College of Fine Arts

Faculty members in the College of Fine Arts have four new opportunities to cultivate arts research, including the University of Arizona Office of Research Innovation and Impact (RII) production seed grants, the Udall Center Fellowships and more.

Interest and support for research in the arts has been on the rise since 2019, which coincides with the establishment of two new positions. 

College of Fine Arts Dean Andy Schulz was appointed the first vice president for the arts in 2019. He, in turn, created a new position within the Dean’s office: the Associate Dean for Research. Ellen McMahon was selected for that role. With this renewed focus on research in the arts, funding has followed. 

In 2020, RII awarded its first round of production seed grants and since then has funded 11 projects utilizing arts-based research methods resulting in a wide range of projects from a musical composition reflecting tree-ring research to a documentary film humanizes  Americans’ struggles and concerns around healthcare.

“Artists want to change the world and because of the nature of their methods they can play a significant roles in interdisciplinary teams exploring grand challenges,” said McMahon.

“Art as a method of research is inherently transdisciplinary because its subject matter can be anything, and its content is by definition, everything (human experience). Arts-based research is increasingly being integrated across many fields because it addresses the blind spots and limitations of objective research methods.”

Arizona Institute for Resilience Grant … due March 17   

The Arizona Institute for Resilience (AIR) seeks to fund an interdisciplinary team to develop and execute a creative and inspiring year-long agenda of events and activities focused on a single, resilience-related theme-of-the-year for 2023–2024. This theme will be investigated, explored and examined through a series of activities using a wide variety of venues. During the 2023–2024 academic year, the team will engage researchers, students, and community participants across diverse disciplines and ways of knowing to spark interest in the theme, increase understanding of the issues surrounding it, promote new research partnerships, and provide a focus for highlighting University opportunities for learning and developing solutions to relevant challenges related to the theme. This year-long effort will lead to at least three significant collaborative outcomes, including a proposal for external funding to support continued research and collaboration, an article ready for submission to peer-review, and a creative product that educates the community about this theme.

RII Production Grants … due April 3  

Recognizing that scholarly activity at the University of Arizona spans multiple fields and mediums, RII offers dedicated seed grants to aid in the production of original works and scholarship. This funding may be used for costs associated with producing a product, performance, or installation, e.g., time in a recording studio, film and videography expenses, installation expenses, travel, and other expenses related to the production of innovative scholarship.

If the proposed activities engage the public or UArizona community, the production, performance, or exhibition must be accessible.

  • Track 1: Single Investigator Award: Investigators may request up to $15,000
  • Track 2: Team Award: Teams may request up to $20,00

RII Community-Engaged Partnership Grants … due April 3 

The RII Community Engaged Partnerships Grant is designed to foster research relationships between University of Arizona researchers and their community partners. The goal of this grant is to build, maintain, and increase community engaged partnerships and the societal impact that results from the research relationships. Additionally, this grant is intended to support communication and dissemination of outcomes and societal impact within the partnering communities and beyond.  

The University of Arizona has a special interest in community engaged partnerships Community engagement as defined by the Carnegie Foundation, “describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” Applicants are encouraged to tailor their submissions accordingly.  

Udall Center Fellows … due April 14

In past years the Udall Center Fellows Program has offered several specialized tracks tailored to a range of public-policy interests. This year, with support from a number of new partner colleges and programs, the Udall Center has expanded the program by adding several new tracks, each designed to accommodate discipline-specific research as it relates to public policy, including Fine Arts.  For the 2023-24 academic year, the following six tracks are featured:

  • Social Sciences and Public Policyin partnership with the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Science and Public Policyin partnership with the College of Science
  • Fine Arts and Public Policyin partnership with the College of Fine Arts
  • Environment and Public Policyin partnership with the Arizona Institute for Resilience (AIR)
  • Biosciences and Public Policyin partnership with theBIO5 Institute
  • Other Public Policy Research,in partnership with the Office of Research, Innovation and Impact (RII)

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