for Scholars

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.

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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.

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


2018 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
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  • Applications Open:
  • May 2018
  • Deadline:
  • Sep 28, 2018
  • Notification:
  • Nov 2018
  • Grant Period Begins:
  • Dec 2018
  • Grant Period Ends:
  • Jun 2019

2019 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

- Placing American craft in a global context

- Or other topics that offer fresh perspectives within the field

2019 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.

2019 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

2019 Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant - How to Apply

DEADLINE: The application for 2019 Graduate Research Grants must be submitted via SlideRoom no later than 11:59 pm EST on Friday, September 28, 2018.

NOTIFICATION: Notification of the results will be sent via e-mail no later than mid-November for a start date of December 1, 2018. 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.

2018 Craft Research Fund – Graduate Grant SAMPLE APPLICATION

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

Cover sheet

 1. Degree sought and projected date of graduation

 2. College/University name

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

 4. Website

 5. Brief synopsis of research (50 words)


 1. Summarized in one page (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, 2019 (6 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.


 1. One supporting letter from your primary advisor. Reference letter request is sent via SlideRoom and is due at the same time as the application, September 28 (11:59pm EST) 2018.


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

2019 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, September 28, 2018.

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 2018
Craft Research Fund Graduate Grant Recipient

Barbara Klare - $2,909

University for the Creative Arts/Open College of the Arts

Support for research on the broader cultural and aesthetic implications of Boro, on contemporary art, craft and design.

Learn more

Selection Committee

Tanya Harrod

Author of the prize-winning The Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press 1999). She contributes regularly to The Burlington Magazine, The Guardian, Crafts, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement.

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She is on the Advisory Panel of The Burlington Magazine and of Interpreting Ceramics and is Advisor to the Craft Lives Project based at the National Sound Archive of the British Library. She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, of the London-based Critic’s Circle and of the Art Workers Guild. In 1999 she was given a Ceramics Arts Foundation Award for distinguished service to the Ceramic Arts. With Glenn Adamson and Edward S. Cooke she is the editor of The Journal of Modern Craft. The Last Sane Man: Michael Cardew, modern pots, colonialism and the counterculture (2012) has won the 2013 James Tait Black Prize for biography. Her most recent books are The Real Thing: essays on making in the modern world (2015) and Leonard Rosoman (2016).

Emily Orr

A design historian with particular interests in material culture, industrial design, consumer culture, and retail history.

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She is the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary American Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum where she recently co-curated and contributed to the catalog for the exhibition Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s. She holds a PhD in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum where her thesis explored display design in department stores at the turn of the twentieth century, now the focus for a forthcoming monograph.

Emily Zilber

The editor for Metalsmith and Metalsmith Tech magazines. Previously Emily was the Ronald C. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Assistant Curator at Cranbrook Art Museum.

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Emily has edited and written numerous publications, articles, exhibition texts, including the catalog for Crafted: Objects in Flux (2015), Contemporary Highlights from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2016), “Craft’s Restless Boundaries” in Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft 92013), and “Curator’s Eye: Thomas Gentille,” Modern Magazine (Summer 2012).

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