FRFF Grants & Microgrants

About the Grant:

The STUDIO administers the Frank-Ratchye Further Fund (FRFF): an endowment to encourage the creation of innovative projects by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University.


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With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking projects created at CMU — works that can be described as “thinking at the edges” of the intersection of disciplines. The Frank-Ratchye Further Fund supports approximately fifty projects per year through a combination of full grants and Microgrants.

Any faculty, student or staff person actively affiliated with Carnegie Mellon is eligible to apply, regardless of their home department.

You are strongly encouraged to book an appointment with the STUDIO Associate Director, Dr. Harrison Apple, to discuss questions about your research proposal prior to submission including eligibility and feasibility. You can draft your application ahead of time by using the application details at the bottom of this page. Awardees are required to sign the FRFF Award Agreement to receive / access their funds.


Apply for a FRFF (Full/Micro)  |   Submit Project Documentation   |   Submit Expense Reimbursements


Microgrants (CLOSED – Reopens August 26th 2024)

·  Rolling applications

·  Up to $500

·  Decided by STUDIO Director as they are submitted

·  Must complete spending within 6 months

Full Grants (CLOSED – Reopens August 26th 2024)

·  Fall Deadline September 22/ Spring Deadline February 9th

·  Between $501 – $5,000

·  Juried Decision following deadline

·  Must complete spending within 12 months


Draft your Application Using the Sections Below

The FRFF Application questions are included below to help you draft your application as a research proposal. As a writing guideline, try to keep each section to no more than 200 words.


Faculty Statement of Support
  • Write a brief and specific statement that tells us what your research project intends to investigate, by what means, and how it impacts the fields with which you’re engaged.
Project Narrative
  • Expand in detail on the objectives of your proposed project. Give attention to why this is the time for this research to happen.
Relevance to the FRFF Grant Program
  • In your own words, explain how this research is a critical investigation. In particular, the FRFF’s mission is to foster research at the edges of disciplines. Explain what makes this research boundary pushing and original.
  • Explain the details of how you will conduct this research including methods of planning, execution, and documentation. A timeline is expected (6 months for micros, 12 months for full grants).
  • Tell us about what experience you have that has prepared you to conduct this research project. Consider what formal and informal training will help you, relevant experiences, and any past work that has led up to this research proposal.
  • Explain how this research will enrich you personally. If you are engaging with other communities to conduct it, also explain how it enriches them.
Biographic Supporting Materials
  • This section is for uploading or linking relevant examples of your previous work/research that support the feasibility of your project.
Project Supporting Materials
  • This section is for uploading or linking preliminary materials that illustrate your proposed research. For example, mock-ups, sketches, and works-in-progress are helpful to both the Director and Jury for understanding the scope of your research project.
  • We recommend using this template to outline how you intend to spend the award for your research project. It is crucial to demonstrate how you will use the total amount, including links to specific products, cost per item, and especially if you intend to hire others for assistance/services in order to complete the project. The form will ask for a minimum (barebones) budget and a maximum (dream-outcome) amount.
Other Funding Sources
  • Additional support is a huge benefit to your proposal (either monetary or in-kind). List those resources here so that we have a clear picture of the network of support you can draw on. The Frank-Ratchye Further Fund has been modeled on related internal grant programs within Carnegie Mellon University, including OLR/Arts Supply Funding Requst Form, SURG (for undergraduate students), Crosswalk Seed Grants (for interdisciplinary undergraduate projects), ISURG (for undergraduate research projects while studying abroad), GuSH (for graduate students), and The College of Fine Arts Fund for Research and Creativity (for full-time CFA faculty). Other potentially applicable sources of funding at CMU include the President’s various ProSEED grant programs, and the Henry Armero Award for Inclusive Creativity managed by the BXA Office of Intercollege Degree Programs. FRFF applicants seeking additional support for their projects should consider applying to these sources, as well, if applicable.