Summer Arts Research Grant

The Caine College of the Arts 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.

In order to accommodate the broadest possible range of arts research/creative inquiry work, 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.

Students will identify A CCA faculty mentor committed to actively mentoring them throughout the project period. As part of the application students will include detailed letters from their mentors detailing their commitment to actively mentoring the students, as detailed below.

If a project includes any work that involves learning about living humans (including interviews, surveys, observations, accessing non-public data, or other interactions with them), it may require approval by USU’s Institutional Review Board. In this case, applicants must work with their mentors to obtain a Human Subjects Research Determination from USU’s Institutional Review Board BEFORE they apply for this grant opportunity. Faculty mentors can submit a determination request through Kuali. Please note this process may take up to a week, so applicants should plan accordingly.


This grant will support up to eight Caine College of the Arts (CCA) undergraduate or graduate students (or student partnerships/teams) to engage in creative or scholarly research projects mentored by a faculty member over a period of 8-10 weeks during the summer of 2023. Students must be continuing their studies during the 2023-24 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 research/creative project materials, housing, meals, and other living expenses; the funds will be paid out in installments contingent on the student’s ongoing participation, with the final installment paid after the student submits their final report (due September 15, 2023).

An additional $500 will be awarded to the two projects that most embody the Aggies Think / Care / Act values or effectively involve community engagement, as discussed further below.

CCA Mentors will also receive up to $1,000 to support their research.

Students are encouraged to apply for URCO (or GRCO) funding for the summer as well, as this would increase the stipend and also give the student additional funds for research-related expenses. Other funding opportunities, both intra- and extramural should be pursued as appropriate.

Application Process

Students will submit applications comprised of the following through the online portal.

  1. Cover Sheet
    1. This form must be downloaded, completed, and signed by the student(s), mentor, and department head. Cover Sheet
  2. Project Narrative
    1. Narrative (1,500-2,000) words detailing the following:
      1. The questions / purposes / creative goals of the project.
      2. The significance of the project to the applicants’ professional field.
      3. The methods the project will employ to answer the questions or achieve the purpose / goal. An explanation of the feasibility of the project to be completing during the summer timeframe should be included.
      4. The expected project outcomes.
      5. The ways in which the work will be disseminated.
      6. A project timeline that clearly communicates how the project will be carried out, including specific dates for benchmarks and deadlines throughout the process.
    2. If your project embodies Aggies Think / Care / Act values or effectively involve community engagement, be sure to address this in your narrative, as the two proposal that best achieve these goals will be awarded an additional $500.
  3. Personal Statement
    1. 400-500 words detailing how selection for the grant program will advance students’ educational and career goals. This might include plans for future research or creative undertakings, graduate school, fellowships, internships, or other professional reasons. The statement should specifically address how participating in this experience will prepare the student for their goals.
  4. Faculty Mentor Letter of Commitment
    1. This letter must describe the following
      1. A statement indicating that the mentor supports the project and that details the ways in which they will actively contribute to the project, including a schedule of specific mentorship activity (such as frequency of meetings and well as benchmarks, deadlines, etc.).
      2. A description of the students’ qualifications to successfully complete the proposed project.
      3. An explanation of how the project is novel, significant, and poised to make an important contribution to the students’ field of student.
    2. This letter must either be uploaded by the applicant with their other materials, or may be e-mailed directly to no later than the application deadline.
  5. Resume / CV
    1. A complete resume CV (rather than one exclusively including artistic work) may help reviewers have a better understanding of applicants’ full experience and preparation.
    2. For collaborative projects, separate resume/CVs must be included for each student.
  6. Unofficial Transcript
    1. For collaborative projects, separate transcripts must be included for each student.
  7. Institutional Review Board Determination
    1. If the project potentially involves interaction with human subjects, applicants must receive a Human Subjects Research Determination from USU’s Institutional Review Board.
      1. If the IRB determines that the project does not constitute human subjects research, the determination letter must be uploaded with this application.
      2. If the IRB determines that the project does constitute human subjects research, the determination letter must be uploaded with this application, along with a statement indicating the student/mentor’s progress toward completing a full IRB application for review. (If full review is required, it is not required that this be completed prior to applying for a SARG, but a human subjects research determination must be completed in advance).
      3. If the project does not involve interaction with humans, a document stating this fact must be uploaded.

Evaluation and Selection

Proposals will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of faculty, who will assess the following:

  • Overall quality of the proposal narrative including the six required elements described above.
  • Student’s preparedness to execute the project as proposed as reflected in their resume/CV, transcript, narrative preparation, and mentor letter of support.
  • Student’s potential benefit and growth from the project.
  • Mentor’s commitment to active involvement, including detailed description of mentorship activities and their timeline.

Students and mentors will be notified during the month of April of the application year.

Reporting Requirements

Grant participants submit a final written or video report detailing their goals, outcomes, and progress toward dissemination and learning objectives by September 15, 2022.

Students selected must disseminate the outcomes of their projects through presentation or publication. Students should present their work at Research in the Arts Day 2023, held in conjunction with USU’s Spring Student Research Symposium (SRS). Other opportunities include USU’s fall SRS, state and national student research conferences, and conferences of professional organizations in students’ fields.

Proposal Writing Resources

USU’s Science Writing Center is an excellent resource for helping write grant proposals.  They are happy to help with non-science proposals!
Visit their website

If you have questions about this grant opportunity, please see your department head or contact Associate Dean Raymond Veon (

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!