Overview of STUDIO Grant Programs

The STUDIO manages several grant programs to support atypical, anti-disciplinary, and inter-institutional research and education at Carnegie Mellon. Our flagship programs, the Frank-Ratchye Further Fund and the Steiner Visitor Invitation Grants, provide financial, administrative, and logistical support to actively-affiliated faculty, staff, and students from any department of the University.

The Frank-Ratchye Further Fund

The FRFF is an endowment to encourage the creation of innovative artworks by the faculty, students and staff of Carnegie Mellon University. With this fund, the STUDIO seeks to develop a cache of groundbreaking and interdisciplinary projects created at CMU. The FRFF supports between approximately 50 projects per year with grants up to $5000. Any faculty, student or staff person actively affiliated with CMU is eligible to apply, regardless of their home department.

Steiner Visitor Invitation Grants

The Sylvia and David Steiner Speaker Series brings creative individuals who push boundaries, defy definition, and demonstrate excellence in the arts, to our campus for deep engagement with our students and faculty. This grant program provides support to CMU faculty, staff and students who wish to organize a Steiner visitor for their courses, departments, degree cohorts, or student clubs.

STUDIO Hosted Courses – Call for Applications

The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry invites applications from full-time CMU faculty for STUDIO hosted and supported interdisciplinary courses with an emphasis on creative research. The course should respond to the STUDIO’s mission. The STUDIO will host one class per semester and thanks to the support of Deeplocal, whose generous gift will provide a budget for classroom supplies, equipment and visitors.

XRTC Creative Research Grant (Deadline September 25th 2023 at 11:59PM)

The XRTC Creative Research Grant is a new collaboration between the STUDIO and Extended Reality Technology Center (XRTC). With awards ranging between $1,000-$6,000, this grant is meant to both support and make visible creative research in the XR field. Selected projects will be supported by the STUDIO and a grant advisory committee to spend down their funds, professionally document their work and publish documentation on XRTC and STUDIO platforms. In addition, supported researchers will have the opportunity to connect with the XRTC cohort thus creating transdisciplinary possibilities at the outset of this new Center.

Director’s Fund Sponsorships

The STUDIO’s Director’s Fund was created to put power behind original ideas that cross boundaries, create new collaborations, and push cultural norms. Sponsorships can provide flexible research funding and other support for one academic year. Awards are made at the Director’s discretion in consultation with STUDIO staff and stakeholders. To learn more, please schedule a time to discuss your project with STUDIO director, Nica Ross.

Residency-In-Your-Room Fellowships

During the second half of the Spring 2020, in consideration of the abrupt impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, the STUDIO offered sixty-eight $200 grants to students enrolled in the CMU College of Fine Arts, to support creative work of all kinds. As of Fall 2020, this grant program is not accepting new applications; students seeking support from the STUDIO for creative projects should apply to FRFF.

The Maddy Varner Mastication Grant for Time and/or Teeth Based Works

STUDIO Alumna Maddy Varner’s generous gift supports a $500 award for “work that chews the cud,” such as art about chewing, or creative inquiry which takes a long time to realize. The first recipient of the award was School of Art senior, Lumi Barron, who spent more than 700 hours training squirrels to act in tiny domestic scenes. Awards are made at the Director’s discretion.

Funds Outside the STUDIO

The Sylvia and David Steiner Film Workshop/Film Experience Fund is an endowment to cultivate and foster creative screen-based projects involving those in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) community. The grants may range in allotments of $250, $500, $1,000, or more if needed depending on the project and the resources requested. While the stewardship of the fund is managed via CMU’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and the College of Fine Arts, any currently enrolled student of Carnegie Mellon may apply for funding.