The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange


Call for Proposals

UCIRA Artist Summer Residencies will provide up to $1500 as a travel and research stipend for UC faculty, students and/or staff working independently or collaboratively in all art forms to develop their work within the UC Natural Reserve System.

Online applications must be completed by June 15, 2014. June 22nd, 2014 (deadline extended)

How to Apply
*Applications are only accepted only through our online system, SlideRoom:*

Applications must include (all of the below requirements are available on the SlideRoom website):
- a summary sheet that names the reserve where you are interested in working and the dates you’d like to stay
- a narrative description of your proposed project or activity (one page maximum)
- up to five work samples

Since 2007, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA) has developed experimental residency initiatives that offer opportunities for arts research to take place at sites within the UC Natural Reserve System (UC NRS). The 39 reserves of the UC NRS make examples of most of California’s diverse ecosystems available for research, education, and public service. The reserves are a rich source for exploration by artists. Staying at a reserve will immerse artists in the natural world, allow them to meet and mingle with scientists conducting field research, and develop work that moves beyond traditional concepts of art and science.

In partnership with the UC NRS, UCIRA is providing funding for up to five summer art residencies for a pilot residency program to take place between June and September 2014. Proposals will be selected based on the quality and suitability of arts research proposed at a particular reserve site. Selected artists will be provided with a travel and research stipend of up to $1500 to cover fees for reserve accommodations and travel to and from the site. Stipends do not include a per diem. Artists must remain in residence for a minimum of five days and up to one month. Artists may apply independently or as an organized group/collective who work together as an integral part of their practice.

Artists-in-residence are encouraged to work with the reserve manager and scientists using the site to develop opportunities for exploratory research that sensitively engage these environments in new ways. Working within the unique natural conditions available at each reserve, artists may choose to conduct independent projects or propose collaborative work that respects and/or effectively intersects with research taking place at the site. For example, proposed projects could visualize/animate scientific data or form potential working relationships with scientists themselves. Artists are advised to study the conditions and opportunities at each reserve site in preparation for their residency.

Use of the reserve must be approved by the reserve manager. Work may be limited by the presence of sensitive species, ongoing scientific experiments, resource preservation requirements, or other environmental conditions.

Artists may apply to work at one of the following reserves:

Reserve – Administering Campus

Sedgwick Reserve – UC Santa Barbara
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory – UC Santa Barbara
Valentine Camp – UC Santa Barbara
Angelo Coast Range Reserve – UC Berkeley
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve – UC Berkeley
Hastings Natural History Reservation – UC Berkeley
Sagehen Creek Field Station – UC Berkeley
McLaughlin Natural Reserve – UC Davis
Yosemite Field Station – UC Merced
Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center * – UC Riverside
James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve – UC Riverside
Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center * + – UC Riverside

* summer weather is extremely hot
+ severe water use limits due to drought

For more information about individual reserves:


The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts is a statewide program dedicated to supporting and promoting arts practice and research across the University of California system. Through our grants programs we support UC artists and scholars from diverse disciplines dedicated to sustained public engagement, innovative approaches to form and content and research in the performing, visual, literary and media arts. We have additional interests in the dynamic and reciprocal relationship between creative research and teaching in the arts, and in supporting and showcasing projects that serve as demonstrations of best practices by artists within the University of California system.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our previously supported projects:

About the UC Natural Reserve System

When University of California researchers saw their research plots and teaching spots destroyed by development, a few forward-thinking faculty devised a way to preserve examples of California habitats for long-term study. The seven reserves established in 1965 have since grown into the world’s largest university-administered natural reserve system.

Today, the 39 sites of the UC Natural Reserve System include more than 756,000 acres. These living laboratories and outdoor classrooms provide protected environments for research, education, and public service. Most major state ecosystems are represented, from coastal tide pools to inland deserts, oak savannas to Sierra Nevada forests. The reserves also serve as a gateway to more than a million acres of public lands.

For more information about the UC Natural Reserve System:

For further information on this program, please contact Art2NRS Program Coordinator Kim Yasuda:

Posted in: News