Faculty Research Grants


As a premier public art school, VCUarts pursues excellence in arts research. The VCUarts Deans Office has established research grant opportunities to support high quality faculty research and exploration to advance this aim. Research grants also serve as a preparation for applying for external funding to support faculty projects.

The faculty research grants program aligns with VCU’s campus-wide effort to become recognized as a premier research university, Quest for Distinction.  In keeping with Quest, VCUarts Research grants advance knowledge in arts and design, develop interdisciplinary collaborations to spark innovation, grow the next generation of researchers and scholars, or develop ideas and applications with entrepreneurial potential.

In this spirit, the VCUarts Deans grants allow faculty to create and present new work and explore today’s pressing research questions within the fields of arts and design.

Dean’s Faculty Research Grant Programs provide funding to support all stages of research from initial exploration to creation and presentation, performance and exhibition. Previous recipients may reapply for support annually.


Faculty grants programs serve full-time faculty at VCU School of the Arts. Faculty who work in collaboration with one another may also seek funding for a common project. Faculty members are encouraged to submit ONE application per deadline. When choosing a research opportunity, please consider which activities will be most important to your research within the 2017-18 year.

Please note: Department Chairs, adjunct faculty, and faculty on waivers are not eligible for these programs. Adjunct faculty are eligible for modest grants from the Dean’s office to support research, creative work, and professional development. The application is available here.

Application Process

Please choose the grant program — Faculty Research Grant, Faculty Exploratory Grant and/or Faculty Research Reassignment — most appropriate to your research.

Each program is accessed through an electronic application that requires a project narrative (up to 750 words), a project timeline, a project budget, and a current resume.  In the narrative, please give the review committee an indication of how this grant will contribute to the development of your work. Provide an explanation as to why VCUarts should support your project. Project budgets should also state if any additional funding has been secured to conduct the research.

A panel of VCUarts faculty will review Faculty Research and Exploratory Grant applications.

Review Criteria
  1. Clarity of the project: Successful applications show the project to be feasible and the presentation of the project is coherent and well articulated.
  2. Strong case for support: Successful applications make a case for the importance of the project to the field, the applicant’s career and to the relevance of the project to the School and University. Projects with promise of future external funding will be strongly considered.
  3. Clear and reasonable budget: Successful budgets clearly present project expenses and these expenses seem reasonable.
  4. Potential for external funding: More competitive proposals indicate that applicants have identified and sought sources of external funding to complete the project.

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. Grants are made by the Dean based on recommendations by a faculty panel. Grant range is up to $7,000.

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Exploratory Grants

The Dean’s Exploratory Research Program provides funding to support research explorations at the development stage where no definite outcomes may be predicted. Preference is given to faculty who have not received support from the School’s Research Reassignment or Research Grant programs. Grants are made by the Dean based on recommendations by a faculty panel. Grant range is up to $5,000.

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Research Reassignments

As an important part of the university, ongoing and productive research is integral to maintaining the mission of VCU. Because of this, the Dean’s Office helps provide research reassignment for highly active researchers. From course reductions to leave, research reassignments are based on several factors and are evaluated by the Dean’s Office.

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American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowship

VCUarts American Academy in Rome Faculty Affiliated Fellowship Program provides research reassignment and international travel funding for faculty whose research interests may benefit from concentrated work in informal association with Fellows of the Academy in the Italian capital.  

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