Interdisciplinary Action Groups

CRASE is dedicated to research, scholarship, and artistic efforts that directly investigate and address the many pressing social, cultural, economic and environmental issues currently emerging with the rapid proliferation of new technologies, social media, global crises, political upheavals, and climate change. 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: The Pandemic As Portal: What Does Our Post-COVID Future Hold?

Will COVID offer a turning point and, if so, to what? In a recent interview, Gianna Pomata, Professor of the history of medicine at John Hopkins University, noted how medical science turned to empirical research in the aftermath of the fourteenth-century Black Death that gripped Europe. She suggested that the plague sparked a fresh wind of change. Turning to the present, keeping in mind the immense strides made in science and medicine over the past centuries, she predicted significant changes in the post-COVID era, “not so much in medicine but in economy and culture.” This note of change resonates in an essay by the activist and author Arundhati Roy who sees humankind as walking through a portal, of time and history, to a place where we could leave our “prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us.”

If the pandemic can be understood as a portal, “a gateway between one world and the next,” then what can the post-COVID future hold? Will there be dramatic changes in “economy and culture?” For example, will the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, which on the positive side provided a brief glimpse of clean air and blue skies, awaken us to a new climate consciousness? Will there be a serious reckoning with inequality and racial injustice? Will there be greater access to health care for all segments of the population? Will the transition to remote work enable us to discover new ways of connecting, collaborating, and creating?


CRASE is seeking proposals for faculty Interdisciplinary Action Groups (IAGs) addressing the theme of Post-COVID Futures. IAGs are teams comprising full-time USF faculty across at least 2 colleges/schools and 3 departments, who collectively commit to conducting innovative scholarly and/or creative work. We are especially interested in faculty projects that have local, national, and international implications. We seek IAG proposals for semester-long projects with a specific, high impact goal, or that probes one or more issues related to our collective post-COVID future(s) more deeply, and that provides new ideas, strategies, and possibilities to USF, key stakeholders, and to the public.

Outcomes must contribute to the public debate concerning the theme and may include any of the following:

  • Preparing and disseminating a policy brief, position paper, or legal document
  • Publishing a blog or Op-Ed series, commentary, or other public scholarship
  • Giving a public presentation, exhibition, workshop, or symposium

Examples of previous grant awards can be found here:


Two to three grant awards of up to $3,000 will be awarded [date to be determined]. Awards may be used to purchase tangible goods related to grant activities. While funds can be used for stipends and honoraria, they can only be paid to full-time faculty and may be taxed. Funds cannot be disbursed to students and non-full-time faculty at USF. Awards must be spent as indicated by the award letter otherwise the unspent portion will be returned to CRASE.


Submit a 500-700 word proposal addressing the following:

  • Urgent issue: Succinctly describe the problem your topic seeks to address as it relates to the theme, Post-COVID Futures.
  • Plans: Provide a detailed description of your project.
  • Timeline: Describe how your team will address this topic over the course of a semester.
  • Outcomes: What are your proposed outcomes (i.e. policy brief, book proposal, community presentation, etc.)?
  • Team: Describe group members, noting individual contributions to your topic, departments, and schools/colleges/library they represent. Provide brief bios of each member and why their perspectives are important.
  • Budget: What is your budget and how do you propose to spend the funds? Previous proposals have included honoraria for guest speakers, food for an event, art supplies, and faculty stipends.

Criteria For Award

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Interdisciplinary nature of the team
  • Significance of the topic
  • Clarity in articulation of the project and its connection to the theme Post-COVID Futures
  • Feasibility of the project to impact local, regional, and/or national communities
  • Meaningfulness of the proposed outcomes
  • Appropriateness of the budget


Proposals will be reviewed by a team of faculty from across the university. Announcements will be made during the spring semester. Winning teams are expected to submit a blog post (500-800 words) to be published on the CRASE blog. Faculty teams are also featured in the CRASE Academic Faculty Circles.

Submit Proposal


We strongly encourage emailing us your ideas, intent to apply, and potential dates, so that we may provide provisional feedback prior to submitting your final proposal. We can also assist in forming interdisciplinary groups.

As a Jesuit institution, USF is committed to founded on academic rigor and scholarship stemming from reflection and discernment on social, artistic, and environmental justice-related issues with the goal of developing a deeper, interreligious understandings, and service to others, especially poor and marginalized communities. The mission’s parameters are broad and inclusive and we encourage scholars to expand their understanding of how their work “encourages critical, analytical, and creative approaches to solving problems.”