Funding: AHI Seed Grants

African Heritage Initiative (AHI) 
Seed Grants for Collaborative Research Projects

AHI Seed Grant Description and Application Process - Download Form

Overview of Grant Opportunity

The African Heritage Initiative (AHI) of the African Studies Center is making research funds available to support collaborative research projects. The expected seed funding award will be between $5,000 and $10,000. We plan to offer two or three awards for work being undertaken in summertime 2015 and in SY2015-16.

Eligibility: These grants are intended to support scholarship produced by the University of Michigan's faculty in the arts, humanities and interpretive social sciences whose work illuminates the dynamic, contested process by which African cultures and histories are made. We aim to encourage the development of overlapping, intersecting research projects that bring African scholars into close conversation with U-M researchers.

Award Amount: Between $5,000 to $10,000

Example of Past Projects: We have over the past several years supported a range of projects, such as:

  • A collaborative study of opera in South Africa involving faculty at U-M and at the University of Witwatersrand
  • Joint research on the heritage market in post-genocide Rwanda involving a U-M historian and a political scientist at the National University of Rwanda
  • A museum exhibition in Kano, Nigeria displaying cloth manufactured in the city's old textile factory jointly curated by U-M and Nigerian scholars

In these and in other grants our aim is to create a framework within which UM scholars can develop relationships with African scholars. The hope is that these seed grants will incubate work that can attract larger amounts of funding.


  • Applicants must be full-time members of the U-M faculty
  • Project builds upon existing scholarship, demonstrates originality and innovation, and offers notable academic value
  • Project deepens collaborative partnerships with African counterparts
  • Scope of work is reasonable for 12 to 18 months
  • Project has potential for future expansion / scale up.

Proposal Due Date: February 20

Notice of Award: March 30

Disbursement of Funds: April 30

Recommended Program Elements: 

  • Application cover sheet (download)
  • Maximum 2-page description of the project must address: 
    • Context of work 
    • Specific activities proposed for funding 
    • Rationale, noting originality and significance of the work 
    • Partnerships (if any), and expected role of listed parties 
    • Plan for continuation of the proposed project
  • Budget (max 1 page), distinguishing travel, salary, supplies/equipment, other
  • A list of any funding requests under review for the same project
  • Timeline 
  • CV(s) of the Applicant, listed partners, and students proposed for funding

Submission Instructions: All application material should be emailed to as a single PDF. The PDF file name and email subject line MUST be labeled “HERITAGE SEED GRANT_[YOUR LAST NAME]”.