Call for Proposals

The University Seminars seeks proposals for our pilot program: The University Seminars Workshops, to begin Fall 2021.

Deadline for proposals is April 30th and the Proposal Committee will notify submitters by June 15th.

Workshops will be formed around the in-depth study of an intellectual problem or task for a set period of time (one to three years,) culminating in one or more scholarly works—e.g. a book, issue of a scholarly journal, website or online publication, conference, colloquium, or another scholarly meeting. Please note: The University Seminars does not allow honoraria to any speaker or participant.


Scholars and experts in any field. Seminars Workshops must include one Columbia University faculty member to serve as chair or co-chair.

Use of Funds

Workshops will receive financial support for the operational costs of meetings, including physical or online meeting space, travel and accommodations for speakers (within reason), limited audio-visual support, as well as funds to pay a graduate student Rapporteur to take minutes and assist with administration. Additional funding (up to $10,000) will be earmarked at the outset for the terminal project, as per the proposed budget. Events and publications will be promoted on The University Seminars website and newsletter. Workshop participants who wish to continue to meet after the end of the proposed period are invited to submit a proposal for an ongoing seminar.

Expectations and Documentation

  • Workshops will meet regularly (four to eight times per academic year) for one to three years.
  • Workshops will have a clear objective and timeline to create a scholarly product, which is expected to be delivered by the end of the workshop, or in the case of a publication, to be under contract.
  • Workshop rapporteurs will record the minutes from every meeting and submit them to The University Seminars office for inclusion in The University Seminars archive.
  • Upon conclusion, Workshops will provide an outcome summary, including any supporting documents or resources to The University Seminars office for inclusion in the archive and our Annual Directory.

How to Apply

Submissions are accepted online only through Submittable and must include the following:

Proposal no more than five pages double-spaced, which includes:

  • Project description outlining the area of inquiry, its scholarly and social importance, and the nature of culminating work or event.
  • A schedule that specifies the Workshop timeframe and anticipated meeting requirements—e.g., how many meetings, whether in-person or online, focusing on which aspects of the project, and requiring what kind of administrative or technological support.
  • The names, affiliations, and areas of expertise of any Columbia faculty and external participants who are committed to being part of the Workshop. This list may evolve.
  • An estimate of the budget for the culminating work or event. Budgets should not exceed $10,000 and should also list potential co-sponsorships or additional funding sources—e.g., financial support from another Columbia unit, or from institutions beyond Columbia. The University Seminars office will work with organizers to determine a final budget for an end-product such as a conference.

Please contact the office: with any questions.