Type I Guidelines
for Arts and Creative Humanities Proposals
Your Arts and Creative Humanities Proposal should place your project in a larger creative context, while providing specific details about your objectives, process and product, as well as the anticipated impact on your development as an artist and/or humanist. A typical problem is to offer too broad a discussion and too much personal background. The directions below are intended to help you organize your proposal and present your information in a way that balances significance and detail, and meets the requirements of grant-giving agencies, including the Undergraduate Research Office (URO). Please include the headings in the proposal exactly as they appear below. The proposal should be no longer than three pages.
Part I. Abstract
The Abstract is a brief but specific statement of the project's objectives, methods, and impact of your work as an artist, musician, and/or humanist: what do you hope to accomplish, using what means and resources, and why is the project important to you, your field, and to the larger world?
Part II. Project Narrative
The project narrative is a detailed discussion of your proposed project, including the objectives, the methods you plan to use, and how your project relates and contributes to the particular creative field(s).
Here is what you should include in your proposal:
A. A detailed description of the creative work you intend to undertake:
1. What makes it original?
2. Why is it important that you undertake this project?
Objective or goal: What do you want to achieve?
Conceptual approach: How are you approaching the project?
Issues: What concern, problem, or need will the work address?
Approach: What medium and genre will you be using and why are they appropriate for this work?
Vision: What is your vision for the final project?
B. A discussion of how the proposed work fits into and advances the field's current creative context and conversation:
1. What are the sources of inspiration for this project?
2. How does it build on or differ from past or current work by others in the field or in related fields?
3. In what specific ways will this work advance the current creative context and conversation?
Part III. Process
Describe the process involved with the project.
A. How do you plan to accomplish the project?
B. With what faculty member(s) will you work? How often will you meet? How do you know the faculty member(s)?
C. Provide a detailed timeline, including:
1. Pre-production research
2. Production schedule itemizing tasks and allocating time
3. Post-production, if applicable
Part IV. Biography
Describe your personal and education background as they impact this project:
A. What formal and informal training have you had?
B. What relevant experiences have prepared you for this project?
C. How does your past work inform this project?
Part V. Outcomes
Outline the outcomes of your project:
A. Benefit to the artist and humanist: How will this project/product enhance your interests and skills, directions and opportunities for further work?
B. Exhibition/Presentation: In addition to Meeting of the Minds (our annual campus-wide research symposium), how, where and when do you plan to present your work? If no additional exhibition beyond Meeting of the Minds is planned, how will you disseminate the knowledge gained from the project?
Part VI. Supporting Materials
All proposals must contain supporting materials to clarify the proposal. These include prior art or creative work; links to CD/DVD documentation; music compositions; sketches of proposed work; preliminary research; archive information, etc.
Part VII. Budget
Consider your budget carefully. Include a listing of all the items you propose to purchase and your best estimate of the cost of each item. All expense items should be explained in a budget narrative included on your budget page and they should include specific vendor information - where you plan to purchase the item(s) and how much each item costs. For example, if you are asking for funds to purchase a piece of software, is that software available in a public cluster? Does a faculty or staff member have the software that you could use when they aren't there? The selection committee reserves the right to disallow certain line items and frequently approves partial budgets.
- Conference fees are not allowed (apply separately to the Presentation Award program)
- The committee rarely approves course fee requests
- Travel costs must be directly related to the proposed research and fully justified; the committee rarely funds airline tickets or international travel
- Equipment purchases must be fully supported in the proposal and equipment must remain at Carnegie Mellon; state who will be responsible for it when you complete your project
- Book purchases are approved only if you can show it is impossible to get what you need from a library or on loan
- Food costs disallowed
Your proposal may be up to three pages in length, single-spaced; the budget may be a fourth page. At the top of the first page state your project title and the names of all students submitting the proposal. The next item should be your abstract. Print single-sided sheets only (double-sided copies will not duplicate and the committee will not receive your full proposal.) We recommend at least a 12 point, serifed font (such as Times or Palatino), justified left (right ragged.) Illustrations may be used in the body of the proposal but should duplicate well on a copier. If you are using color graphs or illustrations, please submit five complete copies of your proposal for the selection committee. Do not include a cover sheet, title page, resumes, or any other attachments: they will be discarded. Instead, include any relevant information in the body of your proposal. Remember to spell check. You are requesting funds and your proposal should be a reflection of your commitment to the project.
Review a Draft
You are strongly encouraged to work with your faculty advisor on your proposal and to meet with the Undergraduate Research Office Director or Associate Director at least once prior to submitting a SURG or Summer Research Fellowship proposal to review a draft. To schedule an appointment, e-mail Stephanie Wallach at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jennifer Keating-Miller at email@example.com, or call x8-5702.