Research Groups

The Taft Research Center sponsors open, interdisciplinary research groups that bring together a wide array of experiences to focus on complex, cutting-edge issues in Taft fields. In the past, these groups have focused on themes including visual studies, medical humanities, human rights, urban and public humanities, global studies, and digital humanities. Each of these groups includes primarily field experts and graduate students, but all are welcome to join and engage in the activities of the group.  

We request proposals from groups of faculty dedicated to a group theme, as a way to open the competition to new groups/themes and revitalize the research group program.  

Successful proposals will receive $3,000 in the first year and will be renewable for up to three years. Additional funding of up to a total of $5,000 per group per year may be requested, pending availability. They must: 

  • Be interdisciplinary
  • Be collaborative
  • Demonstrate potential public impact (e.g., addressing publics in and beyond UC, potential for leveraging external funding, among other possibilities
  • Include a budget and timeline of possible activities
  • Work toward a final product (e.g., edited volume; research result dissemination into public discourse via, for example, op-eds, social media platforms; other activities that promote dialogue within and/or beyond the proposed research group).
  • Commit to:
    • Including participants from at least three departments, at least two of which must be from Taft departments
    • Holding regular, open meetings at Taft Research Center at least once per semester
    • Providing an annual report summarizing group activities by April
  • To qualify for renewal, groups much provide evidence of advancing the collaborative projects and research goals

The goal of these groups is to go beyond what is supported by other Taft award categories (e.g., groups cannot only organize lectures). Additionally, these research groups are not intended to be funding bodies but rather interdisciplinary research groups that work together collaboratively to decide upon group activities. The Taft Research Group review committee will prioritize groups that propose deliverables.

The review process will be overseen by an ad hoc Taft Research Group Review Committee. Please address your brief proposal (no longer than two single-spaced pages) to the Taft Research Group review committee chair, Dr. Sarah Jackson, at Applications will be accepted starting each January, through March.

Please direct any questions to Taft Center Director & Faculty Chair Dr. Amy Lind ( or Taft Program Manager Sean Keating (

Sarah Jackson, Anthropology, Committee Chair
Tia Gaynor, Political Science
Amy Lind, Taft/Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Sunnie Rucker-Chang, German Studies
Jay Twomey, English & Comparative Literature



Research Groups

  • Algorithms, Simulations, Platforms

  • Transnational Cultural Studies

  • Health Humanities

  • Social Justice