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Graduate Research Grant Application

Each year VCUarts awards several Graduate Research Grants to support students’ creative practice, research and scholarly activities relevant to their academic programs and professional goals.

Students who have achieved candidacy in a VCUarts graduate program are eligible to apply for awards up to $3000.

Deadline to apply for Spring 2021 grants is Friday November 20, 2020. 

To apply, complete the on-line application form (below), which includes a prompt to upload a single pdf file that includes:

  • Your name in the header at the top of each page.
  • Project narrative, approximately 750 words: Describe the proposed project, including an explanation of your conceptual approach or research theory and methodology, as well as an account of how the proposed project advances your studio practice or research trajectory. Explain how your proposed work contributes to your field—keeping in mind that your proposal will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee (consisting of the graduate program directors from all VCUarts graduate programs). Delineate how the grant award will be used.
  • Expenses can include materials or supplies (disposal goods), equipment (re-usable goods), and shipping. Funds may also be used to pay actors or other participants of an artwork, but not for studio assistance.
  • All payments to individuals must be processed by VCU; you will not be reimbursed for payments made to individuals. Grant funds cannot be used for travel this year because of university travel restrictions associated with COVID-19. They also cannot be used to purchase equipment or software that is already available to students in the department or school.
  • Equipment purchased with grant funds will be property of VCUarts. Provide a rationale for the proposed timeline. Proposals with the greatest clarity tend to be most competitive.
  • Timeline of activities: List specific dates for activities described in the project narrative. Grant recipients must be enrolled during the Spring 2021 semester in order to remain eligible for funds. If your project involves live human subjects, you must submit your proposal for review to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to submitting your proposal to the Graduate Studies Committee. Please indicate when the approval process was or will be completed.
  • Budget: Provide a straightforward detailed list of how grant funds would be spent. Clearly indicate the total requested funds. There is no need to list expenses for which grant funds will not be used. Note: As long as university travel restrictions are in place due to COVID-19, research travel cannot be supported by graduate research grants.
  • List of professional activities and awards, up to two pages: e.g., exhibitions, performances, publications, conference presentations
  • Work samples: Studio and design students may include up to eight work samples. Images may be pasted into in the pdf; sound or moving image files (each of which is no longer than 2 minutes) may be provided via a link to Vimeo or sound cloud. Students submitting proposals to support written research may provide a three-page writing sample as well as images illustrating the subject of their research.
Review process and criteria

All applications are reviewed by a faculty member from each of the VCUarts graduate programs. Reviewers rank the applications based on the following:

  • clarity of the proposal narrative, timeline and budget;
    • account of how the proposed project advances the student’s studio practice or research trajectory;
    • significance of the proposed project to the student’s area study, as described in the project narrative;
    • quality of work samples.

Awards are competitive; students are encouraged to work with their advisors as they prepare their applications

Graduate Research Grant

  • (e.g. exhibition, written thesis or qualifying paper, dissertation research)
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