(CLOSED) Limited Submission: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Research Labs

In recent years, the NEA’s research portfolio has focused on yielding new knowledge about the value and impact of the arts. Through a new program, the NEA Research Labs, the organization seeks to support a series of transdisciplinary research partnerships, grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, to produce and report empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike. The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization(s) (Cooperator) to undertake the program.

Each NEA Research Lab will define a research agenda, conduct a research program to implement that agenda, and prepare reports that will contribute substantively to a wider understanding of one of three areas of special interest to the NEA:

  1. The Arts, Health, and Social/Emotional Well-Being
  2. The Arts, Creativity, Cognition, and Learning
  3. The Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

NEA anticipates that a sustained engagement with these topic areas, and with the corresponding research questions, will have distinctive benefits for the arts community, but also for sectors such as healthcare, education, and business or management.

Priority will be given to applications that propose quasi-experimental or experimental studies with theory-driven research questions and methodologies that will yield important information about the impact of the arts within the selected topic area. Competitive applications will take into account any extant research that serves as a basis for a theoretical framework and helps to motivate the proposed project. NEA also welcomes novel and promising research approaches, such as rigorous analyses of organizational or social networks and/or social media data. In addition, NEA is interested in translational research that moves scientific evidence toward the development, testing, and standardization of new arts-related programs, practices, models, or tools that can be used easily by other practitioners and researchers.

The Cooperator will work with the NEA Project Director, and through the Project Director with other NEA staff as appropriate, on all aspects of this program. The NEA Project Director will be the Director of Research & Analysis. The Cooperator will consult with, and will secure the approval of, the National Endowment for the Arts Project Director in carrying out the responsibilities outlined in the full program solicitation.

Please read the full program announcement before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • Upper $150,000 USD

NEA expects to award Cooperative Agreements of up to $150,000 for each NEA Research Lab, contingent upon the availability of funds. This Cooperative Agreement requires a nonfederal match of at least 1 to 1. Matching funds cannot include funds from any National Endowment for the Arts or other federal grants. This Cooperative Agreement will begin no earlier than March 1, 2018, and extend for up to 24 months.

NEA may enter into subsequent Cooperative Agreements with the organization selected as a result of the Program Solicitation.


  • Organizations may apply to other NEA funding opportunities, including Art Works and Research: Art Works, in addition to this program solicitation. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project.
  • Required Partnership: The National Endowment for the Arts aims to make arts-relevant research a shared endeavor (with shared benefits) for academic researchers, arts practitioners, and policy-makers. As such, NEA Research Labs require a partnership between the official applicant organization (the Cooperator) and a nonprofit arts organization confirmed at the time of application.
  • Applicants are also strongly encouraged to partner with other non- arts or arts organizations (for-profit or nonprofit entities) with expertise in the proposed research topic area. NEA welcomes organizations from sectors such as health, business, science, and educational entities such as school districts or individual schools. The proposed partnership organizations (official applicant, required nonprofit arts partner, and optional other non-arts and arts partners) must include individuals representing at least two research specialties

Limitation Details

An organization may submit only one proposal under this program solicitation. An organization may not receive more than one NEA award for the same costs during the same or an overlapping period of performance. In addition, different awardees may not receive federal funds for the same project costs during the same or an overlapping period of performance. Two different organizations may not both apply listing the same nonprofit arts partner.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
  • A (maximum two-page) proposal summary
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • PI’s curriculum vitae

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to Lauren Sisko at limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the following program officers:

  • Sunil Iyengar, Director of Research & Analysis (For programmatic requirements)
    National Endowment for the Arts
    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20506
    Phone: +1 (202) 682-5654
    Email: iyengars@arts.gov

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