The Baldy Center Conference Grants

Conference Grants.

The Baldy Center sponsors several conferences and workshops each academic year on topics related to law, legal institutions, and social policy. Our conferences typically have thirty to fifty attendees, and include formal presentations by distinguished speakers. The Baldy Center workshops tend to be small, narrowly focused events aimed at intensive discussion.

The 2024 - 2025 conference grant application period has ended. Recipients to be announced later this Spring.

Proposal Guidelines


The Baldy Center supports conferences and workshops to advance the interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and social policy in the UB community. The Baldy Center conferences and workshops should contribute to faculty research, provide faculty members and graduate students with opportunities to discuss their work with outside scholars, and help to develop new areas of scholarly interest and new networks of scholarly activity. The events should bring to University at Buffalo outstanding scholars from around the world who are engaged in innovative work, enhancing the quality of UB scholarship and visibility of The Baldy Center.  Grants are available to full-time UB faculty members from any department, college, or school.  

The Baldy Center Conference Grants support conferences and workshops on topics related to law, legal institutions, and social policy. Our conferences typically have 30-50 attendees, and include formal presentations by guests and UB faculty. Baldy Center workshops tend to be small, narrowly focused events aimed at intensive discussion.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be full-time faculty members (non-adjunct) or emeritus faculty of the University at Buffalo. Collaboration with faculty at other universities and research centers is encouraged. Applicants must have the capacity to co-administer the proposed event. The Baldy Center will provide advice to the organizers and will share responsibility for event logistical arrangements with the organizers. 

Proposals must relate to law, social policy, or legal institution themes. Typical funding ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. Proposals that will exceed those funding amounts should detail specifically how they will apply for additional, external funding, or describe how they will use The Baldy Center grant to do so.

Selection Criteria

Decisions to support conferences and workshops are made by a review committee of UB faculty. Preference will be given to proposals that:

  • address important questions in understanding law, legal institutions, and social policy;
  • aim to produce publications or lead to further collaborative research (including developing external grant proposals);
  • call on participants to circulate draft manuscripts prior to the event;
  • provide opportunities for UB faculty participation while also including private working sessions when appropriate;
  • include participants from diverse disciplines;
  • where appropriate, involve participants who are themselves diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, and other factors likely to encourage a broad and multifaceted discussion.

General Instructions for Conference Grant Proposal

Complete the online grant application form and upload one required document, as a pdf of your proposal.

The grant proposal document must include the following named sections:

  • Your name, email address, departmental affiliation, names and affiliations of co-organizers.
  • Name of event and proposed date of event.
  • Conference Description, 3-pages maximum, including:
    —Relevance to law, legal institutions, or social policy in your discipline;
    —Innovative or transformative outcomes;
    —Products planned;
    —Pre-event manuscript sharing plans;
    —Rationale for probable invited scholars.
  • Conference Budget, 2-pages maximum, including:
    —Total proposed cost;
    —Total funding requested from The Baldy Center;
    —Projected non-Baldy Center support amount and source (if exceeding typical funding range);
    —Event participant travel description and amount requested;
    —Accommodations description and amount requested;
    —Meals description and amount requested;
    —Student Research Assistantships requested;
    —Other costs and amount requested.


Planning, logistics, and expenses

Faculty organizers are responsible for certain aspects of event coordination.

The substantive work required on the part of the faculty organizer includes:

• Identify, invite, and confirm potential participants.
• Approve paper topics and abstracts. 
• Develop a conference program / schedule. 
• Designate moderators (if applicable).
• Produce content for conference publicity, and distribute event announcements in collaboration with the Baldy Center staff and web manager. 
• Make publication plans. 
• Handle of all aspects of the event that require substantive or intellectual judgments, including decisions regarding the distribution of funding to participants and for event activities. 

The faculty organizer will identify a non-Baldy Center staff member or include in the budget a graduate student assistant to work with The Baldy Center staff in the logistical coordination of the event, including the following tasks:

  • Organize and schedule logistics planning meetings.
  • Correspond with participants regarding transportation, lodging, presentation technologies, special dietary requirements, bios, photos, abstracts, etc.
  • Identify and contact hotels and venues for estimates and reservations, identify and book photographer and videographer (if applicable).
  • Arrange transportation.
  • Define catering needs, with catering orders placed through The Baldy Center.
  • Define and arrange off campus meals and activities. Off campus meals are at faculty member expense, to be reimbursed through Concur.
  • Coordinate conference website content.
  • Compile Continuing Legal Education (CLE) materials and make available to conference attendees (if applicable).
  • Arrange book selling or other similar functions (if applicable).
  • Arrange audio visual needs in conjunction with Law IT, and prepare consent to record forms.
  • Manage registration table and sign-in.
  • Track registration and RSVPs.
  • Other administrative work as needed.


In addition to grant funding, The Baldy Center will provide the following support:

  • Schedule the event in coordination with other Baldy activities and reserve the Conference Center space for events.
  • Serve in an advisory capacity to faculty organizers, student assistants, and department administrators.
  • Announce events on The Baldy Center listserv and website and post flyers and posters around campus.
  • Provide website design and content development, with information as provided by faculty organizer.
  • Provide poster design work, with content supplied by faculty organizer.
  • Print posters, name tags, tent cards, and conference schedule materials.
  • Provide tax exempt forms to faculty organizers, for taking participants off campus for dinners.
  • Manage and process all financial aspects of the event, including EPTF submission of contracts, vendor payment, participant reimbursement, and student assistant payroll if included in the grant.


To avoid conflicts with other important events, scheduling of Baldy supported conferences and workshops must be coordinated through The Baldy Center. No workshops or conferences will be scheduled on the days of significant University or School of Law events (e.g., Commencement).

Conference Budgeting Guidelines and Estimates


It is up to the conference organizer to estimate likely costs. All expense reimbursement requests and vendor payments must follow SUNY approval and documentation protocols.

Catering: Prices as listed will vary. Note that a Food Permit is required for all events not catered by Campus Dining and Shops. Food Event - Administrative Services Gateway - University at Buffalo. The Three Pillars Catering menus is online, and may be useful in planning costs. Catering - University Events - University at Buffalo

It is up to the organizer to estimate likely costs. All expense reimbursement requests and vendor payments must follow SUNY approval and documentation protocols.

Catering Estimates: Costs will vary depending on the caterer and menu choices

—Continental Breakfast: $6.00-$8.00 per person

—Morning or Afternoon Snack; assorted pastries, fresh fruit: $4.00-$6.00 per person

—General Lunch; meat and vegetarian options: $10.00-$15.00 per person

Reception Items: Costs will vary depending on the caterer and menu choices

—Fruit & Vegetable Platter: $25.00-$45.00

—Cheese and Cracker Platter: $35.00-$55.00

—Breads and Spreads Platter:  $30.00-$50.00


—The Baldy Center will provide non-alcoholic beverages throughout the event including coffee, tea, and water.

—Beer and wine are permitted in the conference center if the UB caterer, Three Pillars, provides the bartender and liquor license. These costs should be included in the conference grant proposal.

    -Alcohol Permit Fee: $65.00

    -Bartender: $100

    -Bar Packages: $300 (min.) consumption


Conference dinners are usually held off-campus, in restaurants following SUNY cost limitations (currently a maximum of $31 per person with no more than two drinks or $20 in alcohol per person including gratuities).

—Dinner expense reimbursement requests must follow all SUNY documentation protocols. The organizer should obtain a NYS tax-exempt form before the dinner and specifically request that no tax be applied to the receipt. Alcohol purchases should be on a separate itemized receipt.

—The organizer will pay for off-campus meals. They should submit their receipt, list of diners, and event flyer in Concur.


Preferred hotels can be found on the Hotels for UB Guests website. The DoubleTree is frequently used.

—The standard CONUS rate is $117/night.

—The Baldy Center must set up a contract for the event if more than 8 rooms will be reserved.

Travel Costs:

—Air travel – flights must be booked by the persons who are traveling and will be reimbursed when receipts are submitted. Only coach or economy class travel is reimbursable. Travelers must submit paper boarding passes or screen shots of digital boarding passes. No exceptions.

—Rail and/or bus travel – travelers submit all receipts and boarding passes.

—Road travel, approximately $0.67 per mile, with a rental car to be used when mileage costs exceed rental fees.

Student Assistants:

$15 per hour, but budget for $15.50 per hour to account for NYS fringe charges.


Post-event reporting by awardee

Each awardee agrees to provide The Baldy Center with a report on the findings and publications/products resulting from the project. This report is due three months after the award period ends, or after the award is expended. The grant reporting form is here.

Awardees agree to acknowledge The Baldy Center support in publications and other resulting products and agree to forward pdfs of resulting publications to The Baldy Center. 

Page updated March 11, 2024