Global Humanities Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long should my proposal be?

A: The proposal should be no longer than 7 to 10 pages. Sections include a description of the work and its relevance, timeline to completion, audience for the work, and rights status. The suggested length does not include the CV or translation sample.

Q: How do I know if the work I want to translate is in the public domain?

A: A helpful resource for determining if material is in the public domain is available here:

Q: How do I determine who holds rights for a work that is not in the public domain?

A: Look at the copyright page for the original language edition. The publisher of record can be directly emailed to inquire if they continue to hold the rights. Verifying the rights holder is all that is needed for the application. If the publisher is no longer in existence, a modest amount of internet searching can determine who bought them out and who may hold the rights now. We do not expect the proposed translator to secure rights, but the current rights status is crucial information to determine if the work can be published.

Q: What if my translation will take longer than the proposed timeline to complete?

A: The timeline to completion section of the proposal should be as accurate as you can anticipate. Projects that have strong merit but cannot be completed in the time frame may be invited back for consideration in future years of the competition.

Q: How long will it take to know if the proposal has been selected as the winner?

A: The committee will take up to 12 weeks from the final application deadline to notify the winner and those who were shortlisted. Applicants can expect to hear something by around mid-November or early December.

If you have any further questions, please send them to