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Office of Undergraduate Research

Preparing your Experiential Research and Immersive Studies in the Arts Grant Application

Grants from the Office of Undergraduate Research are competitive—we cannot fund everyone that applies. The information on this page will help you prepare a proposal that has a good chance.

  1. Carefully read through the application materials and talk with your mentor (and group members, if applicable) well in advance of the deadline.
  2. Write your application and get feedback.
  3. Prepare your budget and budget justification.
  4. Submit a letter of support.

We are happy to talk with you about your grant application. You can:

 

Read through the application materials and get everyone on board

Although you will submit your application online, you can download a PDF of the application to prepare your materials.

Talk with your mentor well in advance of the deadline and discuss whether or not you should apply. Discuss what would be in your project description and your budget. Make sure your mentor knows that they will have to write a letter of support for you.

If you are part of a group, select one student to take the lead on submitting the application, and make sure that the student has everyone's first and last name and CWU email address.

Write your application and get feedback

The application includes significant written components in addition to information about you, your mentor, and budget. These written sections take time to prepare well.

For grant proposals, you need to prepare a project description (up to 3 pages, double-spaced, 12-pt font): Please include the following sections:

  • An abstract (150 words maximum) of the setting/context in which you will conduct experiential research or immersive studies. This should detail the conference, residency, museum, archive, or other place or event at which you will conduct research. This could be “a studio space in the Alps” or “a prominent PNW literary conference,” for which you must be selected or otherwise apply, or it could be a research forest or field studies institute for biologists or anthropologists, at which you plan to conduct interdisciplinary interviews. Remember that you are addressing a committee of faculty across the university, so you do need to make clear the context in which your research is different from your typical coursework.
  • An abstract (150 words maximum) of your research goals or questions and/or your project that demands immersive studies. Describe how this immersion relates to your ongoing development as an artist, how it will affect your understanding of your craft, your ethos, and your professional pursuits beyond your class studies. 
  • Timeline for completion of your project, including plans for presenting your work

  • Beyond these required items, your project description should include any additional information to explain the project goal(s): What you hope to achieve. The important thing here is to be realistic. The committee does not expect you to install a 100-foot sculpture for $500.

    • Project objectives: How you plan to achieve your goals. What are the steps you will take and the methods you will use?
    • Background: How your project relates to what is already known or has already been done, both within the broader discipline and, if applicable, within your campus community.
    • Anticipated results: This section will vary considerably based on the type of project. If this is a project you've been working on for a while, you might have a very good idea of what to expect; if you are just starting out, you may be in a more exploratory phase. The committee does not expect you to know exactly what will happen but wants to see that you've thought about what might happen.
    • References (not included in the 3-page limit)

Notes:

  • Your project description should be understandable by a committee of faculty from around the university. That does not mean that you can't use specialized vocabulary but is something to keep in mind as you write.
  • The expectation is that the student is actively participating in workshops, masterclass opportunities, lessons, coachings, performances and/or active research. So please use this description to describe what you'll be doing to actively participate. For example: “While I am a resident at the Tanglewood Festival, I will participate in masterclasses with leading professionals in the field, coach three different groups of art songs, and perform in several Young Artist recitals.”
  • The committee will take into account the creative uniqueness of the experience for students. Use the project description to describe these aspects. 

Prepare your budget and budget justification

A well-considered budget is a very important part of your proposal. Please show real, total costs in your budget. Although the amount of funding you can receive from the OUR is limited, the budget should accurately reflect all of your expenses.

Put your budget together using a spreadsheet (template and example provided below).

Your budget should include:

Your budget justification helps us interpret your budget. It describes why you need what you've asked for, and how you calculated the costs. The budget justification should be written in paragraph or bullet list form or a combination of the two. 

  • The purpose of the itemized expenses should be explained and prioritized in case you are not fully funded.
  • If you are purchasing equipment, describe where it will reside once your work is complete (equipment purchased with grant funds belongs to the university, not to the grant recipient).
  • For all expenses, provide the basis for the cost estimates (online catalog links are fine, vendor quotes, etc.).
  • ​If your expenses total more than the amount you are requesting from the OUR, describe how you plan to cover those additional expenses.
  • If you have applied for other funding, describe what you've applied for and when you expect to hear about your funding status.

 

Submit a letter of support

A letter from a faculty mentor, or from the director or other personnel at the conference, residency space, or research setting that vets your participation or plans to participate. This may include a letter of invitation or acceptance, and/or a letter denoting scholarship funds or fellowship designation as a member of this working community of artists. Talk with your mentor and make sure he/she/they know what they need to do. The letter should be specific to you and your project, written on letterhead, and needs to be submitted alongside the other required documents in the application.  The goal of the letter of support is to indicate that this conference, research trip, or other experience is a valid experience for this student’s field of studies/ ongoing projects.

It is the responsibility of the student(s) applying to obtain the letter of support from their mentor and submit it in the application. Your application will not submit without the letter of support being uploaded. 

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