Congratulations to the 2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Awardees!

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Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant

Grants up to $5,000 awarded to currently enrolled master’s students pursuing thesis research related to U.S. craft history or theory.

The graduate grant is one of three categories that make up the Craft Research Fund, a visionary program dedicated to supporting scholarly craft research in United States. Since 2005 the Center annually grants $95,000 to academic researchers, independent scholars, curators, and graduate students writing, revising, and reclaiming the history of craft. In 2019, the Center added an additional $40,000 Artist Fellowship category to support the creation of new research and knowledge through craft practice.

Grant goals


To encourage innovative research on critical issues in craft theory and history


To investigate neglected questions on craft history and criticism


To support new cross-disciplinary approaches to scholarship in craft


2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant

The Craft Research Fund was created to encourage, expand and support scholarly craft research in the United States.


  • Award Amount:
  • Up to $5,000
  • Grant Period:
  • 7 months


  • Applications Open:
  • June 2019
  • Deadline:
  • Oct 1, 2019
  • Notification:
  • Nov 2019
  • Grant Period Begins:
  • Dec 2019
  • Grant Period Ends:
  • June 2020

2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant - Eligibility

Applications are welcome from students enrolled in a humanities-based graduate program (MA) at an accredited college or university for grants up to $5,000 to support research for a thesis project relating to craft in the United States.

- No capital equipment purchases, tuition or living expenses are eligible for support.

- Applicants must be able to receive taxable income for the duration of the grant and report this grant as income. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

This grant is specifically for students pursuing an master’s degree in a humanities field. Students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or are applying to support the creation of their own artwork are not eligible to apply.  Students interested in support for PhD research should apply for a Craft Research Fund - Project grant.

Examples of scholarly craft research might include:

  • Research addressing work by historically important or contemporary craft artist/s
  • Presenting a new understanding of the relationship between hand-made production and digital technologies
  • Contributions to the history of the studio craft movement
  • Or other topics that offer fresh perspectives within the field

2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant – Requirements

- Seventy percent of the grant will be awarded upon execution of the grant agreement and receipt of the awardee’s W9.

- The final thirty percent will be awarded upon receipt of a final report, to include a project narrative, a budget report, and two copies of the final thesis for inclusion in the Craft Research Fund Collection at the Center for Craft.

- Project and final report must be completed in six months grant period.

- Recipients will acknowledge support from “Center for Craft - Craft Research Fund” in any publications or presentations resulting from the grant.

2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant - Review Process

A panel composed of craft curators, faculty, and/or scholars will review proposals and evaluate them based on the following criteria:

 - The thesis or dissertation topic relates to one or more of the goals of the Craft Research Fund program

 - The student demonstrates familiarity with existing research on the topic

 - The proposed research is feasible based on the timeline, expertise and budget reflected in the application

- The research will advance scholarship and knowledge about craft in the United States

2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant - How to Apply

DEADLINE: The application for 2020 Graduate Research Grants must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than 11:59 pm EST on Friday, October 1, 2019.

NOTIFICATION: Notification of the results will be sent via e-mail no later than mid-November for a start date of December 1, 2019. The e-mail address listed on the application form will be used to send out notifications. Please be sure that it is a valid account that you check regularly.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants must apply using the online application program SlideRoom at Please review the sample application below before beginning your application.

All applicants should create a login to be able to partially complete the form and return to finish it at a later date. Before submitting your application, you will be directed to a confirmation page where you will be able to review your form and return to edit or delete your uploaded files as needed. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to access your form again. Applicants will receive a confirmation email once the application form has been successfully submitted.

2020 Craft Research Fund – Graduate Grant SAMPLE APPLICATION

This is only a sample application, all applications much be completed in SlideRoom.

Cover sheet

 1. Name (applicant/s and or organization) 

 2. Your title (including degree sought, university and expected date of graduation) 

 3. Provide either your personal website or project website

 4. Grant amount requested (up to $5,000) 

 5. Are you over 18 (yes or no) 

6.Are you able to receive taxable income for the duration of the project period (yes or no) 

7.Please provide a project title (up to 15 words) 

8.Please provide a summary of your research proposal (no more than 50 words) 


 1. Please provide a one page summary of your proposal addressing the following (500 words) : 

  • Research question and relevance to advancement of craft in the United States
  • Research methodology

 2. Timeline for completing research. Projects must be completed by May 31, 2020 (7 months from start date)

 3.  Identify three other scholars who have written significant works on/around your topic, and describe how your work parallels and pushes the topic forward (500 words or less).

 4. Completed budget-form provided in SlideRoom

 5. Provide a budget narrative to explain any line items if necessary (300 words)

 6. CV of relevant education and experience (no more than 2 pages)

 7. Description of research, how it relates to your thesis, and how the research relates to the goals of the Craft Research Fund (no more than 5 pages in no less than 12 point type).

 8. Bibliography with at least 10 sources.

 9. One supporting letter from your primary advisor. Reference letter request is sent via SlideRoom and is due at the same time as the application, October 1 (11:59pm EST) 2019.

 10. Optional single page PDF of image/s, if this will compliment or add clarity to the proposal.

2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant - FAQ

What is the final deadline for submitting my online application form?

The application for 2019 Graduate Research Grants must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than 11:59 pm EST on Friday, October 1, 2019.

May I mail a hard copy of my application materials to the Center for Craft’s office?

No, hard copy submissions will not be accepted. The application must be completed and submitted through SlideRoom.

Can I work on my application and return to complete it at a later date?

Yes, creating a login account will enable you to complete the form in several online sessions.

I just submitted my application but I want to return to it and make an edit. Is this possible?

No, once your application is submitted, you will not be able to return to the form or change any submitted information. The application fee must also be paid at the time of submitting your application as you will not be able to log-in again to access the payment page again.

I have a question that wasn’t answered. How can I reach the Center for Craft?

If you have any further questions, please contact


Meet the 2020
Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant Recipients

The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of 2020 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grants.

Colleen Pokorny




Support for research related to the graduate thesis of Colleen Pokorny (M.A. Apparel Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Class of 2020). Innovation in Craft: A Mixed Methods Study on Pre-cut Fabrics Impact on Quilt Making will explore how the innovation of pre-cut fabrics impacts quilting practices, quilt designs, and awareness of the historical craft of quilt-making for the Under 45 Quilter.

Learn more

Molly Robinson




Support for research related to the graduate thesis of Molly Robinson (M.A. Folklore, University of California at Berkeley, Class of 2021). Coiling History: An Exploration of Seagrass Baskets in Lowcountry South Carolina explores the environmental history of coastal South Carolina by tracking the changing materiality and social roles of Lowcountry seagrass baskets.

Learn more


Meet the 2019
Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant Recipients

The Center for Craft is pleased to announce the recipients of 2019 Craft Research Fund grants. This year 11 organizations, curators, scholars, and graduate students will receive a total of $98,771 to support craft-centered research, exhibitions, catalogs, and projects in the United States.

2 out of 5 Graduate Research Grant proposals awarded.

Colleen E. Terrell- $2,630

Bard Graduate Center

This project will draw on primary source material and archival documents to provide a focused, nuanced account of the American Craft Council’s “Craft Horizons” magazine’s content, intent, and role in the American studio craft movement in the postwar years (ca. 1950-1979).

Learn more

Eliza West- $5,000

Lois F. McNeil Fellow, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture

The craft of fulling (shrinking and felting) is essential to the production of woolen textiles, but its role in defining the end uses of textiles is not well understood. This project will recreate and full historic textiles using period techniques in order to better understand the importance of this craft.

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2019 Selection Committee

Marie Cochran

Marie Cochran is the founding curator of the Affrilachian Artist Project, which celebrates the intersection of cultures in Appalachia--- specifically nurturing a network of African American creatives and welcoming anyone committed to the sustainability of a diverse region.

Bernie Herman

Bernie Herman is the George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and Folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, works on the material cultures of everyday life and the ways in which people furnish, inhabit, communicate, and understand the worlds of things.

Lydia Matthews

Lydia Matthews is Professor of Visual Culture in Parsons Fine Arts program and founding Director of the Curatorial Design Research Lab at The New School.

Mary Savig

Mary Savig is the curator of manuscripts at the Archives of American Art. Her broad research objective is to understand the historical development of craft in the 20th century and how it has functioned as an indicator of culture

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