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ASA Trustees Announce Revised Guidelines for Major Grants

Monday, March 20, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved revised guidelines for its Major Grants Initiative Program. After reviewing numerous proposals over the last two years, the Board has clarified and codified several expectations in its funding decisions.

The most up-to-date guidelines can always be found here:

The revised guidelines:

The American Society for Aesthetics offers grants to support projects that promote goals of the Society. These goals include, but are not limited to:

  • promoting research in aesthetics and the philosophy of art by members of the ASA;
  • attracting students, graduates, and junior faculty to work in the fields of aesthetics and the philosophy of art;
  • building diversity and inclusiveness in these fields;
  • raising the profile of aesthetics and the philosophy of art within the profession of philosophy;
  • collaborating with academic societies of aesthetics in other countries;
  • fostering common interests with philosophers who work in other areas; and
  • building bridges with academics and practitioners whose work is art-relevant.

While we will consider proposals with larger budgets if they promise to promote a significant number of these goals, we also encourage proposals with lesser budgets that would further a more limited number of these goals. For guidance on the typical grant size, consult the list of recently funded projects:

While it is likely that a given project will speak to the research interests of participants in some way, the initiative is not designed to encourage individual research. Rather, we wish to foster projects involving collaboration among members, wide participation across the membership, or outreach to the larger community. Through this initiative, the Society hopes to stimulate members of the ASA to offer creative, innovative ideas about how the Society's interests can be advanced. While we are very happy to consider all kinds of proposals that promote the general goals of the Society, we offer the following suggestions as to the kinds of things we have in mind:

  • the establishment of regional workshops that promote regular interaction and collaboration between members of the Society and others interested in aesthetics and the arts;
  • assistance to existing regional workshops in bringing in speakers from further afield to raise the profile of the workshop in the community at large;
  • regional one-off conferences that, again, promote interactions between members of the Society and others who share their interests in aesthetics and the arts;
  • the establishment of a summer institute to provide assistance in more effectively teaching aesthetics at the undergraduate level to graduate students, junior faculty, and regular faculty in small colleges who are asked to teach courses in aesthetics but lack a professional background in the field;
  • the setting up of websites or other open forums for the dissemination of information about activities organized by members of the Society, and/or to provide a medium of exchange for members of the Society who find themselves lacking local colleagues with whom to discuss issues relating to aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

All submissions must be from current members of the American Society for Aesthetics, although non-members may play an active role in the project. Submissions from members of the Society who are relatively new to the profession are particularly encouraged.

Proposals for projects outside North America must demonstrate substantial international scope and a high potential for significant impact on the research or teaching of aesthetics scholars in North America.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of their promise to achieve their stated goals and the goals of the Society. Generally, projects which appear to benefit only one college or university campus are not competitive; such projects are welcome if they expand their outreach and participation to broader geographic regions. Preference may be given to proposals that aid junior members. Projects which include travel support for ASA student members to attend and/or participate are encouraged.

The amount available for funding projects will vary from year to year and will be included in the annual budget of the American Society for Aesthetics approved each year. At its discretion, the Board of Trustees may elect not to expend all of the funds appropriated for a specific year, to carry funds over from one year to the next, or to appropriate additional funds, if available, for especially worthwhile projects.

The ASA supports the goals of the Gendered Conference Campaign (GCC). In making decisions regarding use of ASA funds to support conferences and other public events, the ASA will give preference to those that take concrete steps to support the GCC, as evidenced by the recruitment and participation of women and members of other historically-underrepresented and excluded groups. Specific suggestions on how to support the GCC are outlined at the GCC web site and at the BPA web site.

Draft applications may be submitted to the Secretary-Treasurer at any time for consideration by the Board of Trustees. Applications will be considered in the order received, but at least three months must be allowed for consideration. Applicants can apply for funding for a period of anything up to a year, and should specify in their applications the beginning and end dates of the period for which they are applying. A longer time line might be approved if circumstances warrant.

Initial applications should specify
(1) the project's title,
(2) the project’s goals and how they promote the more general goals of the Society as illustrated above,
(3) predicted outcomes of the project,
(4) its intended structure (who, when, where, methods of advertising and selection, audience development and recruitment, format),
(5) For proposed speakers, a brief statement of their expertise relevant to this project,
(6) For the proposed project director, an explanation of expertise relevant to conducting this project; if a CV is attached, it should be limited to five pages,
(7) a proposed line item budget for the overall project, clearly indicating which items would be funded by ASA and which by other sources,
(8) an evaluation plan, and
(9) any other relevant information. Additional information and an expanded budget may be requested if appropriate.

The precise methods for transfer of funds will be worked out between the Secretary-Treasurer and the project director. The ASA does not pay any indirect or administrative charges. In general, ASA prefers to fund projects with at least 50% cost-sharing (which can include both cash and in-kind contributions).

A detailed report on the project must be provided to the Secretary-Treasurer within three months of the project’s completion, and no later than September 1 for inclusion in the annual Board meeting agenda materials. This report should clearly indicate how the funds awarded by the Society were spent, attendance figures (including any available demographic data), and the extent to which the projected outputs were achieved. Project organizers should also send a brief report on the completed project to the editors of the ASA Newsletter for publication in the next issue.

We look forward to receiving your responses to this initiative. If you have any further queries, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer, American Society for Aesthetics, 1550 Larimer St. #644, Denver, CO 80202-1602 or

Here is a list of grants awarded by the ASA in recent years

Revised March 20, 2017

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