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University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects

Application Link: the application portal is now closed

Applications were due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021.


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 and subsequent academic year following application for the award. Creative endeavors in any artistic medium are considered eligible for this opportunity.

Faculty Mentor

Interested students should discuss the proposed project with a faculty mentor who will advise them in their work early in the process of developing their proposal. The faculty mentor should be an expert in the arts discipline related to the proposed project and will submit a form in support of the project as a part of the application. Upon completion the faculty mentor will also submit a brief narrative assessment of the project.


Awardees may be granted up to $3,000 to pursue their objectives. Collaborative projects may be funded up to $7,500, individual students on collaborative projects may not receive more than $3,000. Faculty mentors will receive research support in the amount of $1,000. Faculty who do not wish to claim these funds should indicate this at the time the student applies.


Current first-, second-, and third-year undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects. Applicants must be fulltime undergraduates at UVA and must remain enrolled at the university through the completion of their project. 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, budget request, 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 faculty mentor, who will complete the Research Mentor Support Form, and for an individual 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), methods, anticipated outcomes, and the significance of the work. Proposals should be uniformly cited using a citation style appropriate to the field of the project, and a bibliography should be included (though this will not count towards 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 photographs) or may include video or audio recordings totaling no more than ten minutes in length.

Submitting Joint Applications

Students pursuing collaborative projects should designate an individual to be the team leader, who will fill out the application for the team. The team leader will submit a single project proposal, budget request, and portfolio, as well as resumes and unofficial transcripts for each student on the project.

The team leader will be asked to describe the expected contributions of each student towards the project goals as a part of the application.

Final Products

Award recipients are expected to carry out their projects in a professional manner and hold themselves accountable to the responsibilities outlined by the Office of Undergraduate Research. These include (1) tracking expenses while conducting work and submitting a final expense report which clearly details how funds were used in the spring of 2022; (2) submitting an abstract and presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April of 2022; and (3) completing an outcomes and reflections form in the spring of 2022. Awardees may also be asked to complete brief project updates at one or more points between when funds are available and the spring following term.

Student Projects Abroad Travel Form

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and university policy, students will not be permitted to travel abroad on the University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects this year. We are sorry for the inconvenience and frustration that this may cause.

Institutional Review Board

Many research projects require approval by one of the University’s Institutional Review Boards. If your project works with human subjects, participants, their data, or animals, you may need IRB approval. Learn more about the IRB. Approval is not required at the time of application but is required before the project begins.

Past recipients of the University Undergraduate Award for Arts Projects have included the following promising artists:

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.