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Catalizing Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research

  • October 12, 2016
  • By Cynthia Stillings     
“This is how we can investigate each other’s mediums. Make this collaborative project together!” Abby Schnure, BFA Art Major


Kent State University College of the Arts offers grants annually to interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students who are exploring mediums, solving a problem, taking a new approach in design, testing a concept, creating something new or conducting research across disciplines.

The grant is open to students from any discipline in the College of the Arts, as long as the team is comprised of students working in different disciplines, either in another school in the College of the Arts or another unit across campus. The team’s project manager must be an undergraduate student on the Kent Campus who is currently enrolled in a major within the College of the Arts. Other team participants may be from any school/department/college on the Kent Campus. To help students find research and creative partners, the College of the Arts sponsors a Flash Grant “Meet Up” in the fall six weeks prior to the application due date.

Five awards of up to $600 are granted to student teams each year. To apply, students must submit a 500-word project summary and a one-page budget and pitch their project in person to a team of jurors. Teams are required to present either completed projects or “in process” projects at the Kent State Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creativity each spring in the student center ballroom.

Past recipients include:

• A textile artist and poet expressed “art as a form of meditation” by interpreting poetry through weaving.
• A music major along with student collaborators from Integrated Health Studies and Nursing tested the power of music and its effect on blood pressure.
• A fashion major and an English major educated college-age women on the importance of a positive self-image with a project entitled “EmBODYment.”
• A theatre major and a fashion major investigated the boundaries of costume and clothing as personal expression.
• Theatre majors along with an art major explored a stylized woven environment for a theatrical adaptation of “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
• An art major and students from biological sciences explored aesthetic sustainability in “The Rain Barrel Painting Project.”

In addition to research and creative output of the students, learning outcomes include
• Grant writing, budgeting and presentation skills
• Planning and executing a project
• Negotiating the logistics of expenditures in a controlled (e.g. state university) environment
• Learning to negotiate research processes such as making application to an Internal Review Board
• Disseminating their results in a public forum/symposium

Link to Full Source: Flash Grants Kent State University