University of Maine Arts Initiative Call for Proposals

The University of Maine Arts Initiative (UMAI) is pleased to announce a competitive seed grant program to create and enhance collaborations across the arts at the University of Maine (UMaine) and University of Maine at Machias (UMM).

The purpose of this seed grant is to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary collaborations that seek to build a diverse, inclusive, sustainable, and equitable community of art researchers, practitioners, supporters, and promoters. Projects can be curriculum-based, public-facing, community-oriented or campus-specific, and are intended to fulfill the mission of the University of Maine Arts Initiative:

The University of Maine Arts Initiative advances the integral role of the arts in enriching the lives of individuals and communities through the creation, experience, research, and enjoyment of the arts. The University of Maine Arts Initiative, launched in 2021 by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School (OVPRDGS), is a collaborative of faculty, administrators, staff, and students committed to the principle that the arts play an integral role in public research institutions. We seek to increase resources and support for the arts in order to reinforce their significance and enhance their visibility on campus and beyond.

Link to InfoReady Application portal can be found here.


Grant Amount: A limited number of up to twelve-month projects will range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are intended to support new interdisciplinary collaborations involving at least one arts discipline or unit. Two or more arts disciplines or units that may not typically collaborate, may submit a proposal. There is no matching requirement for this grant program. Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to: supplies and materials, rental fees for campus facilities at UMaine and UMM: technology and/or software licensing; equipment; student support; travel, honoraria, and per diems. Funding may be used for receptions directly integral to the project, but cost not to exceed $250.

Faculty and professional staff are allowed to be lead-PIs on one proposal, and be co-investigator on up to three proposal submissions. Research teams must be led by full-time UM or UMM faculty or professional staff. External groups/individuals may be collaborators, but may not serve as project PIs. Full-time University of Maine employees are not eligible for additional compensation for project activities. Course buyouts or release time for UMaine or UMM faculty and employees are also not allowable expenses.

What is a Project: These projects are expected to be transformative, innovative and collaborative including at least one arts discipline or unit. Initial projects should aim to inspire further collaborations, and seek to engage new partners and audiences on an ongoing basis. Project grants may lead to future proposals to Federal and State agencies, foundations, and other external funding sources for future support of both existing and pilot initiatives. Please note:

● All University of Maine Arts Initiative Grants must be in accordance with the University of Maine System’s current guidance regarding COVID-19 and UMS-sponsored events, travel, research, and other activities. Such guidance can be found here.

● All University of Maine Arts Initiative Grants are awarded in compliance with the University of Maine System Board of Trustees Policy Manual, Section 209: “Intellectual Property”. Specifically, acceptance of an Award constitutes agreement and acceptance of all definitions and policies described in the “University of Maine System Statement of Policy Governing Patents and Copyrights”.


Applicants should include the following in their application package, submitted as separate files through the InfoReady portal:

1. Project Abstract: Not to exceed 150 words.

2. Project Narrative: A 2-page description of the proposed work, including how it will encourage collaborations. Please use 1” margins, single-spacing, and a legible font not smaller than 11pt.

3. Project Impact: not to exceed 300 words (including anticipated audience, project results, project/collaboration sustainability, if appropriate, and next steps)

4. A one-page Project Budget and 1-page Budget Explanation.

5. Project Participants: Please provide a 2-page resume from each project participant and describe their role(s) in the project. Please upload all resumes as one file.

Letters of support or collaboration should not be included in the application package. For more information, please contact the chair of the committee to discuss project proposals, concepts, and application procedures.


Applications will be reviewed and ranked by members of the UMAI Steering Committee or designees based on the criteria described below. The committee will provide recommendations to the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School (VPRDGS), who will make
the final funding decisions. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: the potential of the project to provide, through coordinated and synergistic collaborations, innovative and high-impact programs and creative activities bringing together arts disciplines and/or other collaborators (internal or external) to improve the quality of life and enhance the wellbeing of the people of Maine and beyond; to include UMaine and/or UMM students in aspects of the project . Specific review criteria are included in the evaluation rubric, accessible on the competition page.


● Application deadline: Applications are due by 4:30pm on October 18, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted or reviewed. Proposals must be submitted via the UMaine InfoReady Portal (linked here).
● Review of applications: The review committee will be assembled to review proposals, and evaluations will begin in late October. Final funding decisions will be made by the Vice President for Research. Successful applicants will be notified of grant awards by mid November, 2023 and all project activities must be completed by December 1, 2024.


Requests for technical assistance with submitting can be directed to Danielle O’Neill, Office of Research Development (, and conceptual assistance to Gretchen Faulkner ( Those who have not applied through InfoReady previously will need to create an account in InfoReady prior to submitting their application.