Mega Grants Incubator 2024

Applications Now Closed

DEADLINE: March 11, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST

WHAT: Seed Funding ($500 - $8,000) for new research projects/ideas/questions demonstrating potential for securing significant external funding ($100,000 - $1M+)
All full-time faculty members (Arts Professors, Tenure/Tenure-Track) are eligible
Two-year commitment: April 2024 - January 2026 (Timeline Here)

NOTE: If you are interested but concerned that your creative work is not a match for this opportunity, please attend the upcoming Art Making as Research Workshop on February 29th to learn more about how to identify and develop research questions, structure inquiry-led projects and frame your research findings. 

Mega Grants Incubator 2024

In early 2020, Tisch Creative Research launched a new resource program designed to support a small number of faculty-led research proposals that demonstrate potential for securing significant external funding. The goal of the Incubator is to nurture new projects (ie, those that may have received internal funding but have not yet secured external support) and create a pipeline for NYU’s Mega Grants Initiative and other institutional resource programs.

The original Tisch Mega Grants Incubator was successful in providing initial support to four faculty-led projects, which you can read about HERE. After a pandemic-era pause, Tisch’s Mega Grants Incubator is once again accepting applications from any full-time faculty member (Arts Professors, Tenure/Tenure-Track) developing collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects with the potential to attract significant external funding. 

What Does That Mean?

In the short term, it means you can apply for seed funding from Tisch, and NYU, to develop your ideas and make strong, competitive interdisciplinary research proposals. In the longer term, TCR will help you navigate applications for significant, multi-year FUNDING from external sponsors to support YOUR RESEARCH. Are you an artist or hybrid practitioner who is not sure whether what you do in your creative work “counts” as research?

What We Want

Your projects. Your ideas. Your questions. Fully formed or half-baked, what are the things you’re thinking about - that you’d like to keep thinking about, making about, researching about? Your proposed research project/idea/question should occupy and/or connect with a landscape of other ideas you could stay interested in for a while. You should be able to identify ways in which your idea will benefit from engagement with other disciplines, other practices and modes of thought. But you do not need to have a draft funding proposal at this point - that’s what the Incubator is for. 

What Makes a Project/Proposal “Mega?”

Two things: scale and impact. Does your proposed project have the potential to attract significant external funding - six figures or more? Is the work you’re proposing to do likely to have broad, sustained, systemic, cultural, socio/political impact? It’s ok if you can’t quite see all the potential yet. That’s what the review process will do: identify a set of projects/proposals that can evolve into “mega” potential. However, a successful “mega” project is one that addresses scale and impact, not one that simply requires a lot of funding. 

How to Respond

Fill out this Google Form, by March 11, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET. 

The form will require basic contact info and a brief description of your idea/project/question. A panel review of proposals will take place in late March. Notifications will be sent by Friday, April 8th. View the full timeline below.

As always, you can reach out to Tisch Creative Research with any Qs about this opportunity:

What Happens Next?

With help from a group of advisors, we will review all submissions and then follow-up with you individually to explore the best ways for TCR to help you “incubate” your project with seed funding, participation in a cohort of other Tisch researchers, and connection with other advisors, experts and advocates. The overall goal is to create a pipeline (1, 2, 3 or more years in advance) of activity that could be successful in NYU’s Mega Grants Initiative. 

What Do You Mean by “incubate?”

We mean: to develop safely, protected from external conditions and pressures. In the Mega Grants context, we can offer a variety of support to help you incubate your ideas - and then we’ll see where those ideas lead. Specific "incubation" activity might include researching, identifying and "woo-ing" potential collaborators; conducting interviews, roundtable discussions or site visits to understand how a project might be scaffolded across disciplines and/or institutions; hosting workshops or other preliminary experiments to inform the direction, scope, or scale of a multi-year, mega grant project; or any other suitable activity that strengthens a proposed project.

And Then What?

We hope this process yields a handful of project proposals that can be submitted to NYU’s Mega Grants Initiative at some point during the two-year Incubator. (Some may require additional time.) Seed funding from NYU will help further refine your ideas and prepare you to submit large-scale, six-and-seven figure proposals to external sponsors. Following the Incubator’s end (Fall 2025), participants may continue to receive guidance on their projects from the Incubator cohort(s), advisors and staff as necessary. The catalyst is your interest in pursuing this stream of support. We’re standing by, ready to help!



Dates are subject to change.


January 29th, 2024

Mega Grants 2024 Request for Proposals (RFP) Published



March 11, 2024

Proposals Due by 11:59 PM EDT in Application Portal


March 25 - 29, 2024

Panel Review


April 8, 2024

Notifications Sent


April 2024 - October 2025

Work Period


April - June 2024

Participant/Project Consultations


January 2025

Project Update #1


June 2025

Project Update #2


August 2025

Final Project Expenses Due


October 2025

End Work Period


January 2026

Final Reporting Due