Collaborative research between UW faculty and the Puget Sound labor community

Deadline extended to Tuesday, May 26, 2020 for the 2020-2021 Academic Year


The Bridges Center’s Labor Working Group program supports research groups comprised of both scholars and labor/social justice activists. Working Groups receive funds for projects that create meaningful collaborations between the Center and the larger labor community

Working groups receive the following support: 

  • A graduate student assistant for one quarter 

  • Research expenses up to $5,000 per year


Possible Topics

Working groups may form around any topic concerning work and workers, local, national, or international. You may initiate a new project, or form around a project that is already under way. Below is a list of possible topics. This list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

  • Automation and Technology
  • Blue Economy (ocean and marine industries, aquaculture, climate change)
  • Gender Justice and Work Across Industries (e.g. tech industry, childcare)
  • Inmate Labor Issues in State Prisons
  • Labor Force Impacts of Social Goods (e.g. childcare, education, housing, tax structure)
  • Legislation (e.g. Minimum Wage, Family and Parental Leave, Paid Sick Leave)
  • Maritime Industries and Port Governance 
  • Supply Chains and Worker Rights

Working Groups funded by the Bridges Center from 2006-2016 produced multiple books, journal articles, conferences, events, on-line education projects, and more. Past Working Groups included:


Working Group Products

Working group should produce one or more of the following: 

  • Publications intended for general public audience (articles, books, pamphlets, etc)
  • Multimedia or digital productions (e.g. websites, videos, podcasts, etc)
  • A conference or workshop series
  • A set of educational activities

In addition, the Bridges Center will expect regular reports on the progress of the group, and an annual presentation on the group’s project. This presentation can occur as part of a class, a public lecture, an informal lunchtime seminar, or some other format of the group’s choosing.


Who Should Apply

Working group funding is available only to the Bridges Center’s Faculty Associates. Each working group must include at least two UW faculty from any of the three campuses (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma). In additions, working groups may include faculty and/or students from any accredited educational institution.

Moreover, each Working Group must include at least one member of the broader Puget Sound labor/social justice community. The first place that we recommend that faculty look for such collaborations is the Center’s Visiting Committee. This group of labor community leaders and activists acts in an advisory capacity to the Center. A list of the Visiting Committee members and their affiliations is available on the Bridges Center website. However, if there is someone specific from a different local labor or social justice organization who would make a significant contribution to your working group, you are welcome to include them.

For suggestions about who your community partner(s) might be, contact Bridges Center Associate Director Andrew Hedden at or (206) 543-7946.


Application Instructions

To receive an application form, contact the Bridges Center Associate Director Andrew Hedden at or (206) 543-7946. Application materials will include a project title, working group membership roster, a 1,500-word project summary (signed by all faculty affiliated with the project), a list of project goals, a brief letter of support from community partners, and a preliminary budget.


Deadline to apply for 2020-2021 Academic Year

Apply by Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Applicants will be notified no later than the end of spring quarter. Funds will be available immediately (some restrictions may apply).



Contact the Bridges Center at (206) 543-7946, or e-mail .