating expenses. An additional $1,000 may be requested for a graduate-student participant to assist in the administration of the seminar.

Honoraria for visiting speakers should typically be $250 for junior faculty and $500 for senior faculty. No more than $2,500 can be budgeted for book purchases. Any intention to exceed these limits should be accompanied by a clearly articulated rationale.

Administration of Funds

When bringing speakers to campus, please use Anthony Travel for all travel booking (a FOAPAL can be billed) and any of the on-campus or near-campus hotels that can use a FOAPAL or bill the MI directly. All speaker incidentals must be submitted for reimbursement via expense report accompanied by receipts. Please ensure that speakers have obtained any necessary visas and completed all required paperwork for receiving honoraria.

At the end of each academic year the core fellows of each group should submit a brief report including a budget clarifying how funds were used.