External Funding

Faculty pages header graphic4 MollyHeller"Heartland: Studies of the Heart" by Molly Heller (Dance) featuring dancer Troy Martin and "Mirrored Sculpture: Angels & Ancestors III" (2008) by Wendy Wischer (Art & Art History). (Photo: Tori Duhaime)

What Is External Funding?

External funding refers to resources that support faculty and/or graduate student research that come from organizations outside of the University of Utah. These sources may be Federal or State agencies or they may be private foundations. Depending upon the organization and the specific requirements of the grant, funds are available to offset the various “costs” of research—from travel expenses to artist salaries. 

Why Pursue External Funding?

Simply put, external funds can broaden your research horizons and elevate your national and international profile, as well as the University’s. It can be used to buy time, support research assistants, pay collaborators from outside academia, rent space for a performance or exhibition, and more. Finally, external funding often brings additional resources into the University and College beyond the direct funding that is used to support a specific research project. 

Where Do I Find External Funding?

The most high profile and typical funding organizations for arts faculty are the NEA and the NEH, which have fairly consistent funding programs that are available from year to year. However, these are by no means the only sources of external funding out there. Check out the Marriott Library’s Arts & Humanities Funding page, which has links to a wide variety of opportunities, from artist residencies to funding databases. An important database to search (and keep searching) is Funding Institutional (formerly SciVal), which has information on over 20,000 current funding opportunities in the US and 2 million awarded grants. You can also take a look at the Hall Center for the Humanities’ website, which maintains lists of relevant opportunities for artists and arts scholars. Sign up for “Researchers’ Corner,” the newsletter from the Vice President for Research Office, which publicizes opportunities from private foundations as well as limited submission opportunities.