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Research Grants in the Arts

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
to Explore the Role of Arts in American Life

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/29/21 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribes, and IHEs to explore the impact and value of the arts for American life. Applicants are advised that the required online registration may take several weeks to complete. Studies may address the individual components of the nation’s arts ecology, or the interaction of multiple components with each other and other domains of American life.

Research Grants in the Arts provides an opportunity to engage with the National Endowment for the Arts’ five-year agenda for 2017-2021. The research agenda offers guidance on the types of study questions and topics that appeal to the agency’s long-term research goals.

The NEA is interested in research that identifies and examines:

  • Factors that enhance or inhibit arts participation or arts/cultural assets;
  • Detailed characteristics of arts participation or arts/cultural assets, and their interrelationships;
  • Individual-level outcomes of arts participation, specifically outcomes corresponding with the following domains:
    • Social and emotional well-being
    • Creativity, cognition, and learning
    • Physiological processes of health and healing; and
  • Societal or community-level outcomes of arts/cultural assets, specifically outcomes corresponding with the following domains:
    • Civic and corporate innovation
    • Attraction for neighborhoods and businesses
    • National and/or state-level economic growth


Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Primary and/or secondary data analyses
  • Economic impact studies
  • Organizational research
  • Psychological, physical health-related, or therapeutic studies
  • Education studies in a variety of contexts (e.g., classrooms, informal venues, distance learning, or home-school environments)
  • Dosage studies
  • Third-party summative evaluations of an arts program's effectiveness and impact, such as applied evaluation studies/analyses that measure the impact or effectiveness of an organization’s arts program or project
  • Comparison studies of arts interventions
  • Statistically-driven meta-analyses of existing research that can yield a fresh understanding of the value and/or impact of the arts
  • 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

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175012

Number of Grants:

NEA anticipates awarding 10 to 15 grants, based on the availability of funding.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Term of Contract:

Support of a project may start on or after January 1, 2022. Grants generally may cover a period of performance of up to two years, with an exception for projects that include primary data collection as part of the proposed activity. Projects that include primary data collection may request up to three years. Projects that extend beyond one year will be required to submit an annual progress report, and must include updated human ethics training and Institutional Review Board (IRB) materials as necessary.

Costs incurred before the earliest project start date of January 1, 2022, can't be included in your budget or cost share/match.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Official applicant organizations must be nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organizations; units of state or local government; or federally recognized tribal communities or tribes. This may include, but is not limited to, colleges and universities.

For projects that involve multiple organizations, one organization that meets the eligibility requirements below must act as the official applicant, submit the application, and assume full responsibility for the grant. Partnering organizations are not required to meet the same eligibility requirements as the official applicant organization.

To be eligible, the official applicant organization must:
- Meet the National Endowment for the Arts' "Legal Requirements," including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application.
- Have three consecutive years of operating history prior to the application deadline.
- Have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts award(s) previously received.

Organizations that are not eligible to apply as the official applicant organization:
- The designated fifty state and six jurisdictional arts agencies (SAAs) and their regional arts organizations (RAOs). SAAs and RAOs may serve as partners in projects. However, they may not receive National Endowment for the Arts funds (except as provided through their designated grant programs), and SAA/RAO costs may not be included as part of the required match. SAAs and RAOs are eligible to apply through the Partnership Agreements guidelines.
- An organization whose primary purpose is to channel resources (financial, human, or other) to an affiliated organization if the affiliated organization submits its own application. This prohibition applies even if each organization has its own 501(c)(3) status. For example, the "Friends of ABC Museum" may not apply if the ABC Museum applies.

Pre-proposal Conference:

FY22 Research Awards Guidelines Webinar
- Feb 09, 2021
- 03:00 pm - 04:00 pm
Office of Research and Analysis staff will conduct a Research Awards guidelines webinar on February 9, 2021 at 3:00 pm ET. An overview presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Register at:

Pre-Application Information:

- No later than March 8, 2021
- No later than March 19, 2021
- Part 1 - Submit to March 29, 2021 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time
- Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal: April 1-8, 2021
- Earliest Announcement of Award or Rejection: November 2021
- Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project: Research Grants in the Arts: January 1, 2022

Grants cannot exceed 50% of the total cost of the project. All grants require a nonfederal cost share/match of at least 1 to 1. These cost share/matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions, and can include federally-negotiated indirect costs.

All applicants must have a DUNS number ( and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award.


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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

If you have questions:

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URL for Full Text (RFP):

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