STEAM Innovation Grant

School of Fine Arts - STEAM Innovation Grant

The School of Fine Arts is pleased to be able once again to offer this program in support of collaborative STEAM research, made possible with funds provided by the OVPR. A total of $60,000 in funding is available for this year’s competition.

The purpose of the program is to encourage innovative collaborations between the arts and STEM disciplines (e.g. all disciplines housed in the Schools of Engineering or Medicine, or the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, or those sciences, including social sciences, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). Projects funded by this grant may result in publications, exhibitions, performances, academic symposia, or other research outcomes. We are particularly keen to encourage work that genuinely integrates art and science, going beyond the simple application of well-established concepts or techniques from one domain to inform the other, and generating new approaches on both sides of the collaboration. Preference will be given to proposals which identify specific external grant opportunities that have the potential to support sustainable (e.g., multi-year) collaborations.

Proposals may be submitted for awards of between $20,000 and $60,000. Awards will be made for approximately one year, unless a compelling justification is made by the PIs for an alternative funding period. The standard award period will be May 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Please note: careful consideration must be given, in both research and dissemination plans, to restrictions on travel, public gatherings etc. stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Projects must include at least one Co-PI from the School of Fine Arts and at least one Co-PI from another school or college at UConn/UConn Health. If the sole Co-PI external to the School of Fine Arts is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this individual must be in a discipline outside the humanities. For example, a collaboration between faculty in Music and English would not qualify, but a project involving Music and Physics would be eligible (as would a collaboration involving Music, Physics, and English).

Co-PIs must each make significant and distinct intellectual contributions to the design and direction of the project. PIs should be full-time UConn tenure-track, in-residence, or clinical faculty. Research Professors / those whose positions are contingent on grant-funding (soft-money positions) are not eligible to apply as PI. Faculty with projects that could involve grant-dependent faculty should contact the selection committee Chair before applying. Consistent with analagous initiatives (such as the REP), eligible faculty may only participate as Co-PI in one proposal per year submitted to this competition. Investigators may serve as collaborator on multiple projects.

Course buyouts will not be permitted due to the fact there are different (and at times divergent) college-level and school-level policies concerning course releases and course buyouts.

Budget preparation, including determination of allowable items, should follow the OVPR REP guidelines:

Click on ‘Budget Preparation’ (use of the Excel budget spreadsheet is optional for this grant).


Application deadline: 5.00 p.m., Monday, January 18, 2021.

For details of proposal format, see below (this document can also be downloaded from Completed application package should be submitted as a PDF attachment via e-mail to Alain Frogley, School of Fine Arts:

Awards will be announced on Friday, February 19, 2021.

Selection committee:

  • Alain Frogley, Chair (Associate Dean, School of Fine Arts)
  • Lisa Park Boush (Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
  • Leslie Shor (Associate Dean, School of Engineering)
  • Kumar Venkitanarayanan (Associate Dean, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources)


STEAM Innovation Grant: Proposal format

Please be sure to read all the guidelines thoroughly. Each item/section should be prepared, labeled, and ordered as indicated below. All elements will need to be packaged as a single PDF document for submission. Proposals must be submitted by 5.00 p.m., January 18, 2021  via e-mail to Alain Frogley, School of Fine Arts: The following information is required:

  1. Cover Page, including:
    • Principal Investigators: names, titles, department affiliations, email addresses
    • Other Key Collaborators: names, department affiliations
    • Project Title
    • Project Abstract (limit 300 words): Succinctly state the objectives, methods to be employed, and the significance of the proposed activity to the advancement of knowledge, pursuit of scholarly activity, or contribution to creative work.
    • Total amount requested (min. $20,000, max. $60,000)
  2. Project Plan: The Project Plan should be 3-5 pages in length (single-spaced, 12-pt font and 1” margins). The Project Plan should address each of the areas below in sufficient detail using the headings provided. Proposals should be written in straightforward language, keeping in mind that reviewers will possess general content knowledge but not necessarily specific expertise in the area of study. Proposals should avoid the use of technical or discipline-specific jargon. Acronyms that are not universally understood should be spelled out the first time they are used.
    • Significance/Importance: Provide a clear and compelling rationale for why the proposed project, scholarly activity, or creative work matters, and how it advances the goals of this particular grant program, in terms of fostering innovative collaboration between the arts and the sciences. Indicate how the proposed project will advance knowledge, address an important scientific or scholarly problem, demonstrate intellectual or creative significance, and/or benefit society in meaningful ways. If applicable, include hypotheses to be tested, specific goals/aims, and relevant background/information or preliminary data in support of the project.
    • Innovation/Novelty: Outline the ways in which this project’s proposed work is new/innovative in its approach, methods, or techniques in comparison to previous work in the field.
    • Feasibility, Resources, and Timeline: Describe the plan for carrying out the proposed activities, including research design, work plan, methodological approach, availability of necessary resources, and timeline for completion of tasks/milestones.
    • Investigators/Collaborators: Describe how the PIs and any collaborators are well suited to carry out the proposed project. Indicate how the project brings together individuals from different disciplines and how the collaboration will advance the proposed project.
    • Impact and Outcomes: Indicate the value or impact of the proposed project, once complete, and how the research outcomes will be disseminated (e.g. publication, exhibition, symposium etc.). How does the project reflect institutional, state, national, and/or global priorities? In what ways will the results of this work be transformative within its disciplines and beyond? What broader societal benefits does it promise? What is your plan /mechanism for assessing the project’s success and evaluating outcomes?
  3. Proposed Budget: List and justify each budget item. Budget preparation, including determination of allowable items, should follow the OVPR REP guidelines: (click on ‘Budget Preparation’; use of the Excel budget spreadsheet is optional for this grant).
  4. Future Funding: Applicants should specify where extramural grant proposals will be submitted on the basis of the research funded by the STEAM Innovation Grant.
  5. CV: Each PI should attach a 2-page CV following their discipline’s conventions. Include most recent publications or publications most relevant to the work proposed. In addition, please include a list of past/current/pending support for the last five years from all UConn sources (including start-up funds) and external sponsors.