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Graduate Catalyst Awards

The First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) mentorship program.

The Curb Center offers Graduate Student Creative Catalyst Awards providing awardees with an opportunity to use creativity as a force for innovation and community.  We encourage proposals for projects which:

  • apply creative problem-solving to issues affecting the Vanderbilt community and beyond
  • foster arts and research-based community engagement programs, projects, and events
  • facilitate connections across disciplinary, social, and institutional boundaries
  • build the capacity of students, faculty, and staff to formulate and implement innovative solutions to difficult problems

Graduate Student Creative Catalyst projects can receive up to $1,000 with the possibility for more funding if the project encourages interdisciplinary connections. In addition to funding, award recipients have access to the Curb Center workspace and studios, project management, mentoring, network groups, and material resources to support successful project outcomes.


  • Integrating art and science in the classroom and lab
  • Using movement for wellness in the community
  • Original art, music, theater and dance pieces
  • How gentrification impacts our community and creative spaces
  • Projects beyond the campus to promote equity and social justice

Interested graduate students should submit project proposals of 500 words maximum or an equivalent 3-minute video or slideshow which address some of the following:

  • How does the project engage participants in a creative experience?
  • What are the challenges and constraints involved?
  • How is the project interdisciplinary and collaborative?
  • How will you/participants document and reflect on your experiences?
  • What other resources might you need to accomplish your goals?
  • Detailed Budget (separate from the 500-word description)
  • Deliverables timeline and completion date (separate from the 500-word description)

All materials should be combined into one PDF document and sent to with “Graduate Student Creativity Grant Application” in the subject line.


Grants proposals are reviewed by Curb’s Leadership Team on a rolling basis. After the committee makes its award decision the applicant is advised of the award decision. This process can take up to 2 weeks after the Creativity Grant application is received.

If you have any questions about the Creativity Grant or the application process contact Program Manager Rachel Thompson (via phone or email) for more information.