Proposal Guidelines


As part of the university's ongoing response to COVID-19, and in light of the decision to continue with distanced learning through thw Winter Quarter, we are adjusting the parameters of our Student Creativity Grant program for the Winter Quarter. We know that the shift to distance learning has meant suspending a number of exciting programs and events, and brings its own unique set of challenges to maintaining social and creative networks. With this in mind, the student creativity grants will prioritize supporting projects that can happen effectively virtually. We are, however, still accepting applications for more general arts projects, provided they take into account social distancing guidelines.

We will continue to host workshop sessions, and you can sign up for an appointment slot here. Workshops will take place via Zoom. 

RSO Applications: 

Per the updated Campus & Student Life guidelines for RSOs for Spring Quarter, your RSO advisor will need to approve any expenses in advance. Please be sure to notify your grants advisor of your intent to apply for the grant. The Student Creativity Grants Committee will coordinate with the Office of Campus & Student Life to notify them of any RSO awardees. Please contact your RSO advisor if you have any questions.

We also recommend that you review the newly-launched UChicago Arts Virtual page, and please let us know if you have an event that should be listed.

Student Creativity Grants provide students and RSOs with funding for generative creative projects that express the UChicago standards of excellence and critical inquiry. This grant supports work across the arts in general, with a slight preference for projects that show collaborative, cross-disciplinary, or community-engaged works.

These grants are offered to both support creative endeavors and to provide crucial real-life experience of a career in the arts. Applying to and reporting on arts grants is the lifeblood of any creative endeavor, and understanding the grant process is often the deciding factor in an artist’s or organization's success.

In support of this, we offer several workshops to students wishing to apply for these grants. The funding for these projects is highly competitive, and the training provided in the workshops will prove invaluable both in this process and in securing successful future grants applications.

What makes a proposal successful?

  1. We are looking for projects that demonstrate thoughtful, critical engagement with a topic or medium. That is, you must clearly and persuasively articulate why you are proposing this. A successful narrative provides context for the work and demonstrates your background in the project
  2. The proposal must be achievable. This means having a clear and practical budget, and a goal that is reasonably accomplished within the proposed timeline.

We strongly recommend not only attending a workshop, but also reaching out to a faculty member you are working with for initial feedback and advice. 

Student Creativity Grants Mission:

The Student Creativity Grants are intended to fund innovative artistic projects that are generative to the creative community and serve to raise the profile of the arts on the University of Chicago campus. The grants support students' original ideas for the creation and presentation of projects in the literary, musical, theatrical, or visual arts.

To know before you apply:

  1. Proposals are accepted only from individual students or University-based Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs).
  2. Grant requests can range up to $3,000. Students are advised to apply for multiple sources of funding, as the Student Creativity Grant can fund only the parts of the project that align with the SCG mission. 
  3. Student Creativity Grants provide one-time seed funding for new artistic ventures and should not be considered a source of continued funding. A request for renewed support of a project previously supported via a Student Creativity Grant is unlikely to be successful unless the proposal introduces a significant change or addition to the project.
  4. Applications are reviewed quarterly. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals one or two quarters in advance of any publication, presentation, or performance date. Events occurring shortly after or during the notification period will be disqualified from consideration.


PLEASE NOTE: We have updated guidelines for Winter and Spring 2021 applicants; please make sure your project complies before applying. 

WORKSHOPS: 1:1 review sessions are available up to two weeks prior to the application deadline. The workshops are informal conversations with the grant administrator, designed to help you talk through your idea, frame your project successfully, and understand how the grant application process works in more depth. Sessions typically last 30 minutes. You can schedule a workshop here. You will need to provide a rough draft of your application atleast 24 hours prior to the meeting. 

2020-21 Deadlines

Fall Quarter:
Student Creativity Grants are suspended for the Fall Quarter.

Winter Quarter: Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 11:59pm
Student Workshops available Feb. 2 - 19 
Applicants will be notified of grant decisions on Friday, March 5, 2021

Spring Quarter: Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 11:59pm
Student Workshops available April 12 - 23

Applicants will be notified of grant decisions on Friday, May 7, 2021

Students who have questions regarding eligibility and application procedures should contact well in advance of the submission deadline.