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Ferrari Humanities Research Award

Overview and Eligibility

Gregory Heyworth and his team work on imaging Czech Holocaust Torah scrolls.
Associate Professor of English and Textual Science Gregory Heyworth and his team work on imaging Czech Holocaust Torah scrolls on loan from Syracuse's Temple Society of Concord.

Nominations are invited for the 2021 President’s Ferrari Humanities Research Award.

Endowed by University of Rochester Trustee Bernard T. Ferrari ’70, ’74M (MD) and his wife, Linda Gaddis Ferrari, the award promotes and supports humanities research by a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (AS&E) who is affiliated with the University’s Humanities Center.  

The award is in the amount of $25,000, which may be spent over two or three academic years.

The recipient of this annual award must demonstrate a creative research approach that either builds on a previous record of published work in peer-reviewed journals or books, or charts a direction that promises a new publication stream.

Nominations and Submission Guidelines

Pablo Sierra, assistant professor of history, points to a route African captives were transported along in colonial Mexico.
Pablo Sierra, assistant professor of history, points to a route African captives were transported along in colonial Mexico, including stops at a slave market in his hometown of Puebla de Los Angeles.

Self-nominations or nominations by department chairs and peers at the University of Rochester must be submitted by December 30, 2020.

Nomination materials should include:

  • A letter of support from the nominator. Individuals who nominate themselves can submit a letter of support from a colleague either at the University of Rochester or another academic institution. Nominees proposed by chairs or peers should not submit outside supporting letters.
  • A statement by the nominee of no more than three single-spaced pages explaining what research activities she or he intends to conduct. The statement should clearly describe the relationship of the proposed research activities to the nominee’s previous publications or new scholarly interests. Nominees should also highlight the creativity and intellectual contributions of their projects.
    • Because preference will be given to proposals for work that the nominee could not carry out without the funds the award provides, the statement should indicate why the Ferrari Award is essential to the nominee’s research agenda.
  • A timetable for using the funds if the research will extend beyond one year from the receipt of the award.
  • The nominee’s current CV.

To ensure that nominees have ample time to assemble the above materials, nominators should notify nominees that they are submitting their names for the award no later than December 1, 2020.

Email nominations and all supporting materials (in PDF format) to using the subject line: Ferrari Humanities Research Award.

Funding Details

Scan of a letter alongside its digital transcription.
A project to digitize the letters of the family of 19th-century statesman William Seward involves Rochester undergraduates as well as faculty and members of the community.

The awarded funds can be spent on:

  • Research materials
  • Data access
  • Digital work
  • Travel expenses incurred in connection with research

The funds may not be used for salary support in lieu of teaching. When summer salary support is required for the research to take place, however, up to 40 percent of the award may be used for that purpose, but only with the permission of the donors.

Nominees who wish to propose other expenditures should include them in their research statement; all such exceptions require the jury (see below) to consult with the donors. The award may fund two faculty members working on a joint project.

Award Selection

A jury consisting of the dean of the faculty of AS&E, the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and the director of the Humanities Center will review the nominations and recommend two awardees to the University’s president, who will decide the recipient of the Ferrari Award. 

The winner will be notified by March 1, 2021

The donors anticipate meeting the award winner as soon as is reasonably possible. All publications or presentations supported in part or whole by the award shall cite the Bernard T. and Linda G. Ferrari Humanities Fund.


Email with any questions, nominations, or submissions.