Center for the Humanities

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Course Reassignment

Full-time faculty members on renewable-term appointments and nearing the completion of a research or creative project in the humanities may apply for reassignment from one, or, in special circumstances, two courses during one semester.

In deliberating on proposals, the Board of Directors will consider the merit of the work in progress, the amount of work still to be completed, and the work's promise of publication, exhibition, or production. The Center will cover the cost of replacement instruction, at the standard university rate, for the program or department from whose course offering(s) the applicant requests reassignment. Please note that deans, in consultation with department chairs and program directors, are responsible for authorizing course reassignment. The Center only funds the replacement costs.


These grants are costly and the Center is only able to award a limited number of them per year. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit as early as possible.

Note that Course Reassignment Grants require a degree of advance planning. Applicants should confirm in their application that they have secured approval from their dean and their department chair or program director, and departments will need time to arrange for adjunct or other replacement instruction. As such, planning for a course reassignment can and should begin at least a year in advance.

The Board recommends the following:

  • At the first spring meeting of the calendar year, the Board will begin considering requests for Course Reassignment grants to be taken in the next academic year (in either the upcoming fall or spring terms).
  • The first spring deadline of 2021 is planned for Jan. 29, ahead of the Feb. 5 meeting (spring 2021 meetings will be confirmed at the end of fall 2020.
  • The Board will continue to consider additional applications on a rolling basis. See upcoming confirmed deadlines below.
  • However, applicants who apply later than the recommended spring deadline are strongly encouraged to consult with the Director regarding the feasibility of additional awards for that academic year.

Spring 2021: The Board will meet on the first Friday of each month in spring 2021. Please submit funding requests one week in advance of any given meeting, to ensure consideration. Spring deadlines fall on Jan. 29, Feb. 26, March 26, and Apr. 30. In general, requests for retroactive funding will not be considered, but faculty may inquire with the Director if extenuating circumstances arise.


The following criteria will guide the Board in its deliberations:

  • The stature of the project: single-author books, edited volumes, translations, or editions are more likely to garner support than essays, articles, short works, or works whose public exposure will be of limited duration, such as a curated exhibit. Textbooks and reference works are not likely to qualify for support of this kind, except when such works represent a significant advance in their field. However, none of these is categorically excluded from consideration.
  • The project must be close to completion: The anticipated work will be completed in the allocated time, and this work will be sufficient to meet external standards of completion. For example, a proposal to be funded to complete a book might include an outline of the publication history of related work, samples of work completed thus far, an outline of the proposed book, a schedule for the work to be completed, and a publisher's contract.
  • The project must be of significant scholarly promise, as established by the previous publication of parts of the project, evaluations from peer reviewers and editors, or a commitment from a reputable press. The Board of Directors reserves the right to establish for itself the merit of the work for the purposes if its deliberations.
  • The project should make a direct contribution to scholarship or creative activity in the humanities, and deploy those methods characteristic of the humanities, although it need not be limited to such methods.
  • As stated above, applicants should confirm in their application that they have secured approval for the course reassignment(s) from their dean and their department chair or program director.
  • The Center’s support must be acknowledged in the published work resulting from the reassignment and, when possible, in announcements, presentations, and publicity materials connected to it. Please see the acknowledgments page for examples of appropriate formulations of acknowledgment.

Additional Information

In addition to explicitly addressing the ways in which the proposed project meets the criteria above, applications must include an overview of the project itself; applicants are welcome to use proposals and reports written for other purposes—for example, to presses, editors, and agents—as the basis for this overview.

All proposals must include the applicant's current curriculum vitae. Funds underwriting successful proposals will be released contingent upon hiring replacement instruction.

Because course reassignment grants are a relatively costly way of advancing research, the Board of the Center awards only a few each year, depending on the funds available each year, the programmatic priorities established each year, and the number and size of requests received.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Director of the Center well in advance of submitting a proposal. Complete applications should be emailed, as attachments in a standard document format to


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