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Research Development

Sarah Workman

Sarah Workman
Associate Director for Research Development - Humanities

Sarah Workman is Associate Director for Research Development (Humanities), a position split between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Research in order to elevate research achievement and recognition for campus-wide humanities scholarship. From Workman's two homes on campus, she provides support for research development at any stage of the process, including helping humanities faculty identify funding sources, assisting with grant and proposal writing, and coordinating nominations for honorary awards.

Why apply for funding?

  • Enhances research & scholarship
  • Broadens your networks, builds connections
  • Contributes to your tenure & promotion portfolio
  • Helps define ideas for your books & articles
  • Provides opportunities for mentoring and collaboration
  • Successful awards pave the way for other opportunities

How can I support your research?

  • Create a timeline of funding goals and priorities across your career trajectory.
  • Identify internal and/or external funding opportunities around a project or idea.
  • Brainstorm how to best present a project or idea to a particular funder.
  • Provide advice and feedback related to specific funders and project ideas.
  • Review and edit proposals.
  • Research funders and previously successful applications.
  • Connect you with previous grantees.
  • Coordinate additional reviews and feedback.
  • Convene groups for interdisciplinary and multi-institution proposals.
  • Guide you to funding resources available through SU and connect you with institutional support from Corporate and Foundation Relations, SU Libraries, and Office of Sponsored Programs, etc.
  • Listen to your ideas for strengthening humanities work on campus.

Writing Support

Humanities Research Development offers writing circles to faculty at all ranks at ongoing intervals throughout year. Writing circles provide faculty a chance to connect with peers outside their department, give and get feedback on a work in progress, and reach manageable goals with the generous support of peers and facilitators in a low-stakes environment.

Piloted in AY 2021-22 with six faculty members from history, communication and rhetorical studies, geography, and information science, this writing circle is primarily designed to support faculty planning to submit proposals for the NEH Fellowship or Summer Stipend programs. Depending on the number of participants, faculty meet weekly or bi-weekly from February to April to discuss works in progress with a faculty facilitator. Last year's sign-up form, which contains more information, is available online. Previous participants credit the circle with prompting "major breakthroughs," pushing past writing impasses, making timely progress towards a second project need for P&T file, as well as polishing and submitting reserach proposals to NEH.

Piloted in Summer 2022 with five faculty members, Give and Get Feedback Sessions invite faculty to set and share a reasonable, achievable goal over the summer to reach a full draft of a piece of writing to workshop with peers. A piece of writing could be (but is not limited to) a chapter or manuscript excerpt, journal article, grant proposal, book proposal of no more than 20 – 25 pgs (or shorter). In summer 2023, registration will allow for multiple groups that may select different formats, e.g. a two-day session or weekly/bi-weekly meetings over the summer.

Each fall, The College of Arts and Sciences and the Syracuse University Humanities Center invite proposals for Humanities Book Manuscript Workshop grants. Typically, grants are awarded in two categories--pre-tenure assistant professors and tenured associate professors--and the deadline falls in December. Applicants should be close to completing a book-length manuscript and interested in hosting a virtual discussion of their project by three senior, external scholars in their field. More information may be found in the most recent call for proposals archived on the Syracuse University Application Portal. Currently, the program is open to faculty in The College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Previous awardees include:


  • Shira Schwartz (Religion), Yeshiva Quirls: A Textual Ethnography of Jewish Reproduction
  • Margaret Innes (Art History), Collective Forms: Photography in the Era of American Communism
  • Ethan Madarieta (English), The Body is (Not) the Land: Memory, Translation, and Territorial Aporias
  • Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson (Philosophy), Traitors to Forgetting: Counter-Memories of U.S. Domestic Terrorism
  • Gail Bulman (Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics), The Artistic, Social, and Economic Impact of the Microteatro Transnational Theater Network
  • Ana Mendez-Oliver (Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics), Frontier Identities: From Confessional to Racial Subjects in the Iberian World
  • Tanisha Jackson (African American Studies), The Art of Self-care: Black Women Art Ecosystems as Sites for Wellness


  • Mariaelena Huambachano (Religion), Recovering Our Ancestral Foodways: Indigenous Traditions as a Recipe for Living Well
  • Jeanette Jouili (Religion), Islam on Stage: British Muslim Culture in the Age of Counterterrorism
  • Ruth Opara (Art and Music Histories), Music, Motherhood, and Transnationalism


  • Carol Fadda (English), Dissident Citizenships: Arab and Muslim Narratives in an Age of ‘Terror’
  • Gareth Fisher (Religion), Temples and Teahouses: Buddhism and Secularity in Xi Jinping’s China. The book explores how Buddhist monastics and laypersons negotiate and reshape the boundaries between the secular and the religious in China today through the construction and expansion of both authorized Buddhist temples and Buddhist-themed teahouses. It examines how these religious entrepreneurs carve temples and teahouses into spaces of otherwise where social roles and values outside of the secular mainstream can be fostered.
  • Danika Medak-Saltzman (Women’s and Gender Studies), Specters of Colonialism: Native People, Visual Culture and Colonial Projects in the U.S. and Japan
  • Patricia Roylance (English), The Textures of Time in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Media. This project investigates the role of media in connecting people to the past and the future, by tracking the varying temporal experiences offered by the different media formats in which particular texts—John Winthrop’s journal, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the story of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s founding—appeared.

Additional Resources

  • Proposal Support: New to proposal writing? Refer to the Grant Application Workflow, which guides humanities and creative arts faculty through the fellowship or research proposal development timeline.
  • Resources for Creatives: Check out our resources page for finding funding in the creative arts, media, and public communications.
  • Trainings and Presentations: Visit the Office of Research Trainings and Presentations page to access the archive of humanities trainings and presentations.
  • Communications Quick Guide for Humanists: This guide is aimed to help humanists navigate the various communications offices and resources at Syracuse University that can help increase the visibility of research and creative work.

Tell us about your Achievement!

We celebrate achievement! Please share your accomplishments related to:

  • Books
  • Creative works
  • External grants or fellowships
  • Honors or awards received from professional associations or organizations external to SU
  • Recognition and awards received at external festivals, juries, and competitions
  • Other types of external honors or achievements

Submitting your news via the button below helps us track and recognize outstanding achievements by faculty and staff. Collected data elevates the research culture in the arts and humanities and across campus, while strengthening efforts to obtain future funding and wider recognition.

More About Sarah

I came to Syracuse in June 2019 from Georgetown University, where I was a learning design specialist in the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship (CNDLS). At Georgetown, I oversaw a multi-year faculty-staff cohort that explored best practices for online teaching. In addition, I managed internal funding for hybrid learning programs and wrote humanities curricula. I also designed and taught courses for the writing and Jewish civilization programs. Before joining CNDLS in 2016, I developed and taught first-year writing and literature courses at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I also earned a Ph.D. in English.