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University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects

Students should read the Policies for Grants to understand the expectations for applicants and awardees before applying. Only applications which are compliant with all policies will be considered eligible for review.

The application portal has now closed. Applications for the 23-24 cycle were due by 11:59pm on February 7, 2024.

Decisions for this year's competition will be communicated by the end of Friday, March 1, 2024.


The University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects is intended to expand students’ opportunities for creative inquiry and showcase significant accomplishments in the arts. Student applicants will propose a substantial and significant project of creative work under the supervision of a UVA faculty mentor to be carried out in the summer following application for the award. Creative endeavors in any artistic medium are eligible for this opportunity.

Faculty Mentor

Interested students should discuss the proposed project with a UVA faculty mentor with expertise relevant to the project who will advise them in their work early in the process of developing their proposal. The UVA faculty mentor  will be asked to complete the Researh Mentor Support Form via the application, commenting on the student's proposal in no more than 500 words and, upon the project's completion, will submit a brief narrative assessment of the student's project.


Undergraduate Arts Project awardees may be granted up to $5,000 to pursue their objectives. Faculty mentors will receive research support in the amount of $500.

The University Undergraduate Arts Project Award supports recipients by providing a summertime stipend to cover living expenses (rent, utilities, food, etc.). The award does not fund other expenses such as travel, supplies, etc.


Current first-, second-, and third-year undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects. Students from all majors at the university may apply. Applicants should have some prior experience in the creative discipline in which they are proposing a project, but they need not have had formal training.

Application Process

Students will submit a project proposal, timeline, resume, unofficial transcript, and a portfolio of their past creative works related to their proposed project. Applicants will also be asked to provide the contact information for their UVA faculty mentor, who will complete the Research Mentor Support Form, and for an individual (who is not their faculty mentor) who can complete a Recommendation Form, speaking to their qualities as a student, artist, and/or researcher. Faculty reviewers will assess each application based on merit, taking into account such considerations as clarity of the proposal, appropriateness of methodology, the project’s feasibility, and the applicant’s preparation for undertaking the project.

The project proposal is expected to be written in the style of a grant application. Proposals should not exceed 2 pages (single-spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins) and should include the following sections:

  • background and question(s)
  • method(s) 
  • anticipated outcomes - which may also address potential limitations of the study
  • significance of the work

Proposals should be uniformly cited using a citation style appropriate to the field of the project of the project and include a bibliography (which will not count toward the page limit).

The project portfolio should contain 3-5 examples with descriptions of your work. The examples may be in a PDF (for written works or high-resolution artwork) or may include video or audio recordings totaling no more than ten minutes in length.

Submitting Joint Applications

Applicants wishing to apply together should submit a single application. The proposal should explain each applicant's role in the research. The project should have a single UVA faculty mentor; the Research Mentor Support Form must discuss both/all applicants. Individual components of the join application that must be provided for each applicant include transcripts; resumes; and a discussion of relevant background and coursework. The total budget may not exceed $5,000. The application will be assessed as a single application.

Arts Award Recipient Projects

Many recipients of the University Undergraduate Award for the Arts Projects go on to pursue graduate-level and professional work in the arts, including several who have received UVA’s prestigious Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellowship, which enables a UVA student who has an undergraduate degree to spend a year of intensive effort in a studio area within the McIntire Department of Art.