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UPDATE: Due to the high volume of quality proposals, greater than 10 grants have been awarded. Award recipients were notified in October 2020. A public announcement is expected in November 2020.


The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity to support historical projects related to the Covid-19 pandemic that advance the public interest.

The Center will fund up to 10 projects that creatively engage with the broad range of questions, concerns, policies and practices raised by the study of how past pandemics have affected the course of history and how historical study can further public understanding of the current Covid-19 crisis.

The Center is particularly interested in proposals that adopt a global approach and highlight issues of race, gender, power and structural inequality. We strongly encourage BIPOC and members of minority and underrepresented populations to apply.




Up to 10 grants will be awarded to projects that promote historical research, scholarship, teaching and public dialogue on global histories of pandemics and their effects on society, with a particular focus on race, gender, power and structural inequality. Individual grant awards will range from $2,500 - $5,000.

As the grant amounts may not be able to support a project in-full, our goal is to provide seed money and/or to help advance a project from conception to execution. The Center is especially committed to supporting work that may require initial funding to get off the ground.

The Center seeks to inspire a wide range of submissions from a diverse pool of applicants that are original and imaginative in content and form. Examples of the types of projects include: a series of blog posts, a series of podcast conversations, an initiative with a local newspaper to write a series of op-eds, a mapping project, a digital timeline, a crowd-sourced syllabus, a new course, an oral history project, a collaboration with local activists, and other creative ideas.

Proposals from BIPOC and members of minority and underrepresented populations will be looked upon especially favorably.

The grants are made possible by a generous donation by Mr. Albert Lepage (VU ’69).




Proposals are due to the Lepage Center by 11:59 p.m. EST on August 15, 2020.

Proposals should be emailed as a single attachment (PDF or Word document) to and should not exceed 15 pages. Additional pages will not be reviewed.




Applications should include:

  • A project description, purpose, and its contribution toward the public interest (1-2 pages)
  • A plan of execution, including deliverables, partners, and expected outcomes (1-2 pages)
  • A proposed budget (1 page)
  • C.V. or resumes of principal participants (not to exceed 10 pages)

The Center will award up to 10 grants in amounts ranging from $2,500 - $5,000 depending on the scope, size, ambition and needs of each project. The awards are expected to be distributed along three distinct streams:

  1. Undergraduate and graduate research and teaching led by Villanova University students and faculty (maximum of 2 awards);
  2. Public-facing historical research and scholarship led by Villanova University faculty in the Department of History and other Departments doing history in the public interest (maximum of 2 awards);
  3. Public-facing history content created by local and national historians and historical institutions (maximum of 6 awards).

In evaluating applications, The 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 seek to shed light on the current crisis;
  • The articulation of an approach to historical thinking about the past that broadly fits disciplinary standards and perspectives (see here and here).

Proposals will be reviewed by an internal committee with award decisions to be made by the end of September 2020 (precise date TBD).

A one-time disbursement of funds will occur in fall 2020 (precise date TBD).




Proposals are limited to scholars and/or institutions 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.

Grantees should be amenable to having their projects featured on the Lepage Center website, social media, and other communications. The Lepage Center humbly requests that grantees acknowledgment its support in all their public-facing materials.




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.




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Application period closed

Deadline was August 15, 2020






The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest brings historical scholarship and historical perspective to bear on contemporary global issues. Opened in 2017, the Center is a joint project of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the Department of History at Villanova University. Visit our homepage to learn more.