Propose a Project

ECDS welcomes proposals on a rolling basis for digital projects involving research, publishing, and/or pedagogy from Emory faculty, students, and staff.

We also welcome proposals from individuals and institutions outside Emory wishing to partner with the center. Partnerships with off-campus groups generally require an Emory faculty partner.

Accepted project proposals may receive support in the form of ECDS development or consultation time and/or grants in support of project-related costs. Projects estimated to require significantly more work may require external support or the approval of the Digital Scholarship and Pedagogy Governance Subcommittee.

Before submitting a proposal:

  • Review the structure, guidelines, and process information below. These sections explain what makes project successful and outline the stages a project passes through from inquiry, through production, to launch and maintenance.
  • Make an appointment for an exploratory conversation with an ECDS staff member by emailing to set up a consultation.

After meeting with an ECDS staff member, use this form to submit your proposal. We typically decide whether to accept a proposal within two weeks of submission.

ECDS project proposals must include the following sections and must be submitted using the project proposal form.

  • Title
  • Overview (up to 100 words): Outline the project you are proposing in language appropriate for a non-specialist audience.
  • Content and Methods (up to 500 words): Provide an outline of your proposed project including what materials, content, or data your project will include or produce and what research, teaching, or publishing the project will involve. Applicants should also address any potential copyright issues.
  • Significance (up to 250 words): Address the project's impact on relevant fields, its originality, and its alignment with ECDS's mission, priorities, and capabilities.
  • Outcomes (up to 250 words): Indicate what form(s) the project will take and what deliverables will result from the project's completion, including whether it will make use of ECDS platforms. Detail the project's intended audience, strategy for dissemination, and how its success will be assessed.
  • Sustainability (up to 250 words): Discuss your plans for the project's sustainability and preservation, and, if applicable, its scalability.
  • Team: List the ECDS staff members, library resources, and other team members who will be part of this project's development along with their roles.
  • Timeline: Provide a detailed anticipated timeline for the project's completion.
  • Budget: Outline the project's proposed budget, including any non-ECDS funding sources.


If you want to submit a proposal specifically to add a volume from Emory collections to Readux ( use this form.

If you are a member of the Emory community and want to apply for an OpenTour 3.0 ( tour site, use this form.

ECDS uses the following guidelines in assessing proposals for digital projects. If you are considering proposing an ECDS project, review our project process and get in touch with an ECDS staff member before submitting your proposal.

  • Is the project of scholarly significance to relevant fields of inquiry?
  • Will the project's content be enhanced through digital intervention, and if so, how?
  • Is the project within the scope of the ECDS mission and priorities?
  • Is the project achievable with the current staff and resources available to ECDS and the project proposer? If not, can we build a sustainable proof of concept and work with the proposer to pursue external funding for further development?
  • Is the project achievable given the project proposer's current research, teaching, and/or work load?
  • Is the project sustainable? Consider who will be maintaining the project after ECDS, where the project will be stored, the lifecycle of the project, and if it can be archived.
  • Is the project predicated upon the ability to secure rights to copyrighted material, digitizing analog materials, partnering with other institutions, receiving external funding, or other contingencies?

ECDS projects follow a process that begins with evaluation and planning, proceeds through execution and launch, and transitions to sustainable maintenance. Read more about our project management philosophy on our Project Management for Digital Humanities site.

Projects are shepherded through this process by an ECDS staff member assigned as the project's coordinator and the project proposer, who should plan on remaining engaged throughout the project process to ensure successful execution. If you are considering proposing an ECDS project, review our guidelines for proposing a project and get in touch with an ECDS staff member before submitting your proposal.


ECDS projects begin with an exploratory conversation between the prospective project proposer and a member of the center staff. Project proposers should prepare for this meeting by consulting our project guidelines and proposal structure. This conversation can help hone the project's scope, ensure that it relates to ECDS's guidelines, and identify potential uses of ECDS platforms in realizing the project. In many cases, potential project proposers determine that they can achieve their goals through informal consultations with ECDS staff. In other cases, the project proposers come away from the meeting with sufficient information to craft a formal proposal.


Project proposals submitted using ECDS's project proposal form are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the ECDS staff and other key stakeholders on a biweekly basis. Staff consider how projects align with the guidelines for proposing a project, ECDS priorities, and the availability of staff members and resources that the proposed project requires. The team then recommends accepting, rejecting, or recommending the proposals for revision.

Accepted proposals are assigned an ECDS staff member as project coordinator who will reach out to the project proposer for detailed planning.

Project Planning

Once a proposal has been accepted by ECDS, the project proposer and project coordinator will work with ECDS staff and other stakeholders to draft a work plan including:

  • A memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining project outcomes, budget, resources upon which the project will draw, and the responsibilities of team members
  • An anticipated timeline
  • A sustainability plan outlining the project's post-launch maintenance and archiving
Development and Testing

After planning is complete, the team members will execute the project according to the materials agreed upon during the planning stage under the supervision of the project coordinator with the support of the project proposer. For projects that involve building websites or resources, this portion of the process includes testing and other pre-launch activities. We understand that digital projects at this scale often require pivots and shifts in scope or functionality, and the ECDS staff and project proposer will regularly review the MOU and project timeline and make adjustments where necessary.

Launch and Maintenance

After completing development of testing, ECDS will work with the project proposer to launch the project, publicize it, and evaluate its success. The project team will then implement the sustainability plan outlined during the planning phase. If the accepted project is the first phase of a larger planned work, ECDS staff will work with the project proposer to explore avenues for continuing the project's development.