The School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, and extended networks in and outside of Pittsburgh provide a number of funding opportunities to support the research and creation of ambitious and socially-engaged works of art.
Grant and fellowship opportunities both in and outside of the university are supported by the Undergraduate Research Office (URO) and study abroad services in the Office of International Education (OIE).
Within the College of Fine Arts, the School of Art and Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry also provide annual awards.
SURG – Small Undergraduate Research Grant awards one-person CMU undergraduate projects up to $500. Group projects can receive up to $1,000. Grants are given as cash awards for materials and supplies related to the proposed project only, and will not affect financial aid.
SURF – Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship awards $3,500 to CMU undergraduates for 8-10 full-time weeks of summer research in any field of study. Graduate Support Program provides some funding and assistance to graduate students applying for grants, conferences and fellowship opportunities both in and outside of the university.
School of Art Awards grants $600 – $1200 per student, and qualify students for College Honors at graduation. Open to all full-time BFA and BXA students in good academic standing. Students submit work to be evaluated by Art faculty on the following criteria: conceptual depth, technical expertise and development, evidence of creative growth, engagement with the culture from which it emerges, sense of exploration, and demonstrated commitment.
Interdisciplinary Award grants teams consisting of at least one junior, senior or graduate student in the School of Art and at least one collaborator from another department within CFA or CMU to pursue an interdisciplinary project or facilitate interdisciplinary research. A single grant or several smaller grants constituting a total of $3,000 may be awarded each year.
The C.G. Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan Summer Travel Fellowship provides $1,500 to an undergraduate or graduate student in the School of Art to expand their studies through a summer travel project. This fellowship was founded by graduate students Leslie McAhren (MFA ’10) and Courtney Dow (MFA ’11).
Frank-Ratchye Further Fund (FRFF) Grants & Microgrants
The FRFF is an endowment to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University. With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking and interdisciplinary projects created at CMU. The FRFF supports between approximately 50 projects per year with grants up to $5000. Any faculty, student or staff person actively affiliated with CMU is eligible to apply, regardless of their home department. The funding is available in the form of FRFF “Full” Grants between $501 and $50,000 and FRFF Microgrants that are $500 and under.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate Support Program offers academically focused seminars and workshops that advise, empower and help retain all graduate students.
Graduate Small Project Help Fund (GuSH)
GuSH Research grants provide small grants of $750 to graduate students for forwarding their research at Carnegie Mellon University. Grants are provided by the Graduate Student Assembly and the Provost’s Office, and are managed by the Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education. GuSH grants are intended to be used against costs incurred in the completion of research required for a graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon. These funds are intended to be utilized by students whose personal or departmental resources have been exhausted. A graduate student is eligible for one grant in each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) they are a graduate student. The GuSH application form can be accessed here.
GuSH Crosswalk Seed Grant
The GuSH Crosswalk Seed Grant is provided to graduate students and teams for research project pilots that cross two or more departments or colleges through the new ProSEED Initiative. These grants are to promote creative interdisciplinarity and collaborations among researchers across campus. Unlike standard GuSH grants, the research projects proposed do not have to meet the requirements of research for a required degree but can be for pursuing pilot projects, creating entrepreneurial opportunities and exploring interdisciplinary domains. Information and details about the application process can be found here.
Graduate Conference Funding
Graduate Student Conference Funding is provided by the Graduate Student Assembly and the Provost’s Office, and is managed by the Office of the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education. The goal of the funding is to enable more Carnegie Mellon graduate students to make presentations at key conferences and exhibitions in their fields or attend conferences and learn about the broader field of study to which they belong. This funding opportunity is available to individual graduate students, a group of graduate students attending the same conference and/or a group of members from a registered club/organization attending the same conference. If you have submitted an abstract to present at a conference, you do not have to wait until it is accepted to apply.
This award amount is $500 per student with a maximum amount of $1,000 per group. Awardees are selected through a lottery process on a quarterly basis. This is considered a partial source of support and applicants are required to seek funds from the following other sources first, before applying for these funds, including: Funds from the conferences they will be attending; their own advisor; their department; their college. A letter from the applicant’s advisor is required. Information and details about the application process can be found here.
Graduate Studio Research Funding (“On The Ground”)
Graduate Students may be awarded limited funding for individual research related to their studio practice. The goal for the funds is to enrich graduate research and academic engagement within the student’s field of interest and to support unique opportunities that can not be funded by other sources. Graduate students will only be awarded research funds once per academic year, and the Head of School will determine the availability of funds. Funds will not be awarded for the production or fabrication of work or travel to see exhibitions or performances. The funds are awarded by the MFA Program Director through direct application. Application for funds should be submitted via email to the Program Director and Coordinator and include a paragraph outlining the intended research and its relevance to the student’s practice, a timeline for the use of the funds, and a budget that includes any other funding the student is using for the travel/research. Students receiving travel- related research funds will be required to write a summary of their research trip for the On The Ground student dispatch series published on the school’s website and in the weekly electronic newsletter. On the Ground dispatches should be between 500- 750 words and include 2-3 images from travel. They are due to the Program Director and Program Coordinator within 30 days of return from travel; failure to deliver a dispatch in a timely manner will result in a student being prohibited from receiving graduate studio research funding for the subsequent academic year. An example On The Ground can be read here.
Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier Grants
The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry administers the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier (FRFAF): an endowment to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University.
Regular Grants can range from $100 to *$10,000, with proposals evaluated twice annually. Application dates will be posted at the start of the fall semester. Applicants for regular Grants are encouraged to contact the Associate Director of the STUDIO, Tom Hughes, in advance of the deadline to discuss your application.
Microgrants are available to assist projects that require modest support (under $500). The FRFAF Microgrant program exists to spur investigations at their earliest and most fragile state, enabling “rapid-response research”. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout each semester, while funds remain.
For more information and to access application forms please visit STUDIO for Creative Inquiry.
*FRFAF grants that exceed $5000 are rare, so applicants should consult the STUDIO if planning larger funding requests.
The Interdisciplinary Award grants teams consisting of at least one Junior, Senior, or Graduate student in the School of Art and at least one collaborator from another department within CFA or CMU to pursue an interdisciplinary project or facilitate interdisciplinary research. A single grant or several smaller grants constituting a total of $3,000 may be awarded each year.
The C.G. Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan Summer Travel Fellowship
This fellowship provides $1,500 to an Undergraduate or Graduate student in the School of Art to expand their studies through a summer travel project. This fellowship was founded by graduate students Leslie McAhren (MFA ’10) and Courtney Dow (MFA ’11).
School of Art undergraduate and graduate students have had a successful track record receiving support from the following institutions:
- Pittsburgh Children’s Museum F.I.N.E and TOUGH ART Residencies
- Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Grants
- Awesome Foundation Grant
- Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grants
- Yale/Norfolk Summer Residency (undergraduate only)
- International Sculpture Center + Mana Contemporary ISC Residency Program
- International Sculpture Center Student Achievement Awards
- Skowhegan Summer Artist Residency
- Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant
- Fulbright Fellowship
- Creative Capital
- Jacob K Javits Fellowship
- Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans