Call for Proposals

The Digital Humanities Working Group is accepting proposals for Mellon Summer Research Grants. Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty working with Mellon Summer Student Researcher(s) on a digital humanities-based research project are eligible for funding through this program. Current full-time visitors who have been here at least one year and who have an institutional commitment for continued full-time employment for at least one year beyond the grant period may apply for a Mellon Summer Research Grant. These applications will be considered if there are funds remaining when all of the tenured and tenure-track faculty applications have been decided.

Please contact the Digital Humanities Action Team at for an initial consultation. All applicants must meet with the DHAT prior to submission. Application deadline: January 27, 2017.

Eligible Projects:

Digital humanities projects that employ student researcher(s) are eligible. Approved projects will be awarded a stipend of up to $5500, with an expected time frame of eight summer weeks, and are eligible for reimbursable expenses up to $2000 for economy travel, meals, and living expenses for work outside Rockbridge County (see reimbursement policies, forms and mileage allowance). An applicant may elect to apply for expense funding in excess of $2000 with concomitant reduction in the $5500 stipend amount, but the total award cannot exceed the sum of $2000 and $5500 ($7500). Also, the stipend portion can never exceed $5500.

All awardees shall employ a minimum of one and a maximum of two student researchers. Student researchers are expected to work ten summer weeks and will be awarded a stipend grant of $4000.

Expense funding may not cover any of the following items: equipment, capital improvements to any physical spaces or facilities; computer software; copying; preparation of lectures or other classroom materials; University administrative expenses of any sort.

Proposals that are not awarded are automatically considered for a Lenfest Summer Research Grant at the Lenfest rate. Student researchers will also automatically be considered for the standard Summer Research Scholars Program.


Proposals must be submitted using the online form below. The online form requires the following format:

  1. Project title(s), dates, and location
  2. Project summary (submit as a Word document or PDF, 2 pages maximum) shall describe
    (a) Its purpose,
    (b) How it will be carried out with special attention to the incorporation of student researcher(s),
    (c) Any special material or assistance required,
    (d) The expected end product, and
    (e) How this will contribute to your growth as a teacher-scholar and to your field(s) of research.
  3. Budget information: any external funding sought; type and amount of Mellon Summer Research funding (stipend, expenses) requested; details of expenses; total amount of grant.
  4. Summary of your Lenfest Summer Research funding over the past five years, including scholarly products resulting from this past funding. Note especially any previous funding for the current project proposed and progress to date from that funding if this project continues. Please also summarize any Digital Humanities funding you received from W&L.

Applications will be judged based on the following:

  1. Is the application complete and understandable?
  2. Is the project meritorious, feasible and potentially productive?
  3. Has the applicant made productive use of recent Lenfest and/or DH funding?


Apply through the standard Lenfest Grant application. Be sure to check the box stating “Please consider this for a Mellon DH Summer Research Grant.”

Your application will be automatically submitted to your department head for endorsement. (This indicates that the applicant’s proposed activities can be accommodated, are consistent with the applicant’s ongoing plan for professional development, and are likely to meet the stated goals.) The department head will review and forward the application to the relevant dean or return to the applicant for further information. The dean will then review and forward to the Digital Humanities Working Group for consideration or return to the applicant for further information. If the application is not funded through the Mellon DH Summer Research program, it will then be forwarded to the Provost with the recommendation that it be considered for a standard Lenfest faculty summer research grant.

Report of Research Results:

Every Mellon Summer Research Grant recipient must submit, no later than the second Monday in October, a report of research results that will be posted on DH@WLU – the website of the Digital Humanities Working Group. The report may vary according to the nature of the project but in general should be in summary narrative form and one to two pages in length. It should include the period of work, the location of the project, the extent to which the original plan was followed, and most importantly whether the goals were met in relation to the proposal. References to publications or other work products resulting from the award should be listed. If the project goals were not met, a statement of progress should be included that is definitive enough to enable the reader to judge the extent and quality of the work done.

If the award included an amount for expenses, a separate short report should include an itemized account of how it was used.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

2017 Mellon Summer Research Grant Recipients

  • Clover Archer
  • George Bent
  • Gavin Fox
  • Drew Hess
  • Megan Hess
  • Sarah Horowitz

Student Recipients:

  • Arlette Hernandez ’18 (working with Chris Gavalar)
  • Nathan Brewer ’19 and Skylar Prichard ’19 (working with Rebecca Benefiel)

2016 Mellon Summer Research Grant Recipients

  • Rebecca Benefiel
  • Hank Dobin
  • Sarah Horowitz
  • Barton Myers

2015 Summer Research Scholars

  • Mapping the Literary Railway – Paul Youngman, Professor of German, was assisted by two student research scholars: Ulemj (Lenny) Enkhbold ’17 and Lizzy Stanton ’17. In addition to mapping the railway trips featured in 19th century German realist novels, they accompanied a team to the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship at Hamilton College.
  • Ancient Graffiti Project – Rebecca Benefiel (Associate Professor of Classics) and Sara Sprenkle (Associate Professor of Computer Science) were assisted by two student research scholars.
  • Huon d’Auvergne Digital Edition – Stephen P. McCormick, Assistant Professor of French, was assisted by one student research scholar: Natsumi Alvarez ’15. She encoded portions of the Huon d’Auvergne manuscript using the TEI and developed encoding guidelines.