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Apply for an Inquiry Grant

Creative Inquiry Grant submissions for the 2023–2024 academic year are now closed. Please check back in the fall for information about the 2024–2025 application cycle.


The Curb Center invites applications from faculty and staff, graduate students, and undergraduates for Creative Inquiry Grants. Inquiry Grants offer Vanderbilt community members opportunities to bring artistic and creative projects to fruition. We encourage proposals for projects that:

  • apply creative problem-solving to issues impacting the Vanderbilt and broader Nashville communities;
  • foster arts-based community engagement programs, projects and events;
  • generate creative encounters and facilitate connections across disciplinary, social, and institutional boundaries; and
  • build the capacity of students, faculty, and staff to formulate and implement innovative approaches to intractable problems.

Different levels of funding are awarded based on the applicant’s role at Vanderbilt (undergraduate, graduate, or faculty and staff):

  • Faculty and staff can receive up to $2,000;
  • Graduate students can receive up to $1000;
  • Undergraduate students can receive up to $400.

Projects that encourage interdisciplinary connections may be eligible for additional funding. In addition to funding, award recipients have access to the Curb Center workspace and studios, project management mentoring, and material resources to support successful project outcomes.

Applicants should submit proposals of up to 500 words or an equivalent 3-minute video or slideshow addressing the following:

  • What is your role at Vanderbilt (undergraduate, graduate student, or faculty and staff)?
  • How does the project engage participants in a creative experience?
  • What are the challenges and constraints involved?
  • How will you/participants document and reflect on your experiences?
  • What other resources might you need to accomplish your goals?
  • What experiences have prepared you to undertake this project?
  • What impact do you hope to make with this project?

Separate from the 500-word description, please provide a detailed budget and timeline with deliverables and project completion date.

All materials should be combined into one PDF document and sent to Rachel Thompson, with “Creative Inquiry Grant Application” in the subject line.


Grants proposals are reviewed by Curb Center’s leadership team on a rolling basis. After the group makes its award decision the applicant is advised of the award decision. This process can take up to 3 weeks after the Inquiry Grant application is received.

Award recipients are required to submit a grant report with results and impact of the project, photos, and other relevant materials at the conclusion of the project.

If you have any questions about the Inquiry Grant or its application process, please contact Program Manager Rachel Thompson ( for more information.