Application Process


Application deadlines for full (juried) grants from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier are posted on the main grants page. There are two deadlines per academic year.

Applications for FRFAF Microgrants (up to $500) can be submitted anytime, using the same application form, and will generally be evaluated within 2 calendar weeks.


How to Apply

All applications must be submitted via our Online Application Form. Your application is your chance to tell us about your proposed project, why it’s interesting, and how you plan to use the grant. Your finished application will include:

  • A full proposal, following the guidelines provided (for grants larger than $500),
    OR a brief project description (for FRFAF Microgrants, up to $500)
  • A detailed budget for the project
  • Pertinent supporting materials, including prior work samples, preliminary research, etc.
  • (Required of students) a letter of support from your faculty advisor or course instructor.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Director of the STUDIO prior to submitting their application, especially if they are seeking grants over $2000. The Director can advise about the sorts of projects that fall within the scope of the FRFAF program, and about how best to ensure that proposals receive full consideration.

Grant Disbursement

Grants are disbursed in any of the following ways, by arrangement with the STUDIO:

  • Through direct purchases through the university’s accounting system — in which purchases may be made on the recipient’s behalf by the STUDIO or another departmental business administrator.
  • In the form of reimbursements for expenses, upon submission of valid receipts to the STUDIO
  • In the form of a check made out to the recipient. This option is only available to students who have received FRFAF Microgrants. Please note carefully: this may constitute taxable income.

Funded projects must be completed within six months after the release of funds, unless an alternate timeline has been approved in advance. Should completion of the project exceed the anticipated timeline, written notification must be submitted to the STUDIO’s Director for approval.

Reporting Requirements

Final reports are due within one month of project completion and should include the following:

  • A narrative summarizing the project’s process and outcome
  • Documentation of the supported project, which could include any combination of photographs, video, and/or audio recordings. Please note that videos should be delivered as high-resolution movie files (.mov, .avi, .mp4, etc.) and not as links to streaming services such as YouTube or Vime0.
  • Where appropriate, source code bundles or links to source code repositories
  • A financial report itemizing all income and expenses for the project

Final reports and documentation of all work will be archived on The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry website. If requested by the selection committee, recipients of grants larger than $500 may be asked to provide interim (“milestone”) project reports. The committee may adjust award amounts based on this interim review process. Grant recipients may be asked to present their work at an annual exhibition and/or presentation of all work supported that year by the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier.


FRFAF Selection Committee

Grantees of the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier are selected by the STUDIO Director in consultation with a committee comprised of the following: the Head of the CMU School of Art; a College of Fine Arts faculty member outside of the STUDIO and the School of Art, who is appointed by the Dean of the College of Fine Arts; a faculty member outside of the College of Fine Arts who has a demonstrated interest in the intersection of their discipline and art (to be selected by the Provost); a CMU student (selected by the Provost); and at least one highly respected representative from the greater Pittsburgh art community. Applications to the FRFAF Microgrant program are reviewed by the Director of the STUDIO.

For the 2012-2013 funding cycle, the Frank-Ratchye committee was: Golan Levin (STUDIO Director and Associate Professor, CMU School of Art); John Carson (Head, CMU School of Art); Aisling Kelliher (Associate Professor, CMU School of Design); Garth Zeglin (Project Scientist, CMU Robotics Institute); and Jane Werner (Director, Pittsburgh Children’s Museum).

For the 2013-2015 funding cycles, the Frank-Ratchye committee is: Golan Levin (STUDIO Director and Associate Professor, CMU School of Art); John Carson (Head, CMU School of Art); Mary-Lou Arscott (Associate Head, CMU School of Architecture); Kayvon Fatahalian (Assistant Professor of Computer Science); and Jasdeep Khaira (Pittsburgh Filmmakers).