Request for Proposals: Arts Research Programme (CLOSED)

Proposals are invited across the arts and humanities from researchers and practitioners who are interested in undertaking research projects that could investigate marginalised or relatively unexplored areas; who intend to create spaces for dialogue between theory and practice; who offer new readings/frameworks of artistic practices; and who use interdisciplinary approaches to break new conceptual ground, among other things.

The Arts Research programme supports scholars, researchers, and practitioners to undertake research into the various histories and expressions of artistic practices in India. It seeks to foster wider perspectives, understandings, interpretations and engagements in the arts. 

IFA specifically encourages projects in Indian languages other than English, so as to contribute to discourse in particular language contexts

Research projects should have clear research objectives, in-depth background survey, critical research questions, rigorous methodologies and specific outcomes that will be shared in the public domain. The outcomes could be books, essays, films, etc.

Who can apply?
The programme is open to proposals from scholars, researchers and practitioners across disciplines
You are eligible to apply if you are an Indian national, a registered non-profit Indian organisation, or have been resident in India for at least five years.
If you are applying on behalf of an institution, please include background information on the organisation as well as the memorandum of association/trust deed, annual reports, and audited statements of accounts for the past three years.

Application process
You may choose to write your proposal in any Indian language including English. The IFA staff would be glad to answer your questions regarding this programme. You can approach us to discuss your ideas or send us a draft proposal for our suggestions and comments.

Your proposal will be assessed with the help of external evaluators and all decisions on grants made by IFA will be final.

Please include the following in your proposal, so it is not considered incomplete:

  • The content of the proposal should have clear research objectives, in-depth background survey, critical research questions, rigorous methodologies and specific outcomes;
  • Supporting material, if any, which gives us a sense of your work;
  • Your bio-data;
  • A detailed budget breakdown that explains how funds will be used. Please also mention funds anticipated from other sources, if any; and
  • Your address, telephone numbers, and e-mail address

Duration of the Project
Your project may have a minimum duration of one year and a maximum duration of one year and six months.

You can request for support up to Rs 4 lakh.
You may budget for an honorarium of Rs 12,000/- per month subject to a maximum limit of Rs 1,44,000/- for the entire duration of the grant. Please note that the total grant amount is inclusive of the honorarium.

You can send us your draft proposal by email but your final proposal, including your bio-data, supporting material, should be in hard copy only.

Draft proposals should reach us no later than June 11, 2016
Final proposals should reach us no later than July 11, 2016

No supporting material will be sent back to the applicant.

General Information:

  • Our funds will cover only project-related personnel costs, activities and travel, and can provide for modest equipment hire and materials, if necessary. Please ensure that each budget category pertains to a specific item of project-related expenditure
  • If you are an individual, please budget for an accountant upto Rs 3000/- only
  • Please do not budget for institutional overheads, building costs and infrastructural development. We do not support buying of equipment either, but if you must buy equipment for the project, you must return it to IFA after the project is completed.
  • If your proposal is short-listed, you may be requested to respond to questions that arise out of the evaluation process
  • The selected grants will be announced in October 2016

Please address your application and all other communications to:
Tanveer Ajsi
Programme Executive
India Foundation for the Arts,
‘Apurva’, Ground floor, No 259, 4th Cross,
Raj Mahal Vilas, IInd Stage, IInd Block,
Bengaluru 560 094
Tel: +91 80 23414681/82

The Arts Research and Documentation programme underwent a review process after 8 years in 2014 by a panel of experts comprising Susie Tharu, MD Muthukumaraswamy, Aneesh Pradhan and Rahul Roy.  In order to develop a broad sense of the current landscape of arts research in India and understand the relevance of this programme we solicited views from the field that were represented to the panel. (Please refer to our Voices from the Field Report). We also invited some of our earlier grantees to speak to the panel about their experiences and challenges of working in the field. The panel made a set of recommendations to IFA and this Arts Research programme is an outcome of those recommendations.