Grants of up to $500 are available to support student projects that engage at the intersection of technology and the arts. The goal of the grants is to inspire students, whether learning in the classroom, assisting faculty and staff on major projects, or pursuing their own ideas. Independent student work is a cornerstone of the Arts and Technology Initiative and microgrants are a significant way to support student experimentation.
- Deadlines: November 1, December 1, February 1, March 1 and April 1.
- Proposals are submitted through an online form including a budget.
- Applicants are notified within five days of submitting a proposal.
- If awarded a grant, final reports are due within 30 days after completing the project
Microgrants are open to all Mount Holyoke College students. Applications may be submitted individually or by groups. Groups of students that include faculty may also submit applications, with the understanding that students are the project coordinators who are responsible for managing the funds and providing the required report at the conclusion of the project. Group applicants should note that the funding will not change with the number of people involved in the project.
What Can be Supported
Microgrants may be used to defray expenses for costs for materials such as hardware, software, storage and web hosting, artists’ supplies, building materials, travel, stipends for off-campus expertise, and fees for course training. They may also be applied to other expenses related to multimedia projects, performances, exhibits and guest artists.
Proposed budgets should not exceed $500. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of their substance and innovative character and the project’s feasibility within its stated timeframe. An application might, for instance, request funding for:
- the purchase of podcasting software for a web series on video games, gender and representation
- the acquisition of microcomputers such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi to build interactive digital art installations
- travel to a conference to learn metadata and coding standards for a digital installation on, say, trade in the Pre-Columbian Americas
- the purchase of studio time for assistance in color-grading an original film.
Grant recipients are required to provide reflective output within one month after the project’s conclusion, in the form of a written story and a photo or video, to be published on the Arts and Technology Initiative website. Grantees will present the findings from their work at a public forum such as the Senior Symposium or a special symposium sponsored by the Arts and Technology initiative. The College retains the right to publicize microgrant-funded projects. All intellectual and physical properties resulting from the project reside with the grantee(s).
Preparing Your Proposal
Project Planning and Budget Preparation Suggestions
- Check to see if relevant departments on campus have the equipment, supplies, software, etc. that you need.
- Check to see if your department has funding that can cover or supplement your project expenses. Note on your application and budget form if you were able to find matching or supplementary funding (the attempt to do so demonstrates your resourcefulness).
- Research the cost(s) of the proposed purchases and/or services and note the sources/vendors that you have found on your budget form when possible.
- Ineligible Expenses:
- Hardware/software that is readily available for your use (e.g., digital camera equipment through LITS). It is your responsibility to check with the relevant department and/or LITS liaisons to search for equipment.
Submitting Your Budget
Before you apply, download the budget form template. Fill it out and save it to your computer before you work on your application. When you are ready to submit the proposal, make sure to upload the budget and link it to the application before doing the final submission.
Funding requests cannot exceed $500, although your project’s budget may be larger and reflect a larger effort; the award would be $500 towards the total cost.
Proposal Development Tips
Here are some suggestions about the kinds of information that you can include in your project description (up to 500 words):
- Describe how your project engages the intersection of creative practices and current or emerging technologies.
- Describe your proposed timeline as well as you can. Your project could take more than a year and you may be asking for funding to complete only a part of it.
- Note the role of any project collaborator(s) if you have them.
- What outcome(s) are you hoping to achieve? What do you hope to learn through your project?
Role of the Project Advisor
You are encouraged to discuss your project and share a draft of your proposal description and budget with a faculty member who can give you feedback. Your project advisor might be able to direct you to campus resources that you can utilize in your project. The application form will ask you to name a faculty advisor or reference who is aware of your plans.