Program Solicitation: National Endowment for the Arts Research Labs

Funding Agency:
National Endowment for the Arts

The Arts Endowment’s five-year research agenda aims to build public knowledge about the arts’ contributions to individuals and society. Through the NEA Research Labs program, we seek to extend this agenda and its impact by cultivating a series of transdisciplinary research partnerships, grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, to produce and report empirical insights about the arts for the benefit of arts and non-arts sectors alike.

The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization(s) (the “Cooperator”) to participate in the NEA Research Labs program.

Each Research Lab will define its own agenda, conduct a research program to implement that agenda, and prepare reports that will contribute substantively to a wider understanding of one of three areas of special interest to the NEA:

1. The Arts, Health, and Social/Emotional Well-Being

  • a. Therapeutic Approaches and Benefits
  • b. Non-Therapeutic Approaches and Benefits

2. The Arts, Creativity, Cognition, and Learning

3. The Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation 

Priority will be given to applications that show capacity to design and implement a series of studies and/or a research program that includes theory-driven research questions and methodologies that will yield important information about the impact of the arts within the selected topic area. Research methodologies may include such approaches as quasi-experimental or experimental designs, or analyses that use primary and/or secondary data. Competitive applications will take into account any extant research that serves as a basis for a theoretical framework and helps to motivate the proposed project. We also welcome novel and promising research approaches, such as rigorous analyses of organizational, social networks, and/or social media data, and statistically driven meta-analyses. In addition, we are interested in translational research that moves scientific evidence toward the development, testing, and standardization of new arts related programs, practices, models, or tools that can be used easily by other practitioners and researchers.

An organization may submit only one proposal under this program solicitation.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 19, 2019 Extended to July 5, 2019
  • Sponsor's Proposal Receipt Deadline: July 15, 2019
If the internal deadline has passed and you are interested in this opportunity, please email to find out if it is still open.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The official applicant must be 1) a U.S. institution of higher education, or 2) a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3), U.S. organization with their core components having research and policy as a principal focus, either as the primary work or as part of a transdisciplinary mission. This nonprofit organization also must have a three-year history of commissioning and conducting research in the behavioral or social sciences, and communicating research findings and policy implications through reports and/or convenings, at the time of application.



Amount Description

Contingent upon the agency’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Cooperative Agreements of up to $150,000 to each NEA Research Lab will be awarded. The Arts Endowment’s legislation and policies generally require that each Cooperative Agreement includes a nonfederal cost share of at least 1 to 1. At its discretion, the Arts Endowment may choose to negotiate a lesser cost share rate at the time of the award. Matching funds cannot include funds from any federal sources, including the Arts Endowment. 

An organization may not receive more than one Arts Endowment award for the same costs during the same or an overlapping period of performance. In addition, different awardees may not receive federal funds for the same project costs during the same or an overlapping period of performance.

Funding Type





Arts & Humanities
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
* Project summary - 2 to 4 pages - Please include either in the project summary or in the letter of support how the 1 to 1 matching requirement will be met.
* CV or Biosketch of project leader

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Internal Deadline

July 5, 2019

External Deadline

July 15, 2019