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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Video Conferences & Colloquia

Applications accepted for both fall and spring funding rounds.

The global pandemic has abruptly shifted teaching, research, and gatherings large and small online. But even before this, experimental approaches to academic conferencing were rapidly gaining traction. In the fall of 2019, the Simpson Center supported a digitally-networked international conference, the first of its kind in the history of our funding awards. Participants and other faculty and students have expressed an enthusiastic interest in this emerging set of practices—and, in our current moment, we recognize the immediate need for them. It is clear to us that conferences and colloquia in digital formats warrant a new, distinct funding category.

Funding awards will support crossdisciplinary and interdisciplinary symposia, colloquia, and conferences of various scales (working conferences, international research conferences, etc.) in digital formats (we anticipate that the format will most often be multi-site digitally-linked video conferences, but we are open to other possibilities).

Although campus has not yet re-opened, we encourage applicants to consider what may be possible in the 2021-2022 academic year. For example, proposals for digital conferences might include plans to invite local and regional scholars to attend in person.


Proposals must be submitted and led by a UW tenure-track faculty member (all ranks) or a UW Principal/Senior Lecturer. Lecturers at other ranks and graduate students may participate on conference organizing committees but may not serve as primary organizers.


Proposals should outline the anticipated digital tools and platforms, campus spaces, and/or expertise to be coordinated in support of the conferences. Zoom is the most commonly used platform for video conferences. Two spaces on campus are currently designed specifically for digital meetings:

  • Odegaard 320 in the UW Libraries offers video recording, web conferencing, and media viewing (capacity 17)
  • Room T235 in the UW Health Sciences Building supports Zoom video conferencing software (capacity 35)

We anticipate that budget requests in this category will include a line item for hourly support. The Simpson Center is not equipped to provide the full range of tech support that may be needed for a digital conference, so we encourage applicants to plan to hire a qualified student to fill this role.

Terms of Award

Awards of financial and administrative support vary according to requests and needs. Because we can anticipate streamlined costs for digital conferences—participants will meet remotely, and travel costs will therefore be minimal—project budgets in this funding category will be lower than traditional conferences. Requests and awards will range between $2,000 and $5,000.

Additionally, a research budget in the amount of $1,500 may be awarded to the principal investigator when substantial organizational work or extra teaching is required. Including plans for a humanities seminar or course—in particular at the graduate level—to precede or coincide with conferences or colloquia is also valued.

Meeting Before Applying

Those applying for conference funding should consult with the Simpson Center regarding proposal narratives and project budgets. Call 206-543-3920 or send an email to to schedule an appointment.

Application Materials

  1. Proposal Narratives (limit 8 pages) should address:
  • The significance of the subject of the conference or colloquium series
  • Activities to be funded (including when and where they will take place)
  • Venues and technical support (including possible digital platforms to be used)
  • Participating persons or organizations (if professional organizations or other units are involved, specify the administrative support they will provide)
  • Audience and promotion/outreach plans
  • Anticipated results (e.g., publication or other forms of amplification)
  1. Budget should detail anticipated expenses as well as other confirmed and anticipated sources of support.
  2. C.V.: Include organizer(s) curriculum vita(e). Limit five pages per organizer.

 Please direct any questions to Rachel Arteaga, Simpson Center Assistant Director, at