Scientia Small Conference Grants

Proposal timeline:

  • Proposals are due by March 15, 2019
  • Selection will be announced April 5, 2019

Fund information:

Scientia, an Institute for Science and Culture, has been sponsoring lecture series and conferences that engage a broad range of disciplines since its founding in 1982. Our mission is to nurture a broadly cross/multi/interdisciplinary space for exploration of the intersections of science and culture. The purpose of our small conference program is to foster discussions, interactions, and a research agenda that operates at the interface between and among disciplines and offers potential to stimulate innovation/transformation in existing disciplinary understandings, concepts, paradigms, and practice.

We invite proposals from multidisciplinary groups of at least three faculty members for a conference or workshop. Proposals that bring together natural science/engineering disciplines and humanistic disciplines (including Architecture and Music) and/or social science disciplines are of particular interest. Partnerships with other individuals or organizations outside Rice will also be welcome. Funds of up to $35,000 are available for the conference; in addition, Scientia will provide some administrative and organizational support. During the grant period (not to exceed two years), organizers will be recognized as Fellows of Scientia. Funds may be used for pre-conference planning meetings, conference/workshop costs including Webcasting, and postconference/workshop follow-up, including publication and public outreach.

How to Apply:

Proposals of no more than five pages should include:

  • Names, affiliations, and relevant interests of faculty organizers. Faculty from other local institutions may be included, but the coordinators must be Rice faculty.
  • Brief discussion of the topic and its significance with emphasis on the following:
    • Innovation. Does this topic represent a novel multidisciplinary interface? Does it have the potential to advance significantly an existing multidisciplinary approach or to stimulate disciplinary innovation?
    • Potential impact. How will the conversations and conference planning during the Fellowship period further the development of research interests and collaborations on campus and regionally? How will this process and conference impact the wider research community in the field?
  • Brief outline of a likely conference topic and estimated budget outline (not to exceed $35,000) with a list of potential external and Rice participants and a sentence indicating the proposed role for each person. Links to appropriate webpages can be included. The conference description should aim to illustrate the topic’s potential. Additional development of the conference topic may continue during the initial months of the grant period.

Please submit proposals to by March 15, 2019.

Questions may be addressed to Rick Wilson, Scientia Director (