Faculty Research Project Awards

The Pozen Family Center for Human Rights supports research projects that allow University of Chicago faculty to explore critical dimensions of human rights thought and practice. The Pozen Center encourages collaborative work across disciplines and schools, and projects that draw students and the broader University community into the research work of faculty.

Projects can be from one to three years. They might include working group meetings, performances, workshops, conferences, and edited volumes. Alternatively, a project could operate as a laboratory designed to offer solutions to a particular human rights problem. The Pozen Center offers financial, strategic, and administrative support for these projects.

>>> Eligibility
>>> Application overview
>>> Narrative guidelines 
>>> Budget
>>> Review and selection process
>>> Pre-proposal consultation
>>> Award administration 
>>> 2020 Application


Proposals should come from teams of two or more University of Chicago faculty. They may be from the same discipline or unit in the University but the Pozen Center strongly encourages teams drawn from different disciplines or units.

Application Overview 

The Pozen Center provides for a range of funding for projects from $5,000 to $30,000 per year. Projects may be for a single year or multiple years, up to three years. Successful applicants may combine their award with other sources of funding from within and outside of the university.

Proposals must be submitted using the application form below. The application includes a project title, the names and CVs of the principal faculty sponsors, a 250-word abstract, a project narrative of no more than 10 pages (single spaced), and a budget.

Narrative Guidelines

The project narrative should provide an intellectual justification for the research project and describe a plan of work that will achieve the research objectives. The narrative should discuss: 

1) The major research question and how the project will advance the study of human rights thought and practice.

2) The need for collaborative research to address the research question.

3) A plan of work that outlines the initiatives that will be undertaken, their aims, and the methods that will shape them.

4) The anticipated results of the project, including how the results will be made available to broader scholarly communities.

5) Why support from the Pozen Center is important for the successful realization of the project. Please outline the type of financial, strategic, and administrative support needed from the Pozen Center for the project.

Awards may be used for basic collaborative research but projects must include provisions for how the broader University of Chicago community, including College and graduate students, can engage with the results of the project (for example, through workshops open to the university community).


The budget should include an itemized estimate of costs. Multi-year projects should include an itemized cost estimate for each year of the project activities. 

A brief budget narrative should be included to describe how estimates were calculated. All budgeted costs should be necessary in order to accomplish project objectives and reasonable in relation to the anticipated outcomes. If applicable, the budget narrative should include discussion (including amounts) of any funds already received and/or any applications pending from additional internal University or external funding sources.

Projects that include student research assistant(s) should consult with Pozen Center staff for hourly rates. Note: the proposal should clearly demonstrate how a research assistant position would contribute to the project’s research activities and/or assist in the management of the project.

These awards are not intended to provide funds for postdoctoral researchers, other professional (non-student) research assistance, or visiting scholars.

Support from the Pozen Center cannot be used by permanent University of Chicago faculty for course reduction, academic leave, or summer salary.

Pozen Center staff members are available to consult when estimating project costs. 

Review and Selection Process

The Faculty Director, Executive Director, and members of the Pozen Center Faculty Board will evaluate the proposals using the following criteria:

1) Originality and intellectual significance of the proposed project, and the importance of collaborative research to it

2) How the project advances the Pozen Center’s goals of catalyzing new approaches to the thought and practice of human rights

3) Quality of the design of project activities and the likelihood that they will lead to the successful realization of the project

4) Reasonableness of costs in relation to anticipated results

5) Whether support from the Pozen Center will make a clear and distinct impact on the larger aims of the project

Pre-Proposal Consultation

Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with the Pozen Center about the content and format of the proposal. Please contact Mark Bradley to arrange a consultation.

Award Administration

The Pozen Center provides comprehensive support throughout the life cycle of these awards, from early conceptual stages and pre-proposal consultation, through project implementation, to planning for further development. Support can include financial administration, assistance planning, and managing logistics for research activities and project communications.

Award notices will be sent before the end of Winter Quarter. Awarded projects must sign a project agreement, which outlines terms of administration, planning, and communications. Projects must submit a report assessing the project’s success and impact in July, following each year of funding.

2020 Application

The 2020 application is not yet available.