Incubator Awards: Research Grants for Creative Artists

Guidelines 2017/2018

The UNC Libraries invite current graduate and undergraduate students to apply for the Incubator Awards: Research Grants for Creative Artists.

The Incubator Awards provide financial and research support for students using UNC’s historical and rare library materials towards projects in the arts. Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity and use archival and special collections items as source material and/or inspiration; projects do not need to rely exclusively on materials in our collections. Recipients will receive a small stipend, instruction in special collections research practices, and support from library staff as they conduct their artistic research. The Incubator Awards aim to foster engagement with UNC’s rich cultural and historical resources and encourage students to pursue new directions, topics, or methods in their work and creative process.

Students from all artistic disciplines are invited to apply for individual ($1000) or collaborative group ($3000) awards. Grant recipients will present their work in a program showcase to be held in April 2018.

Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Artists’ books
  • Costume or set design
  • Creative fiction, non-fiction, or poetry
  • Dance choreography and performance
  • Documentary film or videos
  • Music composition or performance
  • Drawings, paintings, installations, sculptures, or videos
  • Performance of historical music or drama
  • Plays or screenplays

Learn more (in person!) at the Incubator Awards Open House

Tuesday, October 10, 1-4pm
Wilson Library room 504

Join us for the Incubator Awards Open House to browse special materials from the libraries, discuss your interests and potential project, and learn more about the Incubator Awards and how to apply. This will be a drop-in, informal event.


  • October 10, 2017, 1-4 p.m.: Incubator Awards Open House at Wilson Library
  • November 6, 2017: Applications due by 11:59pm.
  • November 21, 2017: Grants awarded; all applicants will receive notification of their status on or before this date.
  • April 19, 2018 (tentative): Incubator Awards Showcase

How to Apply

UNC graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for an individual ($1000) or group ($3000) award.

Proposals must include:

  • Short summary (300-450 words) of a clearly defined project
  • Name and contact information of a faculty sponsor
  • For group awards, please identify the role of member of the group
  • Optional: drawings or other non-textual elements in addition to the written summary

Up to five grants will be awarded. Priority will go to proposals leading to thesis work or other projects developed with faculty or departmental support. Awards will be made based on the feasibility and strength of the proposed projects.

Questions? Contact Alice Whiteside (Art Librarian) at or Elizabeth Ott (Interim Curator of Rare Books) at