Proposals Invited From Columbia Faculty and PhD Students for WEAI Workshops and Conferences Programs


This year we are continuing the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Workshop and Conference Program, established thirteen years ago as one of a number of exciting new programs supported by the Richard W. Weatherhead Fund. The purpose of the Program is to encourage faculty members to explore new ways of looking at the modern East Asian Region through small-scale conferences, workshops, and collaborative research.

This RFP is also open to any PhD student studying East Asia. Students have the opportunity to execute projects on a range of topics including the humanities, arts and culture, the social sciences, history, policy, and security with financial support from the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Students are required to secure a WEAI faculty sponsor.

Our expectation is that projects supported by the Program will promote enquiry that crosses geographic, temporal, or disciplinary boundaries, creates new opportunities for dialogue with the region, and/or explores new teaching and research strategies. Funding decisions will be made by the WEAI Research Committee. This year the Committee consists of Charles Armstrong, Myron Cohen, Eugenia Lean, Andrew Nathan, Tomi Suzuki (Fall 2015), and Jonathan Reynolds (Spring 2016.)

The Committee will give the highest priority to integrated programming initiatives that combine the following elements:

  • Create opportunities to bring new research to the fore
  • Collaborate with non-WEAI faculty and other CU units within CU
  • Incorporate student activities and/or curricular components
  • Cut across disciplinary approaches

(Examples might include a workshop with students on China’s trade and investment lending in Africa; a contemporary Asian theater/music program involving EALAC and the music department and visiting artists; or a project involving environmental global NGOs and students from the Environmental Sciences program and Columbia College.)

All Columbia applicants are invited to submit proposals for funding for projects to be carried out during 2015-2016 or 2016-2017 academic years. The guidelines for such applications are as follows:

Programs should further the efforts of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute to develop collaborative and cross-disciplinary research and teaching. Projects to fund the research of a single faculty member will NOT be considered. Collaborative efforts may be among several faculty members or student groups, with faculty and students in other disciplines or areas, or with scholars in other universities, especially in Asia. Projects that lay the foundation for long-term development of WEAI resources and facilitate the meeting of new research and teaching goals are especially encouraged.

Project sponsors should include a plan for securing outside funding for the later development of the project. While it is not always possible, the Workshop and Conference Program Fund should predominantly be used as seed money to start projects and to provide evidence of Columbia’s commitment in attracting outside support.

Inasmuch as annual funds are limited, the maximum grant awarded will not exceed $7,000. It is expected that the Committee will not approve all applications and that, in some instances, it will recommend partial rather than full funding of projects, so as to make support available for a number of projects.

In the event that the Committee does not allocate the full amount this year, funds will revert to the competition pool for future years.Proposals should include the following information:

Proposals should include the following information:

i) A brief description of the project and how it will enhance the research, teaching, and exchange efforts of the Institute.

ii) A timetable for specific elements of the project.

iii)  A reasonably accurate budget. Remember that for every salary included (from research assistant to visiting scholar) you must include 30.5% in fringe benefits for 2015-2016 and 30.5% (subject to change) for 2016-2017, which is added on by the University. Tax rules also apply to some honoraria.

iv) Adequate funding for project staff and/or student-workers, including finance staff, to support the scope of work outlined in the proposal. WEAI cannot provide staffing assistance. Note: funds may NOT be used to offset or augment salaries or to make add-comp payments to full-time Columbia staff and faculty.

v) Calculate and ICA of 10% (subject to change) as part of the budget.

The WEAI encourages any publications resulting from funded workshops or conferences to be submitted for consideration into one of three book series sponsored by the Institute.

The principal investigators of each project must submit a progress report to the Institute by     April 1st of each year in which they receive Workshop and Conference Program Fund support and a final fiscal and narrative report at the end of the project. These reports are mandated by the Endowment Compliance office and will also be used in evaluating Institute activities and goals, in preparing WEAI publicity, and for reports to the Weatherhead Foundation.

Proposals for this round should be for projects whose key or initial elements can be largely completed before June 30, 2017. Faculty members with awards or portions of awards that remain unspent after this date will be asked to return the unused amount to the competition pool. The deadline for receipt of proposals is November 13, 2015.  The results of the competition will be announced in early December 2015.

Mail or e-mail proposals to:


Waichi Ho

The Weatherhead East Asian Institute

Columbia University

420 W. 118th St, 914B

Mail Code 3333

New York, NY 10027


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