Funding Guidelines
Application for Faculty Grants
Executive Committee
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Arts Research Institute

Guidelines for faculty grants

The Arts Research Institute (ARI) oversees the distribution of research funds to ladder faculty in the Arts Division. Faculty are eligible to apply for support under two categories:

  • Faculty Mini-Grants (maximum $2000): applications must be received by April 18, 2011 at 5 p.m.
  • Major Project Grants ($2,000-$20,000): applications must be received by February 11, 2011 at 5 p.m.

Applications are reviewed by the ARI Executive Committee. They are judged on the basis of the excellence of the project proposal, including its potential international and national importance and its contribution to scholarship, theory, and/or practice in the arts. Applications for Major Project Grants are vetted more rigorously than those for Mini-Grants.

Detailed guidelines for each grant category are given below. Please read these guidelines carefully. Applications that do not adhere to the criteria in terms of content, length, or deadline will not be forwarded to the Executive Committee.

Deadline for completion and expenditure of grants - November 1, 2012.

I. Faculty Mini-Grants

Maximum award: $2000

Deadline: Applications must be received electronically by ARI Administrator Christina Waters by 5 p.m. on April 18, 2011

  • A. Eligibility.
  • Proposals will be accepted from individual ladder faculty members in the Arts Division. Groups (including FRAs) are not eligible to apply. Additionally, faculty who receive an individual Major Project Grant (see IIC below) will not be awarded a Mini-Grant in the same academic year. Individuals who participate in a collaborative Major Project Grant (IID) may receive a mini-grant as well.

  • B. Concurrent application to COR.
  • In order to qualify for a Faculty Mini-Grant, the applicant must also apply for funding to the Academic Senate's Committee on Research in the same year. The two applications should seek support for different projects or different components of the same project.

  • C. Size of the grants.
  • Mini-grants are limited to a maximum of $2000 a year per faculty member; priority is given to junior faculty. Since the total funding to the Division is not large and the number of ladder faculty members increases each year, faculty are urged to apply only for the amount of support needed. The application form will direct faculty to detail specific expenses. Some proposals may receive partial support. (Total funding in this category is approximately $45,000 for the entire Arts Division.)

  • D. Application deadline and award notification.
  • Applications for mini-grants must be received by April 18, 2011 at 5 p.m. for projects that commence July 1 of the same calendar year. Individuals will be informed of decisions in May. Late or incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the committee. (Off-cycle contingency funding may occasionally be available if there are surplus research funds.)

  • E. Evaluation criteria.
  • The ARI Executive Committee distributes mini-grant funds widely. As the number of faculty in the division increases, however, the Committee may not be able to fund all proposals, or may need to fund some proposals at less than the requested level. Faculty should provide detailed budgets and carefully justify all expenses. Support will be given for specific research/creative projects in any of the arts; the ARI does not support teaching activities. In the project description on the application form, the applicant should detail the specific anticipated outcome of the grant and should specify how the proposed project relates to the overall direction of his/her research and productivity. The committee will consider the quality of the proposal and its potential contribution to the field, as well as the faculty member's record of publication, exhibition, production, or other creative work.

  • F. Timeline for project completion.
  • Mini-grants support projects beginning July 1 of the application year and scheduled for completion by June 30 of the following year. Faculty may apply for funding to support a discrete portion of a longer-term project, but will be expected to achieve concrete results by the end of the one-year grant period. Funding will not be carried over from year to year. However, since projects often reach completion during the summer, awarded funds will remain available until September 30, at which time any unspent funds will automatically revert to the ARI.

  • G. New faculty.

    The ARI executive committee will attempt to reserve some funds at the end of the academic year to support new UCSC ladder faculty joining the Arts Division the following Fall. These new faculty members may apply for such funds at the beginning the Fall quarter. Award limits will be the same as those for continuing faculty members.

II. Major Project Grants


Individual: $2,000-$10,000; Collaborative: $2,000-$20,000

Deadline: Applications must be received electronically by ARI Administrator Christina Waters by 5 p.m. on February 11, 2011

  • A. Purpose.
  • These highly competitive grants support specific projects that will enhance the national and international prominence of the arts at UCSC and increase the quality and vitality of research or creative work in theory, scholarship, and/or practice in the arts. These criteria will form the basis for the Committee's award decisions.

  • B. Types of Grants and Eligibility.
  • Applications will be accepted in two categories: (a) Individual major project grants, and (b) Collaborative major project grants. Funding levels differ (see below). All Arts Division ladder faculty may apply as individuals and/or part of a collaborative project.

  • C. Individual major project grants.
  • Individual ladder faculty members in the Arts Division may apply for a major project grant. Levels of support in this category are $2,000-$10,000 . In order to maximize support for worthy projects, few applications will be funded at the $10,000 level; therefore applicants should apply only for the funding needed and carefully justify all expenses. NOTE: Individuals who receive a major project grant will not be awarded a Faculty Mini-grant in the same academic year.

  • D. Collaborative major project grants.
  • Groups of faculty (which may include lecturers) may apply for grants of $2,000-$20,000. Collaborators from other divisions, and other institutions, must seek additional funding. Collaborators must supply a letter or email of commitment to the project, which must accompany the application. Awards will normally be less than the $20,000 maximum; funding at the highest level permitted by these guidelines will be reserved for extraordinary proposals. Therefore, applicants should apply only for the funds needed and should carefully justify all expenses. Please note these specific requirements: (1) each application must detail a unified, coherent project (not a diverse set of projects by various members of the group; a lecture series based on a unified theme or a mini-conference or inter-related series of seminars fulfills this requirement); (2) One faculty member must serve as PI (principal investigator) for the project; that person must be the leading creative participant and/or organizer. Individuals awarded a collaborative grant remain eligible for a Faculty Mini-grant in the same year.

  • E. Multiple applications.
  • Faculty may submit a maximum of one individual grant and one collaborative grant on which s/he is PI in any single academic year.

  • F. Application deadline and award notification.
  • Applications for Major Project Grants must be received by Feb.11, 2011 at 5 p.m. for projects taking place between July of the application year and the following August. Decisions will be rendered by April 1. Late or incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the committee.

    Priorities for Major Grants

    (1) Strength of the proposal and its potential impact (its national/international impact & long-term contribution to the applicant's field) 

    (2) Attempts to secure funding from non-ARI sources (Has the applicant applied for external money for this or other research projects? Have other sources of funding besides ARI been considered?)

    (3) The likelihood of timely completion (Is the proposal realistic and well thought-out? Does the applicant's record indicate that the project will be completed? Has an exhibition/performance venue been secured or a publisher been identified?) 

    (4) Fiscal responsibility (Is the budget reasonable? Are the figures reliable?)

    Best practices, tips and guidelines

    - Projects will not be funded repeatedly without tangible evidence of progress

    - ARI does not normally fund courses or projects related to teaching; projects related to coursework and specific classes must articulate a clear research aim and outcome;

    - Vanity publications (self-publishing or pay-for publishing) are rarely funded, although exceptions will be considered

    - Collaborators with institutional positions outside the Arts at UCSC are expected to contribute to the collaboration monetarily

    - Departments that benefit from events are expected to contribute monetarily or in kind

    - The expected contribution of each collaborator should be spelled out in the application with a note of endorsement from each collaborator in which the individual acknowledges her/his specific contribution

    - Collaborators are not considered to be collaborators if the grant is being used to pay them

    - Collaborations outside a single department are more desirable than those within the same department (Divisional perspective vs. Department perspective)

    - ARI rarely funds more than one major public event held at UCSC and oriented towards the same department/group of people in any one academic year

    - Big events often require a year of planning prior to the year of the event; ARI will fund planning sessions

    - Money from previous grants must be spent and accomplishments made clear beforenew funds will be granted

    - Executive Committee rankings & discussions are confidential; queries should be directed to the ARI director


  • G. Evaluation criteria.
  • Applications for Major Project Grants will be judged on the degree to which they meet the stated purpose of this grant program (see IIA above), as well as their feasibility and likelihood of completion (which includes the applicant's record of productivity). Applicants should detail the specific anticipated outcome of the grant, specify how the proposed project relates to the overall direction of their research and productivity, and address the project's contribution to the field, its originality, and its potential national/international impact. The committee will not necessarily distribute funds evenly, but will assess the needs and significance of each project and will award funds to those projects that have the greatest potential for fulfilling the stated goals and objectives of the ARI. Projects may be funded in part. Applicants should request only the support necessary, justify all expenses, and inform the committee of the minimum funding that will allow the project to go forward.

  • H. Allowable projects.
  • Activities including, but not limited to, the following are eligible for funding under the Major Project Grant category: public exhibitions, installations, performances, and screenings; symposia, conferences and speaker series; residencies of artists and scholars at UCSC; publication subventions; creative activity and/or research leading to publication, performance, or exhibition. Costs funded by the ARI include, but are not limited to: research-related travel; honoraria for guests; materials and equipment; research assistance; technical assistance; event staffing; publicity and promotion; photocopying and postage. ARI major project grants will not provide stipends or honoraria for UCSC faculty or support attendance at conferences as an observer or participant (faculty may apply for support for the latter purpose under the "mini-grant" category). Requests for catering expenses should be kept to a reasonable level. Course relief will be funded only in extraordinary circumstances and in no case more frequently than one course every five years.

  • I. Timeline for project completion; multi-year projects.

    All ARI-sponsored research – including Individual Mini-grants and Major Project Grants must be completed by November 1, 2012 (4 months after the end of the fiscal year for which funds were granted). Multi-year projects will be funded on an annual basis only. Funding will expire at the end of the grant period. Should it become impossible to complete a project by the specified funding deadline, grants monies will return to the ARI, and applicants may apply again for research funding in subsequent rounds. For multi-year projects, the committee may, in rare instances, allow funds to be held over for one additional year. The awardee must petition the committee by April 1 for monies to be carried over into the next year; the committee will consider the request and inform the applicant by May 15.

    III. Off-Cycle Travel/Contingency Requests

    When available, off-cycle travel funds are intended to supplement Academic Senate COR travel funds to venues at which faculty have been invited to present research or other creative activity.

    Off-cycle contingency funds, when available, are intended to support unforeseen research opportunities which arise outside the regular ARI funding cycles.

    Off-cycle proposals should include an explanation of the unforeseen contingency or travel circumstance, and a budget. In general, contingency funds will NOT be granted for projects previously funded.

    If applying for funds to supplement an existing ARI-funded project, the narrative must explain why additional support is required, and why such a need could not have been foreseen at the time of the original application to ARI. Please supply ARI with documentation concerning your contingency fund request.

    To be eligible for ARI off-cycle travel funds, you must have already applied to the Academic Senate COR for travel funds (please include a copy of your Academic Senate COR Travel Grant request). You may apply for funds to supplement COR travel funding to a single venue, or for travel to a second venue.

    In any case you must apply for “off-cycle” funds prior to making expenditures or undertaking the travel for which you will be reimbursed. These funds may not be applied retroactively.

    Travel requests may not exceed $1000. Contingency funds requests may not exceed $2000. No one person can receive more than $1000 in travel and $2000 in contingency funding in any academic year.

    Application for off-cycle funding is on-going. Decisions will be made by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case, first come, first served basis until the off-cycle monies are expended.

IV. Other Policies

  • A. Proposals by members of the Executive Committee.
  • Any proposal involving a committee member will be evaluated by the rest of the committee in the absence of the applicant.

  • B. Policy review.

    All policies in this document will be reviewed by the committee at the end of each academic year. Feedback on desirable changes/additions is welcomed from faculty in the Division.