a2ru Scholar Awards


December 16, 2021

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities wants to ensure its events are enriched and informed by people of diverse backgrounds. The a2ru Scholars Program was launched in conjunction with the 2018 National Conference and is designed to actively support more diverse participation in the network.

The a2ru Scholars Program helps sustain the academic excellence and inclusiveness of the a2ru network. With this program, a2ru aims to include students who have diverse experiences and goals, and those who come from varied educational, cultural, geographic, and familial backgrounds. By offering financial assistance to individuals who may not otherwise be able to attend our summits and conferences, we aim to both make more accessible and diversify the knowledge base available at a2ru events. We also aim to promote the values of diversity and inclusivity by encouraging the admission and funding of scholars who bring with them a broad array of life experiences and perspectives. Through these values, we can enhance the quality of the intellectual environment for all scholars.

The a2ru Scholars Program is open to undergraduate and graduate students who both demonstrate an interest in pursuing interdisciplinary study, research, and practice at eligible a2ru member institutions and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Are from an educational, cultural, or geographic background that is underrepresented in higher education.
  • Have demonstrated a sustained commitment to reducing social, educational, and/or economic disparities based on ability, ethnicity, gender, race, or sexuality in the academic, professional, or civic realm. This commitment can be demonstrated through a scholar’s work and research experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership of student and/or community organizations.
  • Have experienced financial hardship as a result of personal or family economic circumstances.
  • Are first-generation U.S. citizens or are the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college.

This award is meant to defray some of the expenses associated with travel, lodging, and registration as well as facilitate an applicant’s ability to present or perform their research or practice in integrative fields in the arts at the a2ru national conference and Emerging Creatives Student Summit. If the event requires a registration fee, recipients of the Scholar Award will receive a fee waiver.

Guidelines and Deadlines:

  • Award funds are limited to $1,000 (USD). These funds may be used to cover up to 3 nights lodging at the designated conference/summit hotel (if there is one), transportation, and meals (not to exceed federal per diem rates). Please contact us before booking your hotel and/or transportation.
  • Please check with your institution’s designated a2ru representative regarding your eligibility to apply for a scholar award.
  • A student may only receive one a2ru award, scholar or travel, per academic calendar year (e.g., if you receive a travel grant for the 2022 annual conference, you cannot apply for a travel grant or a scholar award to attend the 2023 Emerging Creatives Student Summit).
  • While the above outlines the maximum amount of awards each member school is allowed, it does not guarantee that each member school will receive this amount. Funds are limited and awards will be granted based on an application’s merit, its completeness, and when it is submitted.
  • All recipients of Scholar Awards are required to provide a written summary about the event they have attended for a2ru to post on its website. Specific details will be provided in their award letter.

Applications will require the following components to submit:

  • Itemized list of estimated expenses (flight, hotel, ground transportation, meals, etc.) NOTE: This is not required for virtual events.
  • Biography (200 words max.)
  • Personal statement (600 words max.) addressing the following:
      • What draws you to attend this particular a2ru event?
      • What are your career plans and how would being an a2ru Scholar at this event contribute to your plans?
      • The 2022 Emerging Creatives theme, Learning in Liminal Spaces, asks participants to reckon with the seismic change our educational models are undergoing post-pandemic, when we have been learning in liminal spaces of asynchronous and hybrid instruction. In this in-between time and space we now inhabit, we are freer to imagine new opportunities to access, participate, and thrive in learning. Please share your thoughts on the potential of this transformed landscape: how might disrespect for the traditional spatial and temporal boundaries of learning lead to transformation of the higher education sphere?
      • Answer one of the following:
        • Describe how your scholarship, work experience, volunteer engagement, or leadership in a student and/or community organization demonstrates a commitment to reducing social, educational, and/or economic disparities based on ability, ethnicity, gender, race, or sexuality in the academic, professional, or civic realm.
        • If you have been to an a2ru event before, please describe your experience there as someone from an educational, cultural, or geographical background that is typically underrepresented at a2ru gatherings.
        • If you have not previously been to an a2ru event, please describe your experience at a similar event (conference, symposium, larger workshop). What unique perspective did you bring to the event? Did you have any concerns before or during the event?

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