Arts & Humanities Seed Funding

Call for Applications: NMSU's Arts and Humanities Seed Grants

Purpose: The Office of Research, Creativity and Strategic Initiatives (RSCI) is requesting applications for the 2023 NMSU Arts and Humanities (A&H) Seed Funding Program. The program is designed to provide support for proposal development efforts that seek external funding in the arts and humanities. It is expected that this multi-year commitment by the RCSI will result in strong growth in proposal submissions to external funding agencies in support of creative activities, ultimately contributing to NMSU’s goal of attaining R1 status. Applications will be awarded based on merit and those which include an identified opportunity and a clear plan to submit a proposal will have the highest priority.

RCSI anticipates making multiple awards of up to $10,000), or the amount requested in the proposal to be submitted for external funding, whichever is less. The seed grant may be used to support:

  1. 1. the preparation of an external funding proposal, or
  2. 2. the creation of artistic works or preliminary research in the humanities necessary to the preparation of an external funding application.

Funds must be expended during the grant period (April 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023).

Eligibility: Applications should include at least one tenure/tenure-track faculty from one of the following departments: ArtCreative MediaEnglishHistoryLanguages and LinguisticsMusicPhilosophy, and Theatre, or a tenure/tenure-track faculty in any college whose research, scholarship and creative activity would be considered arts and/or humanities. Applications may include faculty collaborators in any departments. Faculty can request up to $10,000 or the amount requested in the proposal to be submitted for external funding, whichever is less. Faculty who received seed grants in 2022 and are in good standing with the A&H seed grant program are eligible to apply for 2023 funding to support a new project or stage of research/activity. Eligibility requirements for faculty who have previously received a seed grant are listed in the FAQ here.

Expectations for Awardees: The awardee is obligated to work with a proposal development staff member in Research Administration Services to identify funding source(s) for the proposed work and to develop a grant proposal. Funds must be spent by December 31, 2023, and awardees must submit a final report on grant activities.

Use of Funds: The award may be used for faculty summer salary support, undergraduate/graduate student salary support, or travel for purposes of proposal development efforts. Specific equipment, services, and supplies may be allowed under certain circumstances at the discretion of the review committee. Funds may not be used for course release, course-buy outs, salary supplements or to pay for grant-writing services. Unspent funds will revert to RCS

Application Form and Submission

Please download the application form here.

Please submit completed application via email to Include the subject line “Arts and Humanities Seed Grants: Submission.” 

For additional resources to help you write your application, visit the NMSU Arts & Humanities Seed Grant Resources section of the Arts & Humanities Funding Teams Site.

Please direct questions to and include in the subject line "Arts and Humanities Seed Grants: Question." 

Note: If you need to revise/replace a previously-submitted application before the deadline, please contact  If you intend to submit multiple applications as the lead, please contact for instructions on how to submit.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. How many applications can a faculty member submit?

Arts and Humanities faculty may submit one application as sole applicant. All faculty (including Arts and Humanities faculty) may also submit one application as part of a collaborative application provided the application includes a tenure/tenure-track faculty from one of the departments listed above. A faculty member may receive no more than $10,000 in total internal funding.

As an example, Prof. A is in the Department of Art and Prof. B is in the Department of Anthropology.  Prof. A may submit one application requesting $7500 of funding. Profs. A and B may also submit one application which requests $2500 of funding that will be attributed to Prof. A and $7500 of funding that will be attributed to Prof. B. Neither application exceeds $10,000 in requested funding and neither faculty receives more than $10,000 attributed to them.

  1. I am working on a collaborative project that involves multiple disciplines. How do I know if my project is eligible?

Eligible projects will clearly prioritize either creative work in preparation for external grant applications, or humanities research as defined by the National Endowment for the Humanities: 

The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of the social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history.

  1. If I received a seed grant last year, can I apply for 2023 funds?

Previous awardees are eligible to receive funds in 2023 if they meet the following conditions: a) applicant successfully completed their project within the grant period; b) a report on the previous award was submitted by September, 13, 2022; 3) the 2023 application supports a new project. All applications will receive equal consideration regardless of previous award status. However, in the case of a tie in ranking, preference will be given to faculty who have not yet received funding.

  1. How many awards will be made and how is this program being paid for?

An internal panel will review applications and award up to $200,000 in total. All awards are funded through RSCI overhead.

  1. What amount of funding should I ask for?

The right amount of funding for your project will depend on several factors. The committee needs to see that the funding is reasonable for the amount of resources needed to complete the proposed work, that it is proportional to the amount of potential external funding, and that you can feasibly spend the requested funding according to your work plan.

Tips for success:

  • Consider the size of external grants you will pursue—the requested seed grant amount should not exceed the amount you will request from external funders. Example: You are applying for two external grants of $4000, the maximum you should request for your seed grant is $4000.
  • Consider the number of hours/week you will dedicate to this project. Your budget should reflect that time commitment and the work you can do within the anticipated timeline.
  1. How can the award be used?

The award can be used to provide summer salary support to faculty, salary (including summer) to support undergraduate/graduate students or some combination thereof, or travel. Applicants should include fringe costs if the budget includes salary support. Specific equipment, supplies, and services may be allowed under certain circumstances at the discretion of the review committee.

The award cannot be used for supplemental salary compensation, course buy-outs or course releases. Seed funding cannot be used to fund salary of faculty at other universities. Funding cannot be used to hire grant writers or otherwise pay for external grant development support.  

  1. Does the award have to be spent before December 31, 2023?

Yes, but the targeted proposal submission can be due after December 31, 2023. Unspent funds will be returned to RCSI.

  1. What are the obligations associated with an award?

The obligation of the awardee is to work with a member of the proposal development group in Research Administration Services in identifying funding source(s) for the proposed work and in developing a grant proposal. Tip: Include meetings with a member of the proposal development group in the work plan. 

All awardees must submit a narrative report about grant activities upon request from RCSI and immediately notify their research dean during the grant period of any complications that interfere with the expenditure of funds. 

  1. Can faculty submit a proposal through the NMSU Foundation?

See Resources for Investigators. All proposals for external funding must be submitted by Research Administration Services (RAS) except for those where the proposal must be submitted by a 501(c)3 organization. In this case, faculty should contact the NMSU Foundation with the understanding that the Foundation works independently from RAS. Please note that submission of white papers, letters of intent or pre-proposals do not satisfy the external submission requirement.

  1. How can I find external funding opportunities in the arts and humanities?

The ProQuest Pivot is a funding opportunities database that NMSU subscribes to and which is available to all faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, funders specific to the arts and humanities are listed on the Arts and Humanities Funding Team Site, a resource available to all NMSU & faculty and staff through Microsoft Teams.

  1. This is my first time writing a grant proposal, how do I get help?

Self-directed grant-writing resources are available through the Arts and Humanities Funding Team Site. You can also reach out to the proposal development group at Research Administration Services.

  1. Why isn't my department listed above?

A8: This program supports Goal 2 Tactic 2.2.3 "Encourage and support arts and humanities faculty to engage in externally-funded creative activities." NMSU's arts and humanities departments are listed here. As a side note, increasing externally-funded creative activities contributes to Goal 2 Objective 2.2 . Finally, non-science / non-engineering expenditures are one measure in the Carnegie Classification of universities and achieving the highest Carnegie research status (R1) is part of the LEADS 2025 vision.