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Application Process

The Rackham Graduate School sponsors an ongoing program of interdisciplinary workshops, which is overseen by Associate Dean Arthur Verhoogt. This program has two goals. First, it is designed to encourage exchange and collaboration among graduate students, faculty, postdocs, and staff who share intellectual interests but do not necessarily have an easily available forum in common because they have different academic affiliations. Second, it is designed to help advanced doctoral students form working groups that support the development of research projects and dissertation-writing.

Proposals may be submitted at either of two deadlines, July 21 or January 4, through the application system. Proposals submitted in January should not exceed $1,000 for the remainder of the academic year. Applications must include the following:

  • Topic Statement (500 words or less)
  • Planned Activities which must include:
    • Opportunities for students to receive feedback on their written work
  • Proposed Budget (review the Funding section before preparing budget)
  • List of Participants and their academic programs
  • Abbreviated CVs (no more than two to three pages for each person) of the graduate student coordinator(s) and faculty sponsor(s)
  • Designated coordinator or co-coordinators (a student may be a coordinator for only one RIW). Submit Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop Proposal

Review Process and Criteria

Proposals are reviewed by the Associate Deans at Rackham, in consultation with other faculty members and administrators as needed. If there are more applications that clearly fulfill the goals of the program than can be funded, the groups selected will be those that seem most likely to make a substantial contribution to the progress of the participating graduate students, and contribute to the development of innovative interdisciplinary dialogue.


A proposed budget must be submitted as part of the application. Please use the Excel template when preparing your budget proposal and year-end report. The limit for annual funding in this program is $2,000 for groups applying in July and $1,000 for groups applying in January, but groups should only apply for funds necessary for the functions of their Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop.

After a new Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop is approved, a Project Grant specific to the workshop needs to be created by the group administrator. The Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop account will run a deficit and funds will be distributed upon submission of the year-end report.

Appropriate Expenses

  • Student stipends (up to $1,500)
  • Research contributions for their faculty sponsor(s) (up to $500)

Discontinued Expenses for 2020-2021 Academic Year:

  • Travel
  • Food
  • Honoraria for speakers
  • Books or writing materials

Department Administrative Support Expenses Discontinued

Department Administrative Support expenses were discontinued at the end of the 2015–16 academic year and are no longer considered an appropriate expense.

Graduate Student Coordinator Stipends & Faculty Sponsor Payments

A stipend of up to $1,500 per year for the graduate student coordinator or coordinators is required. This amount is shared if there is more than one coordinator ($500 minimum, $1,500 maximum).

A research account contribution of $500 for a faculty sponsor (or split between two faculty sponsors) is suggested ($0 minimum, $500 maximum, or $250 maximum if operating in winter semester only).