Taft Research Seminar

February 7th, 2020

Taft Research Seminars underwrite faculty, graduate student, and advanced undergraduate development by offering support for a visiting scholar’s participation in a semester-long seminar that enables faculty and students to focus on a particular research agenda, problem, or theme related to Taft disciplines. Invited scholars should work in areas with demonstrated interdisciplinary appeal.

Seminar design should afford significant, sustained interactions between the visiting scholar and UC faculty and students. Proposals may schedule a single sustained engagement for the visiting scholar or several shorter engagements. In order to fulfill this requirement, seminars should be designed as seminars, rather than a series of lectures, with numerous guest lecturers. In other words, the organizer must propose and arrange a seminar in which the majority of the seminar involves sustained contact with the visiting scholar, for a significant period of the seminar, of no less than 3 weeks.

Faculty organizers are responsible for securing the participation of an outside scholar, their accommodations, temporary insurance, and food for the visiting scholar, for the duration of their stay in Cincinnati. These items must be secured, along with the visiting scholars participation and any seminar support cost, within the total program budget of $20,000. A complete application will contain information on the potential visiting scholar as part of the proposal, essentially coopting the visiting scholar into the seminar design and grant proposal process. As such, the proposal should include an acceptance letter from the proposed visiting scholar, along with a course syllabus.

Provided that space is available, visiting scholars will be given a furnished office at the Taft Research Center at Edwards 1, although seminars may propose to provide office space in the relevant departments, if available. 


Electronic applications must be submitted through the Taft Research Center by the published deadlines.

The application should contain the following:

  • A proposal of 800 to 1200 words that outlines the seminar in detail, including but not limited to the following:
    • Justification of the seminar as an important intellectual exercise of discovery set in the context of disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary trends. An important question to answer is whether there exists a critical mass of potential participants across the UC system;
    • A list of the committed UC participants and an explanation of the relevance of the seminar for specific seminar participant’s research agendas. (The convener(s) of the seminar should be designated);
    • An explanation of the relevance of the seminar to advancement of departmental and/or interdisciplinary goals (e.g., programs, research focus, grant-writing);
    • An organizational plan of meetings; how the seminar will be conducted; and, how the release money will be apportioned based on college adjunct rates;
    • Anticipated outcomes of the seminar.
  • A 200-400 word presentation that includes a biographical profile of the visiting scholar, justification for this particular visiting scholar as opposed to other possible scholars, and showing how the scholar will significantly contribute to the seminar.
  • Two-page curriculum vitae for the proposed visiting scholars and the designated convener(s).
  • A letter from each visiting scholar committing to living in Cincinnati for the period of time discussed in the proposal and that they will reside with a relative, a UC faculty member, or that they will get a lease contract or lodging agreement for the same period (3 week minimum commitment). 

  • A letter of support from the convener's department head assessing the merits of the proposal project.
  • Any necessary release agreement reached by the visiting scholar, from their institution of origin.

  • A budget sheet indicating how monies will be allocated within the limits of the $20,000.

For detailed instructions on submitting your application, please click Application Instructions.

For instructions on how to create a PDF, please click: How to Create a PDF. Note: the system only allows you to upload a single PDF document.

selection criteria

Seminar design should afford significant, sustained interactions between the visiting scholar and UC faculty and students. Proposals may schedule a single sustained engagement for the visiting scholar or several shorter engagements. Seminar proposals will be evaluated according to the following:

  • Seminar design, length of stay (3 week minimum), likely outcomes
  • The significance of the contribution that the proposed seminar will make to participating faculty and student research, and professional development.
  • The conception, definition, organization, and description of the proposed project.
  • The scope of the seminar in terms of participants, impact on disciplinary or interdisciplinary activities in the Taft departments, and interdisciplinary appeal of the visiting scholar.
  • The quality of the proposed visiting faculty and their likely contribution to their anchored seminar.

funding limits for research support

Each award category for Research Support has distinct funding caps. Cumulatively, no faculty member may receive more than $100,000 in Research Support awards during a five-year period.  If several faculty members submit a joint request, they may apportion the cost of the award among themselves in any manner they choose.  If they do not indicate an apportionment, it will be assumed that the cost is to be apportioned equally among all faculty listed on the proposal

terms of the grant

     Taft Research Seminars are not to be used as a means of creating an adjunction position for the department.

     All grant funds must be expended exclusively in furtherance of the grant and all expenditures of grant funds must comply with university policies relating to financial transactions, including the Code of Conduct and, as discussed in the Code of Conduct, the ethics laws of the state of Ohio which prohibit certain private financial interests in university matters. (University Rule 3361:10-17-03(D)). 

  • The designated convener will be responsible for organizing and running the seminar on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • The Convener is the principal liaison with the Visiting Fellows and is responsible to coordinate a smooth arrival and departure for the visitor in coordination with the Taft Chair/Secretary.
  • Acceptance of the TRS award requires the committed participants to attend all proposed seminar meetings.
  • The Visiting Fellows are encouraged to contribute to the overall intellectual life of the Taft Center through participation in Center activities other than their anchored seminar (such as attend some Taft lectures and symposia)..
  • Publications and creative work generated with the help of Taft grants should acknowledge the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center. Copies of such publications should be sent to the Chair of the Taft Executive Board.

   Should the visiting guest stay with a family member or a UC faculty member, the guest is eligible to receive up to $25 per day, reimbursed to the visitor, provided that a note of explanation is submitted at the time of the initial payment.