The Artist-in-Residence program lies at the intersection of art and science. The program allows artists to collaborate with scientists to benefit both science and art, spurring creative thinking and innovation. In the fall (2023), RIO will select artists for a residency to produce science-based artwork and visuals, display their work, and participate in a series of public talks to explain their work. We seek projects that bring art and science together to illuminate important questions and big ideas. See our 2023 award recipients.

The artist-in-residence will focus on nurturing exchanges between art, design, technology, science, and engineering. The program will fund art faculty and staff who are drawn to collaboration, interested in interdisciplinary artistic, scientific and technological dialogue, and open to developing new working methods and techniques to share scientific discoveries. PIs must be UMN faculty and staff in a creative or artistic discipline which may include (but are not limited to) visual artists, writers, poets, storytellers, dancers, designers, musicians, or video and film artists. PIs must partner with a co-PI representing a STEM discipline to be eligible. 

Funding will support a creative interpretation of scientific research and discoveries at UMN. Each award must create an artistic outcome (in-person, virtual, or hybrid experience) to be displayed or performed in the September - October 2025 timeframe. Projects can take myriad forms, such as multimedia performances, theatrical productions, animated film making, immersive installations, sculptures, or music. We welcome diverse interpretations of art and science.

Funding & Cycle

Funding Amount

We anticipate that two awards of up to $50,000 will be made in 2025. We expect that funding from this program will be mostly allocated to the art faculty member PI. 


08/12/24: Application opens
08/13/24: Letter of intent submission due
09/9/24: PI submits proposal to approvers (by 11:59 p.m. CT)
09/12/24: Approvers submit proposal to RIO (by 11:59 p.m. CT)
November 2024: Award notification 
01/01/25: Award period begins

Anticipated Outcomes

Concrete programmatic outcomes will be: 1) Creative interpretation of scientific research and discoveries at UMN 2) Creation of an integrated research community of artists and scientific faculty who cooperate across disciplines 3) Facilitation of cross-sector collaborations that center the arts at the intersection of other disciplines, sectors, and industries 4) Education of research discoveries to students through art interpretation. ​​

Project Requirements

Resident artists are expected to:

  • Develop a public exhibition/installation, activity, or performance that is accessible to a broad audience;
  • Create opportunities for student discovery or participation during the fall 2025 through programmed curriculum;
  • Participate in a public engagement event featuring their work;
  • Develop a project budget;
  • Propose and adhere to an approved timeline for project research, development, and exhibition (or performance, etc.); and
  • Meet all deadlines set by RIO for promoting and showing their work.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements include: 

  • The PI/applicant must be a full time (75-100 percent) UMN faculty in a creative or artistic discipline
  • Each proposal should have at least one Co-PI in a STEM discipline
  • The funds must be spent at the UMN 
  • Each PI or Co-PI can participate on only ONE proposal

Evaluation Criteria 

Research and scholarly proposals will be evaluated through peer review using the following criteria:

  • Relevance to interpreting scientific research and/or discovery through art
  • Impact and novelty of the proposed art
  • Education plan for student discovery and/or participation
  • Synergistic integration of disciplines involved
  • The feasibility of the proposed tasks within nine months culminating in a public display or performance in fall 2025

How to Apply

Mandatory Letter of Intent

A letter of intent (see required LOI template) must be submitted to with “AIR  LOI” in the subject line by August 12.

Include the following:

  • The title of the proposal
  • Principal investigator (PI) name, department, and email address. (Person in charge of correspondence with RIO.)
  • STEM Co-PI(s) name, department, and email address
  • A brief description of the nature of the proposed project (200 words or less)
  • The names and email addresses of two or three potential UMN faculty reviewers who would not be directly involved with the project

Note: We do not issue invitations following the submission of the LOI. Everyone who submits an LOI is invited to submit a full proposal unless you hear from us.

Proposal Submission

Please refer to the application instructions for information about our submission process, including required attachments and approver routing.

Start a New Application

Start a new application during an open funding cycle (see Availability/Deadlines). Only applications submitted through this system are accepted; fax, email, and paper copy applications will not be accepted.

If you click on the new application link when a competition is closed you will not be able to apply and will receive a message that says, "This competition type is currently closed. Please contact for more information."

Edit an Existing Application

To edit an existing application, choose "RIO Artist in Residence Program" from the "Process" drop down list (top left corner). Click on “My actions to do.” Click on the relevant link in the “Action” column. On the next screen, you will see your application. Note: Only applications created in the current competition will be accepted.

Proposal Requirements

1. Project Description (no more than five pages, PDF) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the program description:

  • Approach and methodology: Describe the approach and methodology that will be used to achieve the project vision and goals.
  • Interpretation of science: Describe how the project will interpret scientific research and discoveries. 
  • Display and/or performance: Describe the anticipated project display and/or performance to be accomplished in September - October 2024. 
  • Education: Describe how the proposed project will educate students in various disciplines. 

2. Budget and Budget Justification. Budget is limited to $50,000 for a period of 12 months. Proposals must include budget and justification. Budgets may include: 

  • Faculty salary and fringe, 
  • Materials and supplies for the project,
  • Display and/or performance costs,
  • Participant stipends, or
  • Collection(s) of data

3. Two-page CV's of Investigators

4. Proposal Format

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
  • Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)