CARI Faculty Fellowship


Program Application

The Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI) is an interdisciplinary arts-focused research engine driven by the interests of faculty from across the University. By facilitating collaborations between disciplines, CARI maximizes the impact of faculty arts research, while enriching the University, local, and regional communities.

Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, CARI Fellowships are open to faculty from all Colleges and Departments interested in exploring how collaborative arts-infused research across disciplines can enrich the scope and impact of their work.

CARI is accepting applications for Faculty Fellowships from February 1-29, 2024.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Any full-time faculty member at the University of Alabama, tenure-track or renewable contract as long as their contract extends through the CARI Fellowship period of August 1, 2024-July 31, 2026.

Faculty may apply with a project already underway, a project in mind, or with an open-ended interest in working collaboratively across disciplines. Along the same lines, an applicant may apply with an already-formed collaborative group, with collaborators in mind, or as an individual researcher.  

CARI is committed to anti-racist practices and to fostering an inclusive and diverse research community that nurtures and promotes the curiosity and growth of all of its members.

What Kind of Research is Supported?

Arts research is a broad category with infinite possibilities. The Alliance of Arts in Research Universities offers one possible definition:  “Arts research includes humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences-driven research about and through the arts.” (A2RU Insights). As examples, two currently funded CARI projects are*:

  • Instruments of Culture and Agents of Change: Performing Arts Training as a Vehicle for Empowerment and Wellbeing among Alabama Youth; Courtney Helfrecht, Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Stephanie McClure, Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Alexis Davis-Hazell, Assistant Professor, Music; Alvon Reed, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance

Engages with youth in under-resourced communities through an after-school performing arts training program to improve perceptions of wellbeing, reduce allostatic load, and encourage youth to view themselves as agents of their own growth and community change.

  • Flow Tuscaloosa: Illuminating the Black Warrior River Basin; Julia Brock, Assistant Professor, History; Jamey Grimes, Instructor, Art & Art History

Drawing from expressive and visual art as a stimulus for dialogue, engagement, and play, the project nurtures local commitment to environmental stewardship through arts-based workshops that culminate in a community lantern and light sculpture parade and a curated exhibition.

*While community outreach is a central aspect of both of these examples, it is not a prerequisite for funding.

A requirement for all CARI-supported research is that at least one member of each research team have a primary area of expertise/practice in design, fine art, performing arts, or creative writing. Fellowship cohorts are selected to facilitate the integration of arts and non-arts faculty, and CARI staff will also assist Fellows in connecting with artists outside the Faculty cohort and University when needed. Faculty already working on arts-integrated research are also encouraged to continue and enhance those projects through a CARI Faculty Fellowship.

What is a CARI Faculty Fellowship?

A CARI Faculty Fellowship is a 2-year commitment to being an active member of a collaborative research community. In addition to the opportunity to strengthen your research design and impact, the benefits of a CARI Faculty Fellowship include:

  • Up to $4000/year in general research support 
  • Priority access to Maxwell Hall’s facilities and equipment 
  • The opportunity to guide CARI’s acquisition of additional equipment and software
  • Opportunities to bring guest artists and collaborators in your areas of interest
  • Assistance in identifying and applying for external funding

CARI Fellowship funds can be used for a wide-range of research-specific items, including space rental, conference registration, materials and supplies, and student support. The length of these Fellowships is designed to allow faculty to iteratively explore multiple approaches to an idea as well as multiple outcomes; for example, a performance, a paper, and a presentation.

This application is for CARI’s fifth Fellowship cohort. The fourth cohort began in August, 2023 and will overlap with this new group through at least August 2025. Information about the current CARI Fellows can be found here:

CARI Fellows gather at least twice per month in Maxwell Hall on Monday’s 3-4pm (or via Zoom, when necessary) to work together, share in-progress research, host guest speakers, and attend workshops. The timing and structure of these gatherings will depend on the cohort’s needs. 

CARI Fellows are required to have submitted at least one proposal for external funding by the end of the 2nd year of the Fellowship.

Can CARI Fellowship research funds be used outside of the CARI cohort?

Yes! While CARI Fellows are encouraged to connect and work together to generate research, they may also use their funds to collaborate with University of Alabama faculty outside the CARI cohort and with artists and academics outside the University of Alabama, as long as the work meets the criteria of being 1) collaborative, 2) interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary, and  3) involving one arts practitioner or researcher as a member of the collaborative team. 

How Do I Apply?

Applications for the third cohort of CARI Faculty Fellowships are due on February 29, 2024 by 11:59pm and consist of 3 parts:

  1. Cover/Signature Sheet

Please fill in all required fields, and obtain approval signatures from your Department Head, Associate Dean for Research, and Dean.

  1. Letter of Interest

Broadly, the letter should describe your research and how you would benefit from joining the CARI Faculty cohort. We are interested in whether and how you might bring existing research (collaborative, arts, and other) to CARI, and in what ways you are open to contributing to new projects. Please also include how a CARI Fellowship will work with your other time commitments.

  1. Current CV

Send completed application materials to: