SCWAReD Advanced Collaborative Support Program: Call for Proposals

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) requests proposals for a special funded round of its Advanced Collaborative Support (ACS) program, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for HTRC’s “Scholar-Curated Worksets for Analysis, Reuse & Dissemination (SCWAReD)” project.

ACS is a scholarly service offering collaboration between researchers and HTRC staff to solve challenging problems related to computational analysis of the HathiTrust corpus. In this special cycle of ACS, we seek to collaborate with scholars to recover volumes in HathiTrust that tell the story of historically under-resourced and marginalized textual communities, and to identify gaps in the HathiTrust collection where such communities are not represented in the digital library. 

The ACS award

The selected projects in this round will be awarded $30,000 to cover project costs, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in addition to the HTRC staff time and compute resources typically given to awardees as part of the program. 

  • Funding can be used to cover staff and student effort, travel, materials and supplies, and other relevant project costs, as allowable by Mellon Foundation and Indiana University policies. See “Proposals” section below for detailed budget information.

  • Each awarded proposal will receive access to HTRC staff to collaborate on the proposed project during the award period. The staff consists of specialists in information science, computer science, cultural analytics, and HathiTrust. HTRC ACS support may include such activities as project scoping; navigating HTRC and HathiTrust tools, data, and collections; volume identification and workset/dataset creation; facilitating data access; and selecting, customizing, or running analysis tools.

Projects will be supported from January 2021 through August 2022. 

The Focus for this Round of ACS

For this round of projects, we seek to collaborate with researchers to explore new methods for creating, analyzing, and reusing curated digital library collections, along with research data derived from these collections, with a particular emphasis on textual communities that have been historically under-resourced or marginalized. Selected projects will build HTRC worksets, which are collections of content from the HathiTrust Digital Library optimized for text data mining, and then use data processing and analysis techniques to analyze the workset, and to create derived datasets suitable for scholarly reuse. The workset-building process will involve recovering content from the massive HathiTrust Digital Library where the existing metadata is insufficient for identifying its relevance to the thematic focus of the project. It will also highlight gaps in the HathiTrust corpus, which may be opportunities to develop the digital library collection. Each project will result in an illustrative, reusable research model consisting of the workset, derived datasets, documentation, and scholarly analysis to support reuse of the data by other researchers. 


During the course of the awarded project, teams will be expected to:

  • Work with HTRC throughout the course of their award cycle to fulfill a set of agreed-upon outcomes in the spirit of the collaborative mission of the ACS program.

  • Participate in regular conference calls and project meetings.

  • Attend two workshops with other project teams and HTRC staff (summer 2021 and summer 2022). Travel will be covered in addition to the general project stipend.

  • Write a white paper reporting on the outcomes of the project that will be made available open-access by HTRC.

  • Share the data and research outputs of the project, such as the HTRC workset, a scholarly introduction and apparatus, technical and user-focused documentation, and derived data, openly via HTRC-hosted mechanisms. All products must be released under an open access license, such as one included in the Open Source Initiative (

HTRC Context

HTRC services are built to analyze, and are developed from, the text corpus of the HathiTrust Digital Library, a corpus of 17.4 million volumes digitized from over 50 research libraries in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Approximately 60% of the corpus is in copyright and therefore not available for close human reading. However, the text of the entire corpus is available for data mining through the HathiTrust Research Center. 

HTRC’s services include web-based algorithms, derived data extracted from the HathiTrust corpus called Extracted Features, the virtual Data Capsule environment for secure computational text analysis, and access to high-performance, data-intensive computing reserved for special projects (including ACS). Learn more about HTRC:

This is the sixth round of ACS. Read about past and current projects: 


Complete proposals will include the following:

  1. A cover sheet with basic project details (title, team members, contact information)

  2. Summary & rationale (<500 words) 

  3. Project narrative (1500-2000 words)

  4. Work plan (a brief bulleted list of activities)

  5. A budget describing how you will use the $30,000 stipend

  6. Brief bio-sketch(es) for each project team member

Together, the summary & rationale and narrative sections should describe:

  • The research context and questions that will be explored 

  • A detailed characterization of the workset that will be created, such as types of volumes, time period, or authorship, and how it will address the research questions

  • The HTRC service(s) that may be used to complete the analysis

  • The type of assistance sought from HTRC for data preparation and analysis

  • The expected research outcomes and outputs

  • How other scholars would benefit from access to the workset and resultant derived data

  • The expected scholarly impact of your project

The work plan should outline the steps needed to achieve the project objectives within the timeline of the ACS award.

The budget for $30,000 in project costs, broken down by calendar year, must be included in spreadsheet form, along with a narrative providing an explanation and justification for the expense and information on how the amounts for individual items were calculated. Supported expenses may include, but are not limited to, course release, summer salary, or support for student research assistants. Facilities and administrative costs (F&A), sometimes referred to as indirect costs or overhead, which includes tuition costs, may not be included in the budget. Cost share is also prohibited. An example budget and justification is available for review here: SCWAReD-ACS-Example-Budget&Justification

Pre-submission advice and consultations are available by emailing us at

Proposals must be sent in a single PDF document, which should be divided into the sections described above. Proposals should be submitted electronically to


Submission Deadline: December 7, 2020

Award Notification: December 22, 2020

Project Support Period: January 2021 - August 2022

Review Criteria and Process

HTRC will award up to 3 ACS projects this round. All proposals will be reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from HTRC, HathiTrust, and the SCWAReD project.

A successful proposal will include:

  • A feasible and adaptable use case grounded in a demonstrated need 

  • Team members well qualified to conduct the work proposed

  • A set of activities scoped within the range of HTRC’s ability to provide technical support (e.g., datasets, compute cycles, prototyping, etc.)

  • Clear depiction of the expected scholarly impact of the project

Applicants are encouraged to contact in advance of proposal submission to discuss eligibility, project details, prerequisites, and HTRC support.

Please see the FAQs with answers to questions about the program: SCWAReD Advanced Collaborative Support Application FAQs


Call for Proposals

Sample budget and justification