TCR's 2021 End-Of-Year Summary

Friday, Jun 11, 2021

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Everyone keeps saying it because it’s true: this was an extraordinary year. In the midst of so much upheaval, the staff and faculty of the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research were deeply inspired by the Tisch community’s compassion, advocacy and resilience. We are especially grateful to the students who made their voices heard and catalyzed continuing conversations here at Tisch about justice and equity.

We did our best to listen and the result was the creation of two new resource programs: the inaugural HEAR US Awards and the new Undergraduate Research Fund. With its focus on celebrating and advancing student projects that center BIPOC voices and stories, HEAR US provided critical support to students who are committed to combating systematic marginalization in the creation and leadership of artistic and scholarly works. The new Undergrad Fund enabled us to expand Tisch’s support of student-led research and facilitate greater inter-disciplinary collaborations among undergraduates.

Across all of our programming, we created new processes that enabled greater accessibility and participation. Applications were streamlined in order to lower barriers to participation, and panel reviews were conducted entirely online allowing us to be much more inclusive of who was “in the room” to make resource decisions. We also strengthened our commitment to building cohorts within each of our student programs, and have delighted in watching some of those connections turn into emerging friendships and future collaborations!

Through our ongoing partnership with Catwalk, we were able to offer one residency opportunity this year, which provided a much-needed (and socially-distanced) community-building experience. We would like to thank our friends at Catwalk for working so hard to make on-site residencies safe for 18 faculty, staff and alumni.

We were also thrilled to continue supporting the inaugural cohort of the Tisch Mega Grants Incubator, which forged ahead in spite of myriad restrictions to advance their projects. We look forward to continuing to support these projects in pursuit of the University’s Mega Grants Initiative Seed Grants in 2021-22.

We extend our deepest thanks to Dean Allyson Green for committing to an expansion of student opportunities at Tisch during a time of extreme austerity.

Here’s a pencil-points summary of TCR’s programming in 2020-2021:


Because the HEAR US awards are designed to catalyze a long-term cultural shift, the program supports projects at all phases of completion with tiered levels of funding, and provides one-on-one mentorship during the application process and for all awardees.

  • 86 applications submitted (38 undergrad, 48 grad), 16 departments represented
  • 13 grants made (5 undergrad, 8 grad), 8 departments represented
  • 22 professionals, including 9 tisch faculty, served as panelists/mentors

NEW PROGRAM: Undergraduate Research Fund

Launched in direct response to student calls, the Undergraduate Fund awarded 7 students across 4 departments this year. Students are investigating a range of diverse subjects including: the new genres of music and cinema following the economic and social upheaval in Spain after 2008; the potential of new synoptic technologies and electrophysical recording devices to allow humans to synthesize sounds with our brains; and the cultural impact of 9/11, two decades later.

  • 9 applications submitted, 7 departments represented
  • 7 grants made, 4 departments represented

Graduate Research Fund

In recognition and support of the important contributions made by students to our research community, the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research (TCR) began funding student-led inquiry in 2014. Since that time, TCR has provided over $35,000 in grants to graduate students.

  • 12 applications submitted, 5 departments represented
  • 8 grants made, 5 departments represented

Catwalk Residency

  • 43 applications submitted, 11 departments represented
  • 27 nominations, 11 departments represented

Mega Grants Incubator

  • 4 faculty-led projects granted funds, 3 departments represented
  • Continued support in 2021-2022; NYU Mega Grants Initiative submissions!

Other TCR Activities

TCR continued to support other research-related activities in 2021-22 including: