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Arts and Humanities

Imagine Fund Annual Faculty Awards

The Annual Faculty Awards support innovative research in the arts, design, and humanities. For the 2014-15 academic year, a maximum of 150 awards, each up to $5,000, will be awarded. The application period is now closed, and awards were recently announced. View the full list of recipients »

Eligibility for Annual Awards

Applicants for the Imagine Fund $5,000 awards must be tenured or tenure-track faculty in the University of Minnesota system. Applications also will be accepted from arts, humanities, and design faculty holding full-time (100%) salaried fixed term appointments who are annually evaluated like tenured and tenure-track faculty (in terms of their research accomplishments, independence and ability to secure external funding.).

Note that eligibility does not include: visiting faculty, students pursuing a Ph.D., non-salaried faculty appointment type W or employees with T appointments.

To ensure that Imagine funds reach broadly across all eligible faculty, there is a limit of no more than three awards in five consecutive years. The first academic year of this five year window is 2012-13; awards in 2011-12 or earlier are not counted.

Attention will be paid to ensure a representative proportion of junior, non-tenured faculty applicants receive these awards. Only one application per faculty member is permitted.

Use of Imagine Fund Annual Awards

  • Proposed use for awarded funds must relate to the areas of the arts, humanities or design.
  • The award may be used for research needs, teaching materials, books, materials for creative works, travel, or equipment (subject to limitations).
  • The award may not be used to supplement salary, nor may it be used for course buyouts.
  • Award funding will be released in July 2014 and must be spent within a three-year period.
  • Awards may be used to supplement external funding.
  • Awards do not need to be, but certainly may be, used for new projects.

The Application Process

Complete the online application form. In addition to basic applicant information, the application form requires responses to the questions outlined below. For detailed information including tips on creating a strong proposal, how to create a user account (necessary for creating a proposal), and other helpful hints, visit our Applying for Annual Faculty Awards page.

Proposal questions requiring longer-form responses

Notable recent accomplishments
Without including your name, list your five most recent scholarly or creative accomplishments. List actual (not pending) accomplishments. Remove your name from all citations. If this project reflects a significant change in the direction of your research relative to these accomplishments, please describe the change. Limited to 250 words.
Proposal goals and context
A summary of your proposal's goals and context for a lay audience. Limited to 250 words.
Keywords
Up to five keywords applicable to the proposal.
Details on how any previously-awarded Imagine Fund awards have been used
Limited to 250 words.
Proposed budget
Budgets must list all funds (external and internal) available and all expenses. Include justification or rationale for any budget items where need is not self-evident. If including travel in your budget, be specific and use the University per diem rate. Limited to 500 words.
Details on any additional sources of funding that have been committed, such as grants-in-aid, start-up funds, faculty development or research funds, etc.
Limited to 250 words.
Project time frame
Is this a project that anticipates additional funding in future years? A proposal should include plans to use the current funds and further the project without relying on subsequent awards from the Imagine Fund. Limited to 250 words.

Note: If applicants have more than $5,000 in research funds available to them to cover these expenses, the Imagine Fund will give their applications a lower priority. Support for work to be supported by the annual $5,000 awards must not be similarly supported by University of Minnesota (not including Imagine Funds) or external funds.

How Proposals will be Evaluated

A committee of arts, humanities, and design faculty will review the applications, and will rate proposals based on the following weighted criteria:

  • Merit and impact (50 percent of overall rating): Will the proposed use of funds make a positive contribution to the field? Will awarding funds for this proposal be money well spent?
  • Appropriateness for requested budget (25 percent of overall rating): How well does the proposed use of funds fit within the proposed budget? Is the budget adequate to address the stated goals of the proposal? Does the proposal describe how the budgeted funds will be used?
  • Feasibility of proposal (25 percent of overall rating): Does the proposal make a clear, articulate case for the proposed use of funds?

Projects that use primarily social science research methodologies, or will be published in social sciences journals, may face more scrutiny since the Imagine Fund’s mission is to support scholarship in the arts, humanities and design.

Applications will be reviewed without name or affiliation. They will be also sorted by staff in advance to ensure that no faculty committee member reviews an application from their home department, and in the case of the coordinate campuses no one reviews applications from their home campus. Each application will be reviewed by two faculty committee members and in the case of a significant variation in evaluation such applications will be reviewed by a third faculty committee member. Final decisions and additional review is done by the Imagine Fund Committee. Due to the volume of applications, we regret that we are not able to provide feedback on individual applications, but please see our Example Proposals page for exemplary proposals.