Seed Grants

Support for projects that explore significant social challenges, employing humanities or transdisciplinary methodologies.


IHR Seed Grants are awarded at individual and team levels to ASU faculty or staff in the humanities (though external scholars are always welcome to participate as consultants). The Seed Grant program is designed to provide support for projects that advance the IHR’s mission of fostering research that addresses or explores significant social challenges in the past, present, and future, employing humanities or transdisciplinary methodologies. The Institute supports projects that demonstrate intellectual merit, potential impact on scholarship, and strong prospects of receiving external funding. Seed Grants fund 12 months of work at two levels: individual (up to $5,000) and team ($9,000).

Applications are now closed. 

What are some possible outcomes?

  • Conferences, symposia
  • Invited guest scholars
  • Publications
  • External grant support
  • Public engagement


What types of projects are funded? 

  • All time periods: historic to contemporary
  • Unlimited geographic locations: global to local
  • Significant humanistic work as well as work at disciplinary intersections: humanities + science, art, health, technology, etc.
  • Enhanced access to scholarly resources 
  • Team-based and single-PI research 

Seed Grant Projects

Opening the Geese Book

The project focuses on the lavishly and whimsically illuminated, two-volume liturgical manuscript known as the Geese Book. Produced in Nuremberg, Germany between 1503 and 1510, this gradual preserves the complete mass liturgy compiled for the church of St. Lorenz and used until the Reformation was introduced in the city in 1525. In 1952 the parish of St. Lorenz presented the book to Rush Kress for “the American people,” out of gratitude for the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in rebuilding the church after the destruction of WW II.

Building an Academic Destination: The ASU Repository of Palm Leaf Manuscripts from Sri Lanka

The IHR Seed grant will support interdisciplinary research on art and religion of Sri Lanka and bring international attention to ASU’s extensive holdings of Sinhalese palm-leaf manuscripts. A scholarly gathering will be held to plan future research and publication, training of scholars, academic conferences, preservation, exhibitions and public programs.

The Embryo Project

The Embryo Project is an interdisciplinary research project focused on the history of embryo research in its scientific, intellectual, technical, institutional, social, political, religious, and economical contexts. It analyzes based six major historical episodes, each of which brought about a new concept of the embryo as a scientific and "public” object.

For additional details see the Embryo Project web page.

Engaging Radio

Drawing on the diverse expertise of scholars in literary and cultural history, media studies, anthropology, design, and science and technology studies, the Engaging Radio project will explore the social, cultural, and material experience of radio through exhibitions, sound productions, publications, and a website (Engaging Radio. A Research Project ).

Implementing Open-Source XML-Based Content Management for the Antislavery Literature Project

To prepare for re-submission of an NEH summer seminar grant proposal, this project will employ a graduate research assistant to work on a newly-upgraded Antislavery Literature Project website that employs Plone-based database-driven electronic publishing via the English Service (Iowa State University).  Plone is an open-source software system that facilitates collaborative, simple-to-use, form-based web publishing via a relational database and XML/HTML meta-tagging.