Frequently Asked Questions

Terms & Definitions

What is a grand-challenge question?

Please see our description of grand-challenge questions here.

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How do you define the humanities?

The UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere uses a definition adapted from the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 as the basis for determining the eligibility of proposed projects: “The humanities include, but are not limited to, the following fields: history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, archeology, jurisprudence, history and criticism of the arts, ethics, comparative religion, and those aspects of the social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches. This last category includes social and cultural anthropology, sociology, political theory, international relations, and other subjects concerned with questions of value.”

Put simply, the humanities allow us to explore the question: what does it mean to be human? They include efforts to understand, evaluate, and communicate human experiences, values, and aspirations to improve the human condition. Through comparative and global study, humanities scholars foster in students and communities a critical concern for civic and moral responsibility. While the humanities have traditionally flourished in the disciplines of history, philosophy, literatures, and languages, they inform every inquisitive endeavor.

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Application & Eligibility

Can one faculty or staff member be a core member of two Intersections grant proposals?

Unfortunately, no. Each applicant group must include a discrete set of 5-7 core group members. Certainly applicant groups are welcome to collaborate with each other, and with faculty and staff beyond the 5-7 core members, but to avoid a situation in which a single person is over-committed we ask that they commit to a single group only.

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Can two groups work collaborate with each other?

Yes, accepted Intersections groups can collaborate. However, we advise groups that apply for the Intersection Research-into-Teaching Grant to create an original and pertinent grand-challenge question with a distinct profile. As the Humanities Center desires to fund a range of grand-challenge questions, groups with similar topics may risk competing with each other in the proposal review process.

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Can a group include members of one unit only, if those members have different co-affiliations, and how do you count joint appointments?

The groups need to include members from at least three different units, and faculty members in joint appointments may only count one of their two affiliations towards their membership in a group. If a unit, for example an interdisciplinary Center, includes members with dual affiliations, members of that unit may put forward a proposal including several of their faculty members in which each faculty member counts their “other” affiliation. While this is permissible, we encourage faculty members to move beyond the familiar interdisciplinary research connections and explore new avenues for collaboration.

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Can Intersections Groups include members from STEM, IFAS Extension, or colleges outside of CLAS? Are groups required to include members from non-humanities fields?

Groups may include members from units and disciplines outside of traditional humanities departments and outside of CLAS but they are not required to do so. We also encourage groups to include members from the UF museums and libraries.

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Can adjunct instructors or community members be part of a group application?

Adjunct instructors and community members not employed by UF cannot be part of the Intersections Research-into-Teaching grant application or participate as listed members of the Intersections Group. However, Intersections Groups are welcome to collaborate with community members and other scholars as suits their interests, including engaging in public humanities projects.

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Can I apply for other grants and fellowships from the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere in tandem with preparing a proposal for, or while a part of, an Intersections Research-into-Teaching grant?

Faculty members interested or participating in Intersections Groups are eligible to apply for the entire suit of grants at the Humanities Center. In deciding about awarding grants, the Center’s Advisory Board has the liberty take into account grant applicants’ previous or simultaneous applications or awards through the Center. Faculty interested in an Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching in the Humanities grant from the Humanities Center should keep in mind the different instructional levels of the courses and keep their collaborators in the Intersections Group informed.

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Can I apply for an Intersections Research-into-Teaching grant, if I am already accepted to teach in UF Quest1? And, conversely, can I apply to teach a different course for Quest, if I am part of a group that has been awarded an Intersections Research-into-Teaching grant?

Faculty members are eligible to submit other teaching proposals to Quest at any time. When considering additional courses in Quest, they should keep in mind the different instructional levels of the courses and keep their collaborators in the Intersections Group informed.

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What is the responsibility of the convener, the co-convener, and the group members?

The convener serves as the grant PI and the co-convener as the grant Co-PI. The convener has ultimate fiscal responsibility, and is also responsible that the deliverables are met by their deadline. The convener and co-convener must participate in a required convener training and ensure that the Intersection Group meets regularly according to the plan outlined in the group’s application. They also deliver the yearly report on time. The Center for the Humanities offers support for budgeting, meeting facilitation, and course processes, and assistance with budgets, finances, organizing, and scheduling meetings and events.

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Do the funds have to be spent evenly across the two-year award period?

No. Groups can expend their grant funds as needed over the two-year period, but the Center strongly encourages groups not to wait for the last semester to spend substantial sums of the award-money.

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Does the group need approval from the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere before a group spends funds? How are funds for expenses disbursed?

If the expenditures adhere to the budget of the grant proposal, they do not need approval from the Humanities Center. If the budget changes, groups should submit a revised proposal for consideration by the Center. The Humanities Center staff will work on behalf of the group members with CLAS Shared Services to process receipts, including for advanced purchases. Training about reimbursement will be included in the convener training. Although the convener has ultimate fiscal responsibility, all decision about expenditures should be made by the group collectively in an agreed-upon process.

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Graduate Student Funding

What are the conditions for the distribution of the graduate student funds, and how will they be distributed?

The aim of the funds for graduate students is to support graduate student research that is related to the group’s grand-challenge question. The students will apply in the 2018-19 academic year for research funds to be expended in the 2019-20 academic year. We will announce details of this graduate student funding opportunity after the Intersection Groups are awarded.

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UF Quest

Group Dynamics and Chair’s Approval: How does a group decide who then gets to teach the course? Does the group have to prepare a syllabus or is the individual faculty members who volunteers to teach the Quest course responsible for syllabus? How long in advance do faculty member need to get approval from their chairs to teach in Quest?

Each group has to negotiate whether the group as a whole creates one shared syllabus that will remain consistent regarding all readings and assignments; or a hybrid syllabus, in which the group decides core readings and assignments but certain modules are open to variation by individual faculty members who will be teaching the class; or whether the group leaves the actual syllabus open to the faculty member teaching the course as long as the particular readings and requirements are consistent with the proposal. It is in the best interests of the groups to discuss the process and the vision as early as possible. Faculty members should discuss and get approval from the department chairs to teach for Quest at the time that they submit their teaching requests.

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Course Approval for Quest and UCC: What is the process of course approval for Quest and UCC? Is the group responsible for submitting the course proposal to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee? Will there be an additional deadline in Spring Semester 2019 that a group will have to meet? Does the course proposal have to go through the state-wide curriculum process?

Each Intersection Group is required to submit a course proposal for UF Quest 1 that addresses the group’s grand-challenge question following the required Quest format. The courses will undergo UCC approval once the instructors are ready, possibly after piloting the course over a couple of semesters. After the UCC approval, the General Education Committee needs to evaluate and approve the course for Humanities and any other requested designation (e.g. Writing, International or Diversity).

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Teaching in Quest – Opportunities and Requirements: Are group members required to teach their proposed UF Quest 1 course? Can more than one group member teach a Quest course in the same semester or consecutively and may faculty members co-teach? Can a group propose courses beyond UF Quest 1? Can a Quest Intersections course include an honors section? Will a group determine the size of their proposed Quest course?

The Intersection Group is required to submit a proposal for UF Quest 1. More than one group member can teach in Quest per semester, if the student need is sufficient and individual faculty members have received permission from their Chairs. They may teach two sections of the same course, if student demand justifies multiple section. Faculty members may co-teach based on agreements with their chairs and the Quest curriculum committee taking into account the course’s anticipated enrollment. A group may propose a Quest course for each year; developing a course thread from Year 1 (Engagement with Essential Questions from the Humanities) and Year 2 (Engagement with Pressing Questions in the Natural and Social Sciences), to an internship and study-abroad for Year 3, and a capstone course for year 4 around the grand-challenge question might be of particular interest to an interdisciplinary Intersections Group. Group members should keep in mind that the full roll-out of Quest Year 2, 3, and 4 will occur in 2021, 2022, and 2023 respectively. A Quest Intersections Course can include an honors sections coordinated with the Honors College and fulfilling their minimum enrollment requirement. In general, the Intersection group may select the cap on enrollment in their proposed Quest course

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