Collaborative Research Cluster Initiative


To promote the SHSU strategic goal of academic excellence, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) invites proposals to develop CHSS faculty-led interdisciplinary research clusters that build partnerships based on shared strengths of expertise to address industry or community needs and help leverage external funding for sustained research support. Bringing together faculty, graduate students, or external stakeholders from different disciplines for exchange and collaboration, the research clusters aim to encourage a broadened scope of scholarship that enhances the profile and competitiveness of CHSS faculty research.

Application Guidelines

All tenured and tenure-track CHSS faculty are eligible to apply as the PI of the proposed research cluster. Applications must include the following materials:

  • An application that includes the name of the research cluster, project title, name and contact information for the PI and Co-PI, cluster members’ names and affiliations, and a brief description of the project and its purpose;
  • A narrative (maximum 1000 words) that outlines the goals of the cluster, its proposed activities, and the background and expertise of the cluster members;
  • A short version of the PI’s and Co-PI’s CV(s) with a focus on key scholarly accomplishments;
  • A schedule/timetable of proposed activities and estimated budget

An application must be submitted through Microsoft Office Form titled “Collaborative Research Cluster -CHSS” by 5 p.m. on November 15, 2023.  Materials submitted after the deadline or that do not follow the stated guidelines will not be considered. A Review Committee will evaluate all the proposals and make recommendations to the CHSS Dean. All applicants will be notified in December 2023 when the selection process is concluded.

Selection criteria include:

  • The significance of the cluster for interdisciplinary research;
  • The clarity and achievability of the goals and measurable impacts of the proposed cluster with respect to SHSU strategic priorities;
  • The significance and viability of the proposed project;

Award Description

For the 2023-24 academic year, CHSS will award funding to a maximum of five research clusters on a competitive basis. Successful applications will receive $4,000 to support their cluster activities as seed funding to create opportunities for collaborative work, with a view toward the development of joint projects, publications, and/or grant applications.

Cluster activities include, but are not limited to, work-in-progress meetings, networking events, workshops, training sessions, and exploratory trips. Funding may be used for the following purposes: costs related to guest speaker(s) deemed necessary to advancing the cluster’s central project; costs related to the development of grant proposals for external funding; the purchase of research materials required for the advancement of the cluster’s project; research participants; and/or travel to a venue of relevance to the cluster’s research. A maximum of $400 may be spent on food/beverages. Research cluster expenditures must follow the SHSU guidelines related to purchases, procurement, and travel.

The PI will serve as the primary contact for funding-related communications. All funds must be spent by August 15, 2024. Any unused funds are returned to CHSS afterwards. The PI is responsible for submitting a final report to CHSS Dean’s Office by September 30, 2024, reviewing the outcomes of the events, activities, proposed project, and future plan.