Summer Arts Research Grant

Managed by the Caine College of the Arts, the Summer Arts Research Grant 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 grant poised to succeed in competitive applications for graduate school and national fellowships and grants.

Application Deadlines
Application Open: February 1, 2022

Application Closes: February 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

This grant 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 grant program.

Each student selected will receive $4,000 in the form of a grant 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.

Students selected must disseminate the outcomes of their projects through presentation or publication. One presentation opportunity is USU’s Student Research Symposia held late in the Fall and Spring semesters.

Program Structure

In order to accommodate the broadest possible range of arts research/creative inquiry projects, the parameters of this grant 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.
  • Grant participants 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 pursued 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 Grant Program would be reduced to $1000 (this is intended to keep funding in line with national standards for student summer research support).

Application Requirements & Process

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

Applications for 2021 have closed. All applications will be accepted through an on-line portal which will be available during the application cycle on this page.

The application will include:

  • Completed application cover sheet with your info.
  • Project narrative of 1,500-2,000 words that outlines the questions / purposes / creative goals of the project as well as the methods it will employ, expected project outcomes, and the ways in which the work will be disseminated.
  • A timeline that clearly communicates how when and how the project will be carried out.
  • Personal statement of 400-500 words detailing how selection for the grant program 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 grant program 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 of the application year.

If you have questions about this grant opportunity, please see your department head or contact Associate Dean Matt Omasta (matt.omasta@usu.edu).

Sample Applications

As a resource to guide your own materials, past summer grant recipients have graciously offered their applications. Please note that these should not be viewed as a template but rather as examples of the variety and quality of applications that are successful!

Danielle Casos, Music
Adam Hardy, Art + Design
Elise Sutton, Art + Design
Jake Hogan, Theatre Arts