Cities in Historical Perspective Grants

Deadline: September 25, 2023

The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity to support public-facing historical projects related to the theme of “Cities in Historical Perspective.”

The Center will fund up to five projects that creatively illustrate how historical study can further public understanding of cities in the present moment by creatively engaging with the broad range of questions, concerns, policies and practices raised by the study of the role of cities in history, and how historical study can further public understanding of the present moment.

This theme could encompass any number of historical topics, connecting subject matter or data points across time and space. Examples include the effects of urbanization on notions of community in a given country, or the effects of urbanization on ecology in a given region; cities as warzones across the Cold War; cities and immigration; political culture; caste, class, race, and gender in the history of a city or multiple cities. This is by no means an exhaustive list, merely examples about the flexibility inherent in the theme. What is most important is historical focus and methodology.

The Center seeks submissions from a diverse pool of applicants that are original and imaginative in content and form. The Center is always interested in funding proposals that adopt a global approach and highlight issues of class, gender, race,  activism, corporate influence and political power. We strongly encourage members of minority and underrepresented populations to apply.

About the Grants

Grants in the amount of up to $5,000 (depending on scope, size and need) will be awarded to projects that promote historical research, scholarship, teaching and public dialogue about historical perspectives on cities.

Our goal is to provide seed money and/or to help advance a project from conception to execution. The Center is, therefore, willing to support work that may require initial funding to get off the ground.

Project outcomes include: a series of blog posts or podcasts, digital and in-person exhibits, an oral history archive, a series of op-eds, a mapping project, an educational workshop, a multimedia resource, a collaboration with local environmental organizations and other creative ideas. 

Application and Selection Process

Applications are due to the Lepage Center by 11:59 p.m. EST on September 25, 2023. Applications should be emailed as a single attachment (PDF) to and should not exceed 15 pages.  

Applications must include:

  • A title 
  • A project abstract (250 words)
  • A project description, purpose, and its contribution to history in the public interest (1-2 pages)
  • A plan of execution, including deliverables, partners, and expected outcomes (1-2 pages)
  • A proposed budget (1 page)
  • Resumes of principal participants (the total of resumes not to exceed 10 pages)

In evaluating applications, the Lepage Center will consider:

  • The track record of the applicant(s);
  • The importance of the project goals, the originality of the method and perspective, and the fit and relevance to the Center’s mission;
  • The feasibility of the proposal;
  • The capacity of the project to shed light on current events;
  • The articulation of an approach to historical thinking about the past that meets disciplinary standards and perspectives

Proposals will be reviewed by an internal committee with award decisions to be made by October 1, 2023.

A one-time disbursement of funds will occur in Fall 2023. 


Proposals are limited to scholars, researchers, historical institutions and nonprofit organizations in the United States. Global perspectives and transnational partnerships are encouraged.

While not limited to professional historians or history institutions, proposals that feature historians and demonstrate an approach to studying the past that broadly fits disciplinary standards and ethics of professional history will be favored.

Grantee Deliverables

Grantees should be amenable to having their projects featured on the Lepage Center website, social media and other communications; acknowledge the Lepage Center’s support in their public-facing materials; and participate in a virtual panel discussion with other grantees describing their grant work between the summer of 2024 and spring of 2025.

Fine Print

Grant awards are subject to federal, state and local tax regulations. Each grantee is responsible for reporting taxable stipend payments and for remitting any tax due with their personal or institutional income tax return. For specific questions about your tax responsibilities, please contact the Internal Revenue Service, an accountant or an income tax service.


For any questions, please contact