UTM / Jackman Humanities Institute Annual Seminar

Updated: January 2024 

Program Purpose:

The aim of the UTM / JHI Annual Seminar is to create an intellectual community that vigorously addresses a topic of scholarly importance, and which includes a public humanities component. For one academic year, the Jackman Humanities Institute and University of Toronto Mississauga will support a focused series of activities to be led by a UTM faculty member.

While the shape of the seminar’s activities is open, past applications have proposed a series of monthly workshops over the course of the academic year, with some complementary public programming, described below. Past seminar themes have focused on topics such as “Mediating Race, Reimagining Geopolitics,” “Dealing with Fragmentary Evidence from Greco-Roman Antiquity,” “Culture and Critique in South Asia,” and “Digital and Mixed Reality Performance.”

Eligibility Guidelines:

To be eligible for these funds, the lead applicant must be a full-time UTM faculty member in the humanities or interpretive social sciences (tenure or teaching stream). 

Successful applicants will be eligible to reapply for funding 24 months following the competition deadline in which they were successful.


While the seminar must be convened by a UTM faculty member, we encourage faculty leads to develop a seminar group that is drawn from other divisions and disciplines from within the University of Toronto, as well as researchers from other institutions, whether university or community based. Contributors may include graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and we encourage involving advanced UTM undergraduates in the work of the seminar. The seminar may be interdisciplinary in nature, to fully explore the chosen theme or problem, but it need not be.

The seminar will organize at least two public events relating to its activity: a Distinguished Lecture and one other activity, such as a reading, symposium, screening, exhibition, roundtable, performance, etc. We encourage the use of the Collaborative Digital Research Space (CDRS) for seminar activities and encourage collaboration with our Senior Research Associate for CDRS in developing programming.

The UTM campus will be the host site of the Seminar activity, including the Distinguished Lecture, but some events may be held at other locations or online if appropriate.

As this is a seminar, it is not required that applicants produce specific research outcomes as a condition of funding. That said, we encourage applicants to consider how this grant fits into a larger research program that might yield scholarly and funding results, including collaboratively written articles, special issues, or grant applications to (for example) SSHRC’s Connection or PDG program. That said, this is not an expectation for this opportunity.

One Annual Seminar will be sponsored each academic year. An itemized budget proposal, up to $15,000, must accompany the application. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of arms-length colleagues and the Director (or delegate) of the Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI). Participation in a UTM-JHI joint program does not preclude UTM faculty from participating in other JHI programs.

Post-Award Details:

Final Report: Recipients must submit a 3-page final report describing what was accomplished, and how the funds were expended, to the OVPR by June 1 of the fellowship year. Failure to submit a final report could result in funds being withheld in a subsequent internal competition for which you are applying.

Acknowledgment: The UTM affiliation of researchers and support from the OVPR and the Jackman Humanities Institute should be acknowledged in any event publicity and research outputs arising from this award.

Unspent Funds: Unspent funds cannot be carried over into the next academic year and must be returned to UTM/JHI.

How to Apply:

A complete application package includes the following material:

  1. Completed Cover Sheet
  2. Proposal: 4 pages maximum (single space, 12pt New Times Roman), in clear non-specialist language, under these headings:
    Title of Seminar
    Description of Research and Scholarly Activity to be undertaken by the seminar. Discuss the focus for the seminar, including a discussion of the topic’s importance and research questions. Situate your description in relationship to relevant scholarly literature and/or emerging developments in creative or community praxis. Explain what public humanities endeavors your seminar will include, and how they relate to the seminar’s research focus. Describe how often the seminar will meet, and how your discussions will be organized, and how the seminar will be organized and convened. Provide a timetable of events and activities for the year.
  3. List of Participants in the planning group and their affiliations, which can include anticipated participants (1 additional page maximum for the participant table) with the following columns:
    ·  Name
    ·  Affiliation: Division and Unit of Undergraduate Appointment
    ·  Role: Faculty/Postdoc/Grad Student/Undergraduate
  4. Itemized budget and justification (additional 1 page maximum).

Please submit proposals in one SINGLE PDF to funding.ovprutm@utoronto.ca by Friday, April 26, 2024.

Notifications of award will be made in June and the funding period will be from July 1-June 30. 



Please contact Rong Wu (rong.wu@utoronto.ca) if you have any questions. 


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How much financial support is available?
A: The award for the Seminar is $15,000

Q: What is a Seminar? 
A: A Seminar is a group of researchers who will meet at least monthly for a year at UTM on a chosen research topic in the humanities and/or qualitative social sciences. They should plan for at least two public events at UTM: a Distinguished Lecture, and one other, such as a reading, screening, exhibition, roundtable, performance, etc. The group can include researchers at all levels: faculty, instructor, postdoctoral fellow, graduate, and undergraduate students, and across multiple disciplines. Connections within the community and with other universities in the area are encouraged.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: Any full-time UTM faculty member in the humanities or interpretive social sciences who holds their appointment in the teaching or tenure stream may apply.

Q: How long does the grant last?  Can it be extended or postponed?
A: The grant is for the 12-month period from 1 July to 30 June. It may be extended or postponed upon request to the Office of the VP-Research at UTM.

Q: What about locations? Where does this take place?
A: The UTM campus will be the host site of the Seminar activity, including the Distinguished Lecture, but some events may be held at other locations or online if appropriate. We encourage colleagues to make use of the Collaborative Digital Research Space (CDRS), located in the Maanjiwe nendamowinan (MN) building, 3rd floor when seeking on campus space at UTM. Please consider connecting with the Senior Research Associate who curates this space; they can be reached at cdrs.admin@utoronto.ca

Q: What kinds of expenses can I use this funding for?
A: There are very few restrictions for events to be held at UTM. Examples of fundable expenses include:

  • Honoraria, travel costs, accommodations, and per diem food for visiting speakers
  • Catering for receptions and events
  • Webinar costs for large online events
  • Shuttle bus tickets or booking for private transportation to and from UTM
  • Books and other reading materials for student members of the Seminar
  • RA costs for administrative support
  • Tour ticket costs to view related exhibitions, shows, etc.
  • Costs for recording and media management
  • Artist fees and/or performance related costs

Q: What kinds of support will be available at UTM?
A: Support is available in many ways, including:

  • Additional funding for Seminar costs that may go beyond the $15,000 grant through the Office of the VP-Research
  • Technical support for recording and transmission of online events
  • Space support for booking appropriate event locations at UTM
  • Administrative support for communicating public event-related information

Q: Can I combine UTM/JHI Seminar funding with funding from other sources to support a larger research endeavour?
A: Absolutely!  As long as your JHI/UTM Seminar funds support activity at UTM, you are welcome to build something bigger.

Q: If I have previously been a successful applicant for a Seminar, may I apply again?
A: You may apply again if 24 months have passed since the deadline of your last successful application (i.e., you must skip one year before your next Seminar can begin). You can apply to continue with the topic of your last Seminar or propose a Seminar on a new topic.

Q: What kinds of outcomes are anticipated after a UTM/JHI Seminar?
A: There is no requirement to produce publications, major grant applications, or new courses, but any or all of these would be welcome. Previous Seminars have resulted in the development of a new EDU, and of a new program at departmental level, in addition to many professional publications. The flexibility of this program’s design encourages organic growth in directions that reflect the needs of the scholarly and public communities involved.

Q: What is the recommended size of a leadership team?
A: It varies. The smallest one was a single individual, and the largest have included 9-10 members from the UTM faculty and staff. It is easier to manage a Seminar with a committed group of people who can distribute the labour. We recommend a team of at least 3-4 faculty members.

Q: This seems like a big undertaking, and I know that it can be difficult to get people to attend events at UTM. Can you offer any advice about this?
A: Think big: spend the money for major speakers and events and make full use of UTM’s capacities for communications and hospitality. Consider scheduling events on weekdays in the middle of the day when more people will be on campus. Coordinate with instructors of relevant classes and invite your own students. Build momentum and a recognizable name for your work.

Q: Where can I get more information?
A: Full information including application instructions is available at


Click here to view past recipients and projects.