Arts Integrative Interdisciplinary Research (AiiR) Grant

Arts Integrative Interdisciplinary Research (AiiR) Grants support graduate student research projects that integrate the arts and design with other disciplines, especially those in engineering and the sciences:

  • to produce new knowledge;
  • as part of a process of systematic questioning and inquiry;
  • as part of creative activity and scholarship;
  • as a mode of creative activity and scholarship;
  • in the exploration and discovery of processes, information, applications, ideas or performances, and;
  • in the investigation of a subject area, as part of experimentation, and making.

Individual grants of up to $3,000 are available, and can support existing research efforts as well as new areas of inquiry.


Graduate students are eligible to apply if they are in good academic standing and are currently enrolled in any graduate degree granting program (inclusive of, but not limited to MA, MFA, MM, EdD, or PhD) and actively progressing toward that degree at the University of Michigan.

Selection Criteria 

Criteria for funding a research project include (but are not limited to):

  • It is interdisciplinary in its scope, with art or design as a central tenet.
  • It is relevant to and significant for advancing disciplinary practices, perceptions or capabilities in the domains represented in the proposal.
  • It is connected to the student applicant’s career goals and professional development.
  • It demonstrates a clear and coherent rationale for conducting the research.
  • It is connected to a line of inquiry that builds on what others have done previously.
  • It articulates potential impacts beyond the specific domains and communities directly involved in the research.
  • The applicant has the necessary skills and qualifications to execute the project, or has a plan to consult or work with others with the skills and qualifications needed.
  • The submitted budget reflects the necessary resources and good judgement about what is needed for the activities proposed.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Applicants from the 4 North Campus Schools and colleges (College of Engineering; Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design; A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; School of Music, Theatre & Dance) and School of Information.
  • Projects that include a multi-disciplinary team approach (Roles, responsibilities, collaboration strategies, timing of contributions)


Allowable expenses Ineligible expenses
Transcriptions Retroactive expenses for completed modules and projects
Subject fees U-M tuition or fees
Programming or research assistance Personal living or emergency expenses
Project presentation conference fees Activities associated with a course or other credit bearing activities related to coursework
Supplies Books, materials, equipment available through U-M lending or loan programs
Room and equipment rentals Materials for degree defense preparation or connected to degree requirements
Performer stipends/honoraria (exclusive of researcher)  
Travel – directly associated with this research/project Travel – not directly related to this research/project
Specialized software or equipment  
Printing and fabrication  
Food or catering  
New, additional, or extending work on existing research  

Application/Submission Procedures

Applicants will submit a “letter of intent” (LOI), briefly describing the project research.  Then, if invited to continue, submit a full proposal (of no more than 1500 words), a project budget and a letter of support from a faculty advisor within two weeks.  Please submit any relevant literature, citations, precedents, prior work, or other documentation that will help the committee understand the impact and rationale for the project. 

The submitted detailed project budget should reflect the described project activities, and should include any other requested or acquired funding sources. If anticipated cost for the overall project exceed the request, please explain what portions this grant will fund or what funds will be used to complete the project.  A budget template has been included in the online application for your use.

Applicants may apply for funds multiple times per academic year, but may only receive one grant July 1-June 31.  Students may also apply to fund additional parts of the originally funded project if research goals/milestones were compartmentalized, expanded or extended.

Applicants may be invited to consult with ArtsEngine to adjust and re-submit their application through a consultative process, if the project is determined to be fundable with reasonable changes or additional information.


LOI Deadline LOI Notification Application Deadline Award Notification
September 27, 2019 October 11, 2019 October 25, 2019 November 25, 2019
November 1, 2019 November 15, 2019 November 29, 2019 January 2, 2020
January 24, 2020 February 7, 2020 February 21, 2020 March 20, 2020
March 13, 2020 March 27, 2020 April 10, 2020 May 15, 2020

If you have been approved to submit an application following the review of your LOI, you have two weeks to apply for review by the committee that cycle. If you miss that deadline, your application will wait to be reviewed during the next review cycle. The AiiR Review Committee is comprised of faculty members from the from the four North Campus Schools and Colleges who have been selected as a member of the ArtsEngine Faculty Liaison Group, and ArtsEngine staff. 



Reporting Requirements

Grant recipients are expected to make at least one presentation at the agreed close of the project (negotiable with ArtsEngine) on the U-M campus – which can include a poster session at a professional gathering or fair.  Recipients are also expected to make a final report about the project findings and research experience (online template provided) and fill out a survey to help improve the grant program experience.