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

Selection criteria

Proposals submitted to the UCIRA go through a rigorous evaluation process. The following criteria are considered during the review of applications:

Artistic excellence of the project:
Quality of the work proposed.

Quality of the proposal:
How well does it meet UCIRA’s goals and standards? Is the project clearly conceived? Is the proposal sufficiently detailed to permit a reviewer to judge its quality?

Significance of the proposed project:
Is the proposed research innovative and timely? Does the applicant establish the originality of the project? What is the relative importance of the proposed work within its own discipline or field and with respect to other research? Does the proposed project have the potential to contribute new insights into arts practice and theory in the UC system?

Impact of the proposed project:
Does the project have the potential to enhance knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and access to the arts in the UC system? Where appropriate, does the project have the potential to reach a large cross-section of culturally diverse or ethnically specific students and/or larger communities? Where relevant, will UCIRA sponsorship result in a significant institutional impact and benefit?*

Ability to carry out the proposed project at a high level of excellence:
Is there a clear and concrete project design or plan? Are the goals of the project clearly articulated? Is the budget well researched and detailed? Have proposed facilities, equipment, and/or sites been researched, contacted, and established? Is there evidence that key participants have committed to the project? Where relevant, is there evidence that participating cultural communities have been involved in the project’s planning?

Budget Projection:
Does the project and its proposed scope realistically align with the projected budget? Is the budget outline effectively researched and accurate? Does it provide enough detail to ensure the project’s realization in an effective and timely manner?  Are the expenses on the budget approved for reimbursement/charging through your department (ie, are items able to be reimbursed according to your campus and UC systemwide accounting policies and procedures?  Has your fiscal contact signed off on the summary sheet (as having review your budget to make sure they can reimburse you)?

Other funding sources:
The UCIRA expects all applicants to secure additional, matching, and/or “in kind” funding from sponsoring units, participating campuses, and departments. Evidence that such funding has been secured or is actively being sought, should be clearly demonstrated in the project proposal.

In-kind donations and campus support may include:

  • donated building/administrative space
  • donated materials or services
  • donated use of land
  • donated use of equipment

Space and other support must be discussed with the appropriate dean(s), chair(s), and/or business officer(s) prior to full proposal submission.  In-kind donations should be assessed and recorded at the current fair-market value.

*In cases where UCIRA has recently funded a similar project, preference may be given to an area not previously funded.

If you have additional questions, please contact Holly Unruh ( or ZouZou Chapman (

All applications must be UPLOADED TO OUR SLIDEROOM SITE ( Co-Sponsorship are the only grants we accept apps by email) by the application deadline.