Dean’s Faculty Exploratory Grants

Deadline: October 7, 2024 5pm

Dean’s Exploratory Grants provide seed funding of up to $5,000 to support research explorations at the development stage where no definite outcomes can be predicted at the time the application is submitted.


  • If you received funding from a Dean’s Faculty Exploratory grant last year you are not eligible to apply with the same project this year. 
  • You may apply for a Dean’s Faculty Research Grant for the same project for which you received an Exploratory Grant. 
  • If you have received funding two years in a row from the Dean’s Faculty Exploratory Grants you are not eligible to apply for an Exploratory Grant this academic year.

Applicants will be notified in December regarding the status of their proposal. Awards will expire December 31, 2024.

Please note: Award recipients must complete a final report on the project and submit to the Dean’s Office within 30 days of the end of the grant period. A report template will be provided. Failure to submit a final report on time will jeopardize future funding.

To prepare a competitive proposal that addresses the weighted review criteria in the Exploratory Grants category, refer to the following:

Clarity of the project: In your project narrative, describe your proposed project related to creative work and scholarship or an interdisciplinary project idea. Describe how this project represents an exploratory endeavor that could contribute to innovation and the generation of new knowledge. (45%)

Strong case for support: In your project narrative, describe how the project contributes to current trends/practice, your field, to your professional development at this time, and to the profile and intellectual assets of the School and the university. Projects with promise of future external funding will be strongly considered. (40%)

Clear and reasonable budget: Present a budget that clearly and accurately aligns with the activities of your project. Budget expenses should be explained in your project narrative. Click here for a list of allowable and non-allowable expenses. (15%)

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. Please note: Adjunct faculty, and faculty on waiver appointments 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. Learn more and apply.

Please use the following links when indicated in the application: Institutional Review Board (IRB), Budget: Health Advisories and Related Travel information, Budget Form: Per Diem Rates

"*" indicates required fields

Note: Adjunct faculty and faculty on waivers are not eligible to apply.
Tenured/Tenure Track/Term*
Tenured, tenure track, and term faculty are eligible. Projects from tenure track and term faculty may be prioritized.
In no more than 70 words, summarize your proposed project. If awarded, this text will be used for announcing your grant on our website.
Discuss your search (if any) into financial sources of support you have identified, are presently seeking, or have been awarded. This includes in-kind support, as well as cash support. Example: New York Foundation for the Arts – $5,000 – Awarded
Please list any partners or collaborators involved in your research and describe their role in your project. These may be other VCU faculty, as well as external organizations such as galleries, community partners, and individuals not affiliated with VCU. Please note: bios of all collaborators should be included in the Bio section of this application.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)*
Does your project include research involving human subjects (this includes surveys)? If your project does include this kind of research please consult the VCU website with the link at the top of the page, “Institutional Review Board (IRB)” to be sure you are able to follow all university IRB policies and procedures.
In 750 words or less describe your proposed project considering an audience of a diverse cross disciplinary group of peers. Describe how the project contributes to your field, to your professional development, to the profile and intellectual assets of the School and the university. Who benefits from this project, and how? Additionally, discuss your project’s potential for external support. Submit your Project Narrative attachment in PDF format
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 20 MB.
Using the template provided here download and complete the project timeline spreadsheet, which requires you to enter key project activities, a description of these activities, and associated dates. Submit your Timeline attached in PDF format.
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 20 MB.
Using the template provided here download and complete the spreadsheet of all assumed costs of your proposed project. After you have completed your budget, upload it into this section of your application. Submit your Budget attachment in PDF format. Note: For health related travel advisories use the link at the top of the page “Health Advisories and related travel information.” If you need to include per diem rates on the budget form, use the website link at the top of the page, “Per diem rates.”
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 20 MB.
Please describe your research into existing School or University resources that may be available to support your project.
Please describe the impact of partial funding on the outcome of your project.
Please provide a short bio. If a collaborative project, please include one pdf document with bios of all participants. Submit your bio/s attachment in PDF format.
Accepted file types: pdf, Max. file size: 20 MB.