Working Group Proposal Guidelines

These are the 2017-18 guidelines and will be updated in time for the next application cycle.

What is a faculty/grad student working group?

Working groups require a core group of at least two 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. We encourage seminars to invite visitors to make additional presentations to a wider university audience. Successful working groups are encouraged to apply for renewed funding in successive years.

What are the core goals of the research seminars?

  • 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 seminar?

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 seminar is in session.
  • A one-or two-page statement of the nature and significance of the problem or issue to which the seminar will be devoted. The description must explain how the proposed seminar 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 2017 is July 15, 2017. Applications should be sent electronically to Tom Burman ( The MI Faculty Committee will review the applications with applicants to be notified by August 1.  

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 Seminars

Funding for individual seminars is competitive and subject to availability. Up to $7,000 per seminar 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

Working groups are responsible for tracking and administering their funds independently. 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 (see Neil). Please ensure that speakers have obtained any necessary visas and completed all required paperwork for receiving honoraria (see Megan).

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.