The Center for Humanities & the Arts Small Grant provides up to $3,000 in support of the research and creative efforts of CU Boulder faculty and staff to deepen and enrich the range of humanistic and artistic activities on campus. CHA supports work in the creative and performing arts including but not limited to creative writing, painting, sculpting, composing or performing music, acting, directing, and dance, as well as critical, historical, and theoretical studies of the arts. The primary mission of CHA Small Grant is to support and promote arts and humanities research. CHA uses the National Endowment for the Humanities' definition of the humanities:

“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”


FALL 2023
September 15
November 1

February 1
April 1


  • Open to all faculty, staff and non-tenure ladder faculty to support professional activities in the humanities and the arts
  • Visiting faculty with appointments at other institutions are not eligible.
  • Applicants may receive only one CHA small-grant per academic year

Selection Criteria

Grants are awarded on the merit of the proposed projects as a contribution to research in the arts and humanities, the record of the applicant, the quality of the application, and the expected contribution to the campus (ie: is the application contributing to the mission of the University and to professional development?). Applications less than $2,000 will be given priority for funding. Proposals over $2,000 should be larger in scope and need and include a demonstrated intention to secure additional funds to support the project. 

Expenses supported include (but not limited to):

  • Research/technical/creative assistance
  • Materials, equipment and supplies, copying
  • Travel to undertake research (e.g., libraries, archives, archeological sites)
  • Travel to present work at venues that enhance one’s research and creative activity
  • Foreign or domestic airfare
  • Ground transportation (e.g., car rental, train fare)
  • Lodging and meals
  • Space rental
  • Reception expenses and meals
  • Publicity
  • Honorarium and travel expenses for visiting scholars
  • Honorarium for guests to present virtual lectures. Honorarium to pay virtual guests must have no other means to pay the guest lecturer virtual presentation (Department funds or Faculty Research Funds must be exhausted) and will receive lower priority.
  • Priority will be given to research projects that benefit the professional and academic life of the CU Boulder campus. 

Not Awarded

  • For indexing, copy-editing and purchasing permissions for images to use in publication, we suggest applying to the Kayden Research Grant. If you are unsuccessful in securing a Kayden grant, we will consider your application for aid in indexing, copy-editing, and purchasing permissions for images on a case-by-case basis.
  • CHA does not fund conference travel; we do recommend that you apply to the Arts & Science Fund for Excellence and to inquire with your department to see if there are additional travel funds. Additionally, CHA does not fund travel to institutions that have invited CU-Boulder faculty to speak, perform, teach, or mount an installation. However, for faculty artists who can demonstrate how an invitation by an institution (to perform, mount an installation or teach a master class) is crucial to their professional career (necessary for tenure and/or promotion) and provide proof that the host institution has limited funds for the invited faculty, then the CHA will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.

Application Procedure

Applications for grants are submitted using the Small Grant Application Form. Submit 3-pages (max), double-spaced, 12 pt. type PDF with the following:

I. Project Description: Provide information about:

  1. The nature of the work: describe the methodology and, if archival research is going to be done, justify why travel is appropriate. Applicants seeking to fund performances, lectures, and exhibitions must demonstrate that the event will promote faculty research, creative work, or a future performance. Events whose primary beneficiaries are undergraduate and/or graduate students are not eligible for funding.
  2. The importance of the work to your research area and your career
  3. Expected outcomes

II. Budget

  1. Provide an itemized, detailed and balanced budget. Be specific and include all necessary quotes, quantities, and links to materials/suppliers whenever possible. Weblinks (URLs) should be provided for materials/services requested in the funding as demonstrative of the need. If a service is needed and a web link is not available, please provide a quote from the provider. If lodging, car rentals or airfare are requested, the budget should include quotes from Christopherson Business Travel and as closely align with them as possible. It’s understood that sometimes alternative searches for travel may yield lower costs, if so, please include screenshots or quotes from these sources. Use the University guidelines for mileage reimbursement for ground transportation, and/or per diem. The budget should be as detailed as possible. Don’t assume the reviewer knows some of the line items you’re requesting. Budgets with insufficient information will not be funded.

Small Grant Application Form

Application Examples


  • Any CU Boulder faculty member and staff, regardless of home department or unit, is eligible to submit a Small Grant application. Visiting faculty members are not eligible to apply. Temporary appointments (lecturers) must be teaching at CU Boulder during the semester they will receive the award.
  • Funds must be spent in the granting period in which they are awarded. Unused funds should be returned to the CHA prior to fiscal year-end.
  • Funding will not be granted retroactively.
  • If a faculty member receives an external grant for a project funded by CHA, any portion of the Small Grant that covers duplicate expenses must be returned to the CHA. Equipment purchased with a Small Grant belongs to UCB, not the individual, and should be donated to a UCB unit at the end of the grant period.
  • Within one month of the completion of the grant period, recipients are required to submit a final report summarizing the project and describing the impact on your research. Future grant applications will not be considered until the final report is submitted.
  • Preference is given to scholars with distinguished records who bring expertise not already available on campus. If a speaker will be part of a regular CU Boulder series or other institutionalized CU Boulder event, the proposal should make clear how the regular series/event is providing funding and why the CHA is also being approached for funds.
  • College of Arts and Sciences Faculty: Faculty members are expected to have exhausted their $1,500 Faculty Support Budget from A&S when applying for funding from CHA for individual research projects.
  • Costs associated with book production (photos, complex notation, bibliography, etc.) should be submitted to the Kayden Award before applying for a Small Grant. Please go to the College of Arts & Sciences for further information.
  • When a publication, exhibit, or performance results from work supported by CHA, the recipient must acknowledge the CHA in publications, programs, flyers, etc. by using the lockups provided in your award letter.