Undergraduate Grants

Undergraduate Research Grants

The Undergraduate Student Research Grant program provides $25,000 in funding per year with the purpose of encouraging curiosity, creativity, risk-taking and scholarly investigation into an interdisciplinary project or subject of interest relevant to the student’s major.

Accepting applications

Dean’s International Study Grant

The Dean’s International Study Grant program funds undergraduate student’s international exploration. Ten $2,500 grants are awarded each year as VCUarts continues to strive to support international travel and enforce the importance of a global perspective on creative and scholarly endeavors.

Applications open in November

VCU Grants

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate research support through the Office of Research and Innovation.

Applications open in January

Graduate Grants

Graduate Research Grant

The Graduate Research Grant program provides funding with the purpose of encouraging curiosity, creativity, risk-taking and scholarly investigation into a project or subject of interest relevant to the student’s academic or creative interests.

Applications due in November

Graduate Student Travel Grant

VCUarts awards Graduate Student Travel Grants to support original scholarship. The mission of the program is to help fund travel that is not in conjunction with any credit bearing coursework or faculty-led activities affiliated with the university, including candidacy, thesis or dissertation research.

Accepting applications

Faculty Grants

Dean’s Exploratory Research Grant

This grant program provides funding to support research at the developmental stage where no definitive outcomes may be predicted. These projects allow faculty to conduct new research, explore new media, or collaborate in experimental ways.

Accepting Applications

Sonya Clark

Chair & Professor, Craft /Material Studies
MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art
BFA, Art Institute of Chicago
BA, Amherst College

See Success Story

Sonya Clark is a textile artist whose work has been exhibited in more than 250 solo and group exhibitions on every continent, and who has developed collaborative arts projects that have engaged thousands of participants internationally. Samella Lewis wrote in her book, African American Art and Artists, “Cultural customs and objects we have regarded as commonplace take on new significance and value in Sonya Clark’s artwork. Its complexity, breadth of expression and depth of symbolism enable us to extend our perceptions of art and life.”

Grants, fellowships, awards:
  • United States Artists Fellowship
  • Pollock-Krasner Award
  • Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship
  • Civitella Ranieri Fellowship
  • Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design Research Grant
  • Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship
  • 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art
  • Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts
  • ArtPrize 2014 Juried TwoDimensional Award
  • ArtPrize 2014 Juried Grand Prize (Co-Winner)
Hair Craft Project

Clark’s recently completed Hair Craft Project is based on hairdressing as the earliest manipulation of fiber toward an aesthetic and functional purpose. The project bridges multiple communities: African American hair salons; students, faculty and recent alumni of VCUarts; and the broader art community. It looks at the complex craftsmanship, engineering and skill of hairstylists specializing in African hair braiding techniques in cultural, historical and contemporary art contexts. The Hair Craft Project is innovative in its methods of attracting, building and bridging audiences, while supporting and acknowledging the parallel skills of artists, hairdressers and researchers.

What do you aim to achieve through your work?

“Often it is what is most familiar that is hard to see. I think that the most artful moments are ever-present. My challenge as an artist is to take the most familiar activity (hairdressing) or quotidian object (combs, cloth, flags), hold them ear-close and give voice to each story in a new context. The framework I use is rooted in history, materiality and cultural critique. The vigorous investigation of the mundane in a new light yields new knowledge.”

Faculty Research Reassignments

Because ongoing and productive research is integral to the mission of VCU, highly active researchers may seek Dean’s Office support for research reassignment. From course reductions to leave, research reassignments are based on several factors and are evaluated by the Dean’s Office.

Applications accepted on rolling basis

External Funding Opportunities

Check out the link below for past & upcoming deadlines for external faculty grants.


Faculty Research Grants

The Dean’s Faculty Research Grant program provides funding to support the final stages of research for which venues for dissemination have been determined. In most cases, Research Grants are awarded for specific art and design activities that have been invited or endorsed by peer review.

Accepting Applications

American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowships

VCU’s American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowships Program provides research reassignment for faculty whose research interests may benefit from concentrated work in association with Fellows of the Academy in the Italian capital. This award covers travel costs as well as residency and studio fees at the American Academy.

Accepting applications