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Indiana University New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities

Indiana University is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities funding program. The objective of this program is to help Indiana University faculty members by supporting the initial stages of path-breaking and transformative programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity.

In 2016-2017 there will be five funding mechanisms:

  • New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship grants of up to $60,000 to assist in the development of innovative works of scholarship or creative activity (deadline October 17, 2016)
  • New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowships of up to $18,000 to fund the very preliminary stages of new trajectories in research or creative activity (deadlines January 16, 2017 and June 15, 2017)
  • New Frontiers/New Currents grants of to $20,000 to fund workshops, symposia, or small conferences with major distinguished thinkers on timely topics of significant and broad interest (deadlines September 15, 2016 and March 1, 2017)
  • New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowships of up to $3,000 to support national and international travel for faculty pursuing new and innovative research projects (deadlines 2016: October 17, December 15; 2017: February 15, April 17)
  • New Frontiers Extraordinary Opportunity grants. In rare cases, the office of the Vice President for Research will consider unique proposals that do not fit into other New Frontiers mechanisms. Funding amounts vary, depending on the project and whether other units are contributing. A project will be considered a “special opportunity” if: a) it is born of a unique and compelling confluence of events or situations; b) its characteristics (timing for instance) precludes application to one of the standard New Frontiers programs; c) the quality of the project is outstanding. Special Opportunity proposals are generally reviewed by outside experts as well as by members of the New Frontiers Review Committee. Faculty interested in pursuing an Extraordinary Opportunity grant should speak with the Associate Vice President for Research Development for guidance and preliminary assessment of the project’s appropriateness for this mechanism (rolling deadline).

Eligibility for all funding: All Indiana University tenured and tenure-eligible faculty are eligible to apply. Those employed at IU but not on the tenure-track, whose evaluation criteria include research or creative activity, are eligible to submit proposals with an explanation of the importance of research or creative activity to their evaluation in the letter of support from their chair or dean. Visiting and adjunct faculty, part-time faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students are not eligible.

Those who have been awarded funding through the New Frontiers major grant program (now called the New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship program) in 2013-14, 2014-15, or 2015-16 are not eligible for New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship grants and (all other things being equal) will be a lower priority for funding through the New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowship category. (Recipients of 2015-16 New Currents or Exploratory Travel Fellowships are eligible to apply for funding through the New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship program.) Because overall New Frontiers funding is limited, multiple awards for the same project are not possible. For the same reason, faculty members are limited to one Exploratory Travel Fellowship award every 18 months (calculated from the submission deadline of the most recent award, assuming no extensions have been requested and approved).


New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship Grant:
2016-2017 deadline: October 17, 2016

Funding up to $60,000 is available to:

  1. Assist in the development of innovative works of scholarship and creative activities in the arts and humanities. Projects should display potential for having a significant impact on one’s field or chart a new trajectory in one’s scholarly, creative or artistic development;
  2. Foster opportunities for faculty members to expand the breadth of their research or creative activity, including the establishment of new collaborations among faculty members from different disciplines, units or campuses so as to transform the boundaries of the arts and humanities at Indiana University. Such collaborative grants may, in special cases, exceed $60,000 if more than two IU faculty members with different areas of expertise are collaborating on particularly new and innovative work. Collaborations between senior and junior faculty members or between faculty members from different disciplines, schools or campuses are particularly encouraged.

Applicants should review materials available at the New Frontiers website (http://research.iu.edu/funding_newfrontiers.shtml) including sample proposals and FAQs with additional detail about budget guidelines.

Proposals for New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship grants must be submitted by the close of business day on October 17, 2016, at https://iu.infoready4.com/. We expect that decisions will be made about funded proposals and notice received by faculty submitting a proposal by the end of January.

Budget Restrictions and Guidelines: Funds may not be used for hosting conferences, workshops, or similar symposia (see New Currents opportunity below for supporting such events). Funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment that would normally be purchased by departments as part of a faculty member’s regular employment (for instance, most computer equipment); all requests for equipment valued at more than $5,000 must be explicitly supported within the letters of support submitted by department chairs. Equipment becomes the property of the applicant’s department after the expiration of the grant. Up to $16,000 may be used to obtain a one-course release from teaching, pending approval of one’s department chair (normal figures for applicants' campuses or schools will prevail if they are lower than the maximum). Travel expenses above $5,000 will rarely be funded through this mechanism. Funds not spent within 12 months of award can be considered for a one-time 6-month extension with a justification request for approval, after which time all remaining funds will be returned to the funding pool.

Application Format:

All proposals must be submitted online at at https://iu.infoready4.com/. All proposals must include:

  1. project description (12-point font, single-spaced, 4-page maximum), written in clear language accessible to an interdisciplinary panel of reviewers, comprised of the following:
    • background and significance of the project: please give context for the project, and comment on the significance of the project within the wider context of the humanities and arts in general, clarifying especially its connection to the humanities when needed
    • potential impact of the project on the field
    • potential private or government funding agency which may plausibly continue funding work on the project in the future
    • goals of the project
    • work plan and timeline to accomplish goals
  2. completed budget worksheet (on the online application)
  3. budget justification for funds requested, which should articulate for each category of expense the necessity of the budgeted items to the proposed project
  4. a letter of support from the head of the applicant’s department, division, center or institute. This letter should assess the innovative nature of the proposed project in the field of expertise of the applicants as well as the applicant’s ability to complete the project. Where equipment valued at more than $5,000 is requested, the department chair’s letter should address the necessity of this equipment and confirm that the requested equipment is beyond the scope of departmental support normally offered to faculty. Applicants from schools that do not have departments, as well as applicants who are the heads of their units, should request a letter from the appropriate dean or equivalent supervisor.
  5. two letters of support from experts in the field, uninvolved in the project and not necessarily from Indiana University, assessing the significance of the project in the field of expertise and the likelihood of its impact on the field. Ideally one of these letters will be from a colleague or expert outside of IU.
  6. biosketch or brief C.V. (3 pages maximum) for P.I. and co-P.I.(s)
  7. optional: 1-page bibliography noting current significant works in the field, photos, or weblinks supporting the proposal, etc.

Recipients of funding are required to submit a final report within one month after the completion of the project. Failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding from the Vice President for Research Office.


New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowship
2016-17 Deadlines: January 16 and June 15, 2017

Funding of up to $18,000 is available to support the very initial stages of projects that represent a significant new trajectory for an individual or group of faculty members. Proposed projects should be truly exploratory – for instance, leading either to a larger, long-term project or to recognition that the time is not right for such a project. Proposals might include:

  • An artist experimenting with different media or materials
  • A group of faculty from different departments, disciplines, schools or campuses planning a charette: a short, intensive design workshop meant to jumpstart a larger collaborative project
  • A scholar exploring a project in a field that is related to, but outside his or her usual expertise
  • An author experimenting with a different genre
  • A scholar attempting to determine if a particular research project is sustainable

NF Experimentation proposals must make the case that the project being explored is potentially significant both to the field and to the applicant’s development as an artist or scholar, is appropriate for the applicant and represents a reasonable and exciting new direction, and that the project has the potential to be the beginning of a longer-term, large scale project that is likely to secure external support (grant funding, exhibition or performance opportunities, etc.).

Budget Restrictions and Guidelines: Funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment that would normally be purchased by departments as part of a faculty member’s regular employment (for instance, computers); all requests for equipment valued at more than $5,000 must be explicitly supported within the letters of support submitted by department chairs. Equipment becomes the property of the applicant’s department after the expiration of the grant. Up to $16,000 may be used to obtain a one-course release from teaching, pending approval of one’s department chair (normal figures for applicants' campuses or schools will prevail if they are lower than the maximum). Travel expenses above $5,000 will rarely be funded through this mechanism. Funds not spent within 12 months of award can be considered for a one-time 6 month extension with a justification request for approval, after which time all remaining funds will be returned to the funding pool.

All proposals must be submitted online at at https://iu.infoready4.com/. All proposals must include:

  1. project description (12-point font, single-spaced, 4-page maximum), comprising the following:
    • background and significance of the larger project which will be explored or initiated through the Experimentation Fellowship, clarifying especially its connection to the humanities when that is relevant
    • potential impact of the project on the applicant’s creative or scholarly trajectory
    • potential impact of the project on the field
    • potential private or government funding agency which may plausibly continue funding work on the project in the future
    • goals of the experimental project, with clear delineation of how the applicant will determine whether follow-on work is feasible or appropriate
    • work plan for the Experimentation project
  2. completed budget worksheet (on the online application)
  3. budget justification for funds requested, which should articulate for each category of expense the necessity of the budgeted items to the proposed project
  4. a letter of support from an expert in the field, uninvolved in the proposal and not necessarily from Indiana University, assessing the significance of the project in the field of expertise and the likelihood of its impact on the field
  5. a letter of support from the head of the applicant’s department, division, center or institute. This letter should assess the potential impact of the project on the field and on the applicant’s career trajectory, and comment on the applicant’s ability to complete the work proposed. Applicants from schools that do not have departments, as well as applicants who are the heads of their units, should request a letter from the appropriate dean or equivalent supervisor.
  6. biosketch or brief C.V. (3 pages maximum) for PI/co-PIs
  7. Recipients of funding are required to submit a final report within one month after the completion of the project. Failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding from the programs. If after completion of an experimental project the applicant determines that further work is not feasible, the report should explain why, identifying where possible the challenges or barriers that precluded further activity.

Recipients of funding are required to submit a final report within one month after the completion of the project. Failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding from the Vice President for Research Office.
Recipients of New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowships will be eligible for one later New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship grant for the same project, though receipt of a New Frontiers Experimentation Fellowship does not guarantee later New Frontiers funding for a project.


New Frontiers/New Currents Grant:
2016-2017 Deadlines: September 15, 2016 and March 1, 2017
(and within 6-12 months of the date of the anticipated conference or seminar)

Funding of up to $20,000 is available for New Currents programs: workshops, symposia, small conferences, or roundtables that offer new perspectives on, and new insights into, areas of scholarship and research in the arts and humanities. The goal of this initiative is to host major distinguished thinkers on timely topics of significant and broad interest to the arts and humanities community and beyond, with funding preference provided to those topics more likely to have interdisciplinary interest across the arts and humanities. While presentations or participation by Indiana University faculty as part of the funded project are welcome, the majority of speakers/participants should be drawn from the outside academic community, and all speakers/participants should be nationally recognized. Written commitments by all participants in the event must be provided with the proposal along with short statements by the PI offering evidence of their prominence.

Key to this funding initiative is dissemination, certainly including but also beyond the Indiana University community. Thus, concrete evidence of well-developed and initiated plans for publication/dissemination of proceedings (with contributions by conference participants) as appropriate for the discipline and event is required for funding through this mechanism (see bullets below).

Application Format:

Proposals for New Currents Grants must be submitted at at https://iu.infoready4.com/ no later than six months before the anticipated date of the event and no earlier than a year before the event. All proposals must include:

  1. a project description (3-page maximum)
  2. list of confirmed speakers and rationale for their selection (2-page maximum)
  3. completed budget worksheet (on the online application)
  4. budget justification for funds requested, which should articulate for each category of expense the necessity of the budgeted items to the proposed project
  5. up-to-date c.v.(s) of proposer(s) (3-page maximum per person)
  6. two letters of support: one from department or unit head and an additional letter from an expert in the field, uninvolved in the proposal and not necessarily from Indiana University, assessing the significance and innovation of the project and the likelihood of its impact and success
  7. a letter confirming participation from all internal and external participants
  8. concrete evidence of plans for significant dissemination, reflecting the importance placed upon dissemination for this initiative. Such evidence might include:
    • agreement with an outside publisher for publication of the conference proceedings, agreement with a gallery or concert facility for a presentation of a concert or gallery show outside of Indiana University with accompanying program notes
    • agreement for webinars or other new media forms of dissemination
    • agreement/contract for publication of a themed issue of a scholarly journal
    • where contracts or agreements are not possible to secure in advance, applicants might include a copy of their proposal to publishers, exhibitors, venues, etc., along with correspondence indicating a commitment to review and consider the final product for dissemination after the New Currents event is held
    • similar evidence as that listed above appropriate to the discipline and event

Please contact the Vice President for Research Office for further guidance regarding evidence of significant dissemination.

Costs associated with dissemination (including publication costs) cannot be included in the budget proposal.

Recipients of funding are required to submit a brief interim report within one month after the completion of the meeting portion of the project, and a brief final report following the dissemination portion of the project. Failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding from the Vice President for Research Office.


New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowship
2016-2017 deadlines: October 17, December 15, February 15, and April 17

Exploratory Travel Fellowship funding up to $3,000 is available to support national and international travel for scholars and researchers pursuing new and innovative research or artistic projects in the arts and humanities. The grants will allow travel to museums, libraries, laboratories, art galleries, and cultural sites; travel and participation in conferences, workshops, symposia, and performances; and visits to collaborators. Applications must be submitted no less than 12 weeks in advance of planned travel.

Exploratory travel fellowships prioritize travel that is a crucial element of new projects which are themselves potentially significant to the larger scholarly or creative community. Travel to present or support work that is already well advanced is not eligible for support; travel to give conference presentations of exploratory work, or to participate in conferences that have limited impact in the field have low priority for New Frontiers. Because overall New Frontiers funding is limited, multiple fellowships for the same project are not possible, and funding is not available for projects that have already been supported through other New Frontiers programs. For the same reason, faculty members are limited to one Exploratory Travel Fellowship award every 18 months (calculated from the submission deadline of the most recent award).

There are four annual deadlines for submission of exploratory travel grant proposals: October 17, December 15, February 15 and April 17. Proposals must be submitted at https://iu.infoready4.com/ by the close of the business day.

Notice of award will normally be provided within 6 weeks of the deadline.

Application Format:

All proposals must be submitted at https://iu.infoready4.com/. The proposal should clearly articulate the crucial importance of the proposed travel for the applicant’s future work, and should articulate the relevance of the proposed project for the larger arts and humanities community. Proposals must include:

  1. project description (2-page maximum) including dates of proposed travel, background and significance of the research, description of the travel for which you are requesting funding and potential impact of the travel on the research, and the goals of the project
  2. completed budget worksheet (on the online application)
  3. brief budget narrative (no more than 1 page) clarifying specific cost estimates (please use US State Department for international travel, https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp or GSA for domestic travel http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877, for maximum per diem rates)
  4. one letter of support from the department or unit head
  5. up-to-date c.v. of proposer (3-page maximum)

Recipients of funding are required to submit a final report within one month after the completion of the project. Failure to do so will preclude eligibility for future internal funding from the programs.


New Frontiers Special Opportunity Grants

In rare cases, the Vice President for Research will consider unique proposals that do not fit into other New Frontiers mechanisms. Funding amounts vary, depending on the project and whether other units are contributing.

A project will be considered a “special opportunity” if: a) it is born of a unique and compelling confluence of events or situations; b) its characteristics (timing for instance) precludes application to one of the standard New Frontiers programs; c) the quality of the project is outstanding. Special Opportunity proposals are generally reviewed by outside experts as well as by members of the New Frontiers Review Committee. Faculty interested in pursuing a Special Opportunity grant should speak with the Associate Vice President for Research Development for guidance and preliminary assessment of the project’s appropriateness for this mechanism (rolling deadline). Contact newfron@iu.edu.edu for further information about the Special Opportunity grant mechanism.