Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration (ARIA)

The Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration Program


The Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration (ARIA) program, a joint effort conceived and funded through a collaboration between the University of Michigan Arts Initiative and the Office of the Vice President of Research, seeks to elevate and expand arts research and creative practice across the University of Michigan’s campuses and schools. The program will support projects centered in the arts that ask creative questions and move toward new ideas and knowledges; invite new forms of collaboration and interaction both within and beyond the arts; and that imagine new approaches to problems and ideas in the arts and society. Applications are particularly encouraged from interdisciplinary research teams structured to provide mutual benefit to those in the arts and in other research sectors, and from individuals working in creative practice to imagine new horizons of artistic possibility.

The next cycle of ARIA applications will open in Fall 2024.

Successful applications will:

  • Demonstrate the project’s significance to national and/or international developments and conversations in arts research, creative practice, and beyond; 
  • Describe how findings (in artistic form and otherwise) will be brought to new and/or broad audiences; and
  • Demonstrate, in applications from research teams, how all collaborators will bring their expertise to the research agenda. 

All applications will be evaluated on:

  • Clarity, imagination, and quality of the proposed project;
  • Potential of outcomes and impact(s);
  • Quality and range of previous work samples; and
  • Feasibility of budget and timeline.

Approximately 15–20 grants will be awarded in academic year 2023-2024. Faculty applying for individual projects are eligible for up to $25,000, and research teams are eligible for up to $50,000. Projects will be funded for periods of up to two years. Funding can support projects in pilot/incubation stages or those entering new stages of development and dissemination.

The primary investigator (PI) and CoPI(s) for all projects must be U-M faculty with a research appointment (tenured, tenure track, research, or clinical professors), though research teams can include collaborators from across and beyond U-M. All PI-eligible faculty from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible to apply. Interdisciplinary research teams are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications will be accepted in two cycles: 

Round One (October 16, 2024, 5 pm deadline, November notification of award)
  • Start date: March 1, 2025
  • Latest end date: February 28, 2027
Round Two (March 12, 2025, 5 pm deadline, April notification of award)
  • Start date: June 1, 2025
  • Latest end date: May 30, 2027

Upon notification of successful application, PIs will be provided with detailed information about final reporting requirements for both Arts Initiative and OVPR.

Learn More about the ARIA Cycle 1 and C-lab awardees

Application Directions

Applicants must complete/upload information in four areas: 

  • Statement of Plans and Related Questions 
  • List of Recent Work (NOT a CV)
  • Work Samples
  • Feasibility Plan, including budget, budget justification, and timeline of work. 

There are an additional three items that applicants should complete as appropriate:

  • Acknowledgment of Application for Course Release Form
  • Contextualizing Collaborators
  • Letters of Commitment 
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FAQs

Can I apply as a PI and also participate as Co-PI or key personnel on another submission?

A faculty member may apply as PI on one grant application and also participate as a collaborator on a second grant application.

Is it possible for a faculty person to be part of a team of people applying, but not be "the applicant", for more than one grant?

Yes

Am I eligible to apply for the Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration (ARIA) grant?

The primary investigator (PI) and CoPI(s) for all projects must be U-M faculty with a research appointment (tenured, tenure track, research, or clinical professors), though research teams can include collaborators from across and beyond U-M. All PI-eligible faculty from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible to apply. Interdisciplinary research teams are especially encouraged to apply.

Who can I talk to if I want to receive more in depth guidance related to this grant?

Please contact ARIA.grant@umich.edu with questions.

My research in this area is done in collaboration with researchers at a separate university. Does this grant program allow for the effort of non-UM investigators?

Non U-M researchers cannot be the PI or Co-PI, but they may be collaborators on a research team or project.

Can the duration of my proposed grant stretch beyond the two year period?

No. Faculty can propose projects of any length up to 24 months.

Can a post-doc serve as PI or co-PI on the grant?

No, a post doc cannot serve as lead or co-PI, but may be a part of a collaborative team on the grant.

Can we add additional pages to the submission materials?

No. All applications should adhere to the stated guidelines regarding page length, image submission, and video length.

Is there a specific budget format or template we should use?

Yes, please use the budget template (found on the ARIA website) to think through categories of cost for your project and build out as much detail as you are able to do. We highly recommend that faculty work with their unit’s research administrators or finance team to finalize budget details.

Cost sharing is not required per the instructions, if include letters of commitment from partners what sort of commitment should be described in the letter? Are you seeking a financial or a physical commitment, i.e. lab space, personnel, etc.?

Letters of commitment should state the partners’ commitment to the project, including but not limited to the commitment they are making in terms of personnel, funding, time, space, etc.

Can we use the Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration (ARIA) funds to cover faculty effort (non- PI or PI) on the grant?

Yes, faculty salary and/or course releases are eligible, but must be explained in the budget explanation. Approval of course releases must be provided via signed letter from Chair and/or Dean as appropriate. Please use this form for course release approval and upload to your application (if applicable). We highly recommend that faculty work with their unit’s research administrators or finance team to finalize budget details in advance of application submission.

Is tuition support an acceptable budget item?

Tuition support is not an eligible budget expense for this program.

In general, OVPR support is NOT available for:
  • Travel to present at conferences
  • Computer/hardware/software for routine use
  • Office equipment, telephone installations, photocopy machines
  • Equipment maintenance costs
  • Tuition support
  • Requests for small amounts more appropriately handled at the unit level
  • Projects that are primarily instructional
  • Funds covering reduced external awards
  • Retroactive funding, costs overruns, or disallowance on other sponsored projects
  • Faculty recruitment and start-up packages
  • Page or reprint costs of articles in professional journals
  • Funds may not be used for entertainment expenses, or for memberships in professional organizations.
Submitting multiple media samples

If your application is best served by submitting work samples in multiple media (images and sound, video and writing), you may submit in two modalities. You must, however, keep what you are requesting within the suggested time frames for reviewers. An example would be that if you need to submit both images and sound, instead of 20 images and 15 minutes of sound, you might submit 10 images and 7.5 minutes of sound.

Creativity Lab


The Creativity Lab (C-lab), a joint effort conceived and funded through a collaboration between the University of Michigan Arts Initiative and the Office of the Vice President of Research, is a research development program designed to stimulate new work in arts research/creative practice. The one-week summer laboratory program will also contribute to the building of arts research cohorts among a wide variety of faculty. Applications are particularly encouraged from faculty members working in creative practice and interdisciplinary faculty teams building arts-centered projects.

Approximately 12–15 faculty members will be selected as fellows for the 2024 C-lab, with at least six fellow positions reserved to support interdisciplinary teams. (Teams can be represented by up to three members, with the team submitting one application.) Upon successful completion of the five-day lab, each fellow, including each team member, will receive $1500 in discretionary funds toward advancing their research project towards future grant applications. (Successful completion requires participating in the Lab each day from May 13–17 from 9–5 p.m.)

Applicants for individual fellowships must be U-M faculty with a research appointment (tenured, tenure track, research, or clinical professors). Applications from teams must include at least two members with research appointments. Faculty from Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants will:

  • Describe a new project (or new phase of a project) that the applicant(s) would launch through participation in C-Lab
  • Describe a practice, method or research question related to the project the applicant(s) would like to experiment with in a group setting
  • Demonstrate interest in supporting others’ arts research and commit to full participation in the C-Lab during May 2024 sessions

All applications will be evaluated on:

  • Imagination and creativity of proposed project in the project’s research question, methods or both
  • How participation in the Lab in May 2024 will catalyze the project’s launch or new phase
  • Where applicable, interdisciplinary range in applicant team

The next round of applications will open in Winter 2024.

Questions?
For questions related to this call for proposals please contact ARIA.grant@umich.edu.

For troubleshooting questions related to the InfoReady Review submission portal, please contact triciamc@umich.edu.