Final Class Projects

Final Projects

Congratulations: You have been asked by the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities (CTSDH) at Loyola University Chicago to write a Level I award under the National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grants. You will be working with two of your classmates and one of four of the CTSDH’s partners (hereafter referred to as “clients”) in developing a specific project that is worthy of funding.

These grants are intended for early-stage planning, development, and implementation. A Level I grant is designed to fund “exploratory sessions, workshops, early alpha-level prototypes, and initial planning.” The asking range for these grants is $5,000 to $40,000. If successful, this grant will fund activity for up to 18 months.

At the end of the semester, you will hand-in your grant application, which will conform to the guidelines laid out by the NEH. It will include a:

  • Table of Contents
  • List of Participants
  • Abstract (one paragraph, up to 1000 characters including spaces) written for a non-specialist audience
  • Narrative (not to exceed four single-spaced pages). This narrative will include:
    • a clear and concise explanation of how this project will enhance the Humanities,
    • a clear and concise summary of an environmental scan of the field and the relevant literature on your proposed project,
    • a concise history of the project,
    • a work plan (for up to eighteen months of the funded period)
    • staff
    • your plans for the final product and dissemination
  • Biographies (one paragraph for each principal project participant)
  • Project Budget (between $5,000 and $40,000)
  • Appendices, which could include wireframes, screen shots, or other project plans from your prototype
  • Data Management Plan

You will work closely under your client’s direction to gather the information that you need to write your grant. Throughout the semester, portions of class will be devoted to the various stages necessary to being ready to write a grant. They are (with their due dates):

Stage Introduced Due
One-pager Sept 22nd Oct 4th
Personas Oct 6th Oct 11th
Zotero Lit Review Oct 6th Nov 1st
Wireframes Nov 3rd Nov 8th
Proposal Writing Nov 10th Nov 29th
Final Dec 15th

Because this is the first time many of you will be writing such a grant, you are also required to create a prototype of your project as a proof of concept. This prototype will be shared in the final class. Documentary aspects of the prototype should be included in grant’s Appendix.

Your final proposals will be evaluated on the criteria used by the NEH review committees:

  1. The intellectual significance of the project for the humanities, including its potential to enhance research, teaching, and learning in the humanities.
  2. The feasibility of the plan of work, and the appropriateness of the project’s methods and use of technology.
  3. The quality of conception, definition, organization, and description of the project and the applicant’s clarity of expression.
  4. The qualifications, expertise, and levels of commitment of the project director and key project staff or contributors.
  5. The reasonableness of the proposed budget in relation to the anticipated results.
  6. The quality and appropriateness of project plans for data management and (if applicable) sustainability.

More information on these grants (including sample past grants) can be found on the NEH’s website.

Four clients:

  1. Nancy Freeman, Women and Leadership Archives (nfreeman1@luc.edu)
    1. How can we make audio collections more broadly accessible to scholars and the public?
  2. Catherine Nichols, May Weber Ethnographic Collection (cnichols@luc.edu)
    1. What sort of digital presence should a university-owned material culture collection have?
  3. Michelle Nickerson, Camden 28 Trial Transcript (mnickerson@luc.edu)
    1. How can I make available the transcript from a Vietnam War- era trial of Catholic activists?
  4. Hope Shannon, Public History Lab/Rogers Park Historical Society (hshannon1@luc.edu)
    1. A consultant has identified the photograph collection of a community museum as its most valuable asset. How can they make this large collection (analog and digitized) work for the museum?

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