Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants (DCEG) for departments and programs

Deadline: 22 November 2019

In 2018, The Graduate Center, CUNY received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation focused on transforming doctoral education in the humanities for the public good. As part of this initiative, the PublicsLab will be distributing annual Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants (DCEGs).

In the 2019–2020 academic year, four $8,000 DCEGs will be given to support the development and implementation of new curricular methods and strategies that approach the following question: How can our program support graduate students in doing public scholarship and preparing for careers both inside and outside the academy?

Who is eligible to apply?

In order to apply for a DCEG, doctoral programs must furnish a team of at least 2-3 people, including at least one graduate student and one faculty member. At least one team member should have attended the day-long workshop on “Reimagining Doctoral Curriculum for the Public Good” on Friday, 20 September 2019.

If you did not attend the workshop and wish to apply for a grant, please contact PublicsLab director Stacy Hartman at

What sorts of curricular changes or activities might be funded?

Proposed new courses or other curricular changes must actively respond to students’ intellectual and professional needs and prepare them for a variety of careers. Possible approaches include but are not limited to:

  • Reconceiving the dissertation and exploring alternative dissertation formats that take into consideration new technologies and multiple career tracks, building on major advancements made by GC Digital Initiatives and the Futures Initiative
  • Restructuring examinations so that they align with professionalization activities and open career options for students (as, for example, the English department has done with its first exam) 
  • Integrating preparation for non-faculty positions for all students from Day 1 so that they understand that training for R-1 research jobs is not exclusive of training for other professions
  • Incentivizing interdisciplinary clusters of programs to share courses in subjects as diverse as data analysis, archival studies, and public scholarship
  • Modifying existing introductory courses by creating career / professional development modules to be blended with conventional and new methods research training
  • Including visits by lecturers with PhDs that have non-academic careers in introductory courses in doctoral studies and on dissertation committees

Examples of activities that a successful application for a DCEG may include but are not limited to:

  • Bringing in outside experts to speak with faculty or students (for your own department or in collaboration with others)
  • Attending a conference with an emphasis on professional development for graduate students or the public humanities (examples: the Graduate Career Consortium, the National Humanities Conference, Modern Language Association, American Historical Association, National Association of Practicing Anthropologists) 
  • Hosting a series of structured discussions or focus groups with graduate students
  • Providing course buyouts for faculty members (limited)
  • Funding a student coordinator or stipend for a graduate student to serve on the committee
  • Technology that is essential to implement your proposal and/or support any curricular changes

Please note any funds that will be provided by your department. The PublicsLab encourages the matching of funds, especially for faculty course releases.


Proposed activities may start as early as Spring 2020 and must be completed by June 2021. A summary of lessons learned with findings, conclusions, evaluations, and suggested further changes should be submitted to the PublicsLab no later than July 2021.

Application Process

  • Review above information about the Doctoral Curriculum Enhance Grants.
  • Complete the application form. The following items will need to be identified:
    • Name of project lead(s)
    • Email address(es) of project lead(s)
    • Names, email addresses, and status (e.g. faculty, grad student, staff) of additional team members
    • Your department
    • Grant narrative (no more than 1,500 words)
    • Grant budget (sample budget template can be found here)
  • Applications are due no later than 22 November 2019.

Please direct any questions about the DCEG process to Dr. Stacy Hartman, Director of the PublicsLab, at