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).

Seed Grant application deadline:

October 4th, 2019

Application guidelines 

Application form 

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

Humanities Behind the Walls (HBW)

Humanities Behind the Walls (HBW) draws on a genealogy of situated and subjugated knowledges that have emerged from behind prison walls to provide an opportunity for faculty and students to critically engage the humanistic and humanizing potential inherent in acts of reading and discussing literature, poetry, and drama with people incarcerated at Perryville Women's Prison, and with formerly incarcerated people at Arizona State University.

The Lucy's Legacy Project--Institute of Human Origins and Donald C. Johanson Collection: Linking Public Humanities with a Public Understanding of Science

This project will develop provocative humanities-based questions to share about the origins of questions of what it means to be human and questions about the collection, how the materials support certain narratives attached to paleoanthropological pursuits, and how academic rivalries punctuate practice and fire the public imagination. Moreover, this project is the first step in analyzing, cataloguing, and preserving a collection of materials from a significant scientist and research institute that tell a story of the history of anthropology during the last quarter of the 20th century.

Intersections between Spirituality and Sustainability at Kumbh Mela: The Case of Religious Tourism and the Ganges

The purpose of this project was to examine the experiences, motivations, and environmental attitudes articulated by Kumbh Mela pilgrims so as to understand their spiritual relationship with and ecological commitment to a dynamic and biophysical revered pilgrimage site, the River Ganges. Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious festival held every twelve years that is described as the largest gathering of pilgrims in the world.

Nature, Culture, and History at the Nation's Edge: Humanities Perspective on the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

The roughly 500-mile stretch of borderlands between where the Colorado River drains into the Gulf of California and where the Rio Grande meets Mexico is the site of a unique and fluctuating history. Prof. Hirt and postdoctoral scholar Cody Ferguson have been developing a variety of materials that educate the public on the different physical, cultural, economic, and social environments of this region. They seek to bridge the cultures that have lived in and near and have passed through or back and forth.

Research System Infrastructure and Informatics Solutions for Digital Humanities

Extending the research from two previously funded IHR Seed Grants this project focuses on developing and enhancing easy-to-use digital interfaces and manuals so that digital tools can be implemented and used by future projects in digital computational HPS and digital humanities without a long learning curve or additional expense.