Summer Arts Research Program

Managed by the Caine College of the Arts, the Summer Arts Research Program will fund a select cohort of highly engaged undergraduate and graduate students with majors in the Caine College of the Arts through a summer research or creative experience. These students will spend ten weeks actively engaging in research with faculty mentors, have access to special training and workshops, and will come out of this program poised to succeed in competitive applications for graduate school and national fellowships and grants.

This program will support up to six Caine College of the Arts (CCA) majors (graduate and undergraduate) to engage in creative or scholarly research projects mentored by a faculty member over a period of 8-10 weeks during the summer of 2021. Students must be continuing their studies during the 2021-22 academic year to be eligible for this fellowship.

Each student selected will receive $4,000 in the form of a fellowship award payment, intended to cover the cost of housing, meals, and other living expenses; the funds will be paid out in three installments, contingent on the student’s ongoing participation. CCA Mentors will also receive up to $1,000 to support their research.


In order to accommodate the broadest possible range of arts research/creative inquiry projects, the parameters of this fellowship program are very open. Students can propose an independent project, work with a faculty member on a collaborative project, participate in an off-campus opportunity such as an unpaid arts internship, or build research/creative inquiry activities into a study-abroad experience. The following are the basic requirements:

  • The student or students involved in a project submit a proposal (described below) that will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty.
  • A CCA faculty mentor is identified and submits a letter of commitment to actively mentoring the student or students. (When appropriate, an outside mentor may also be identified.)
  • Once accepted, students must submit a detailed plan of work that will facilitate assessment of progress and coordination with summer research activities. This plan must include a means of disseminating the research/creative activity, including at Research in the Arts Day 2022.
  • Fellows submit a report on activities and outcomes by September 15, 2021

Students are encouraged to apply for URCO (or GRCO) funding for the summer as well, as this would increase the stipend amount to $5000 and also give the student a budget for research-related expenses. Other funding opportunities, both intra- and extramural should be pursed as appropriate; however, a cap of $6000 of direct support means that if the student receives an award of $5000 from another source, the amount of the CCA Fellowship would be reduced to $1000 (this is intended to keep funding in line with national standards for student summer research support).

Graduate and Undergraduate students with a major in the Caine College of the Arts are invited to submit an application with their faculty mentors.

Students will apply by February 15, 2021. All applications will be accepted through an on-line portal.

The application will include

  • Completed application cover sheet with your info.
  • Project narrative of 1,500-2,000 words that outlines questions, methods, outcomes, and the mode of dissemination of your proposed work.
  • Personal statement of 400-500 words detailing how selection for the fellowship will advance the your educational and career goals, including plans for graduate school and/or fellowship/residency/internship applications.
  • Unofficial transcript.
  • Mentor letter stating clearly the level of your mentor’s involvement and commitment to your project over the summer fellowship period.
  • Second letter of reference from a faculty member or professional in the field of practice speaking to your qualifications for the proposed work.
  • Statement of current and pending support (other funding either already awarded or applied for, including external funding, URCO, etc.).

Proposals will be evaluated by a CCA faculty committee that will consider the following criteria:

  • Overall quality of the proposal narrative: formulation of research question or creative problem, significance of project, clarity of methods, articulation of outcomes.
  • Feasibility of project within the summer time frame.
  • Student’s preparation to execute the project as proposed.
  • Student’s potential benefit and growth from the project.
  • Mentor’s commitment to active involvement.

Students and mentors will be notified by April 2021.

If you have questions about this fellowship opportunity, please see your department head or contact Associate Dean Matt Omasta (