IAH Innovation Fund
Begun with funds from the Hyde Family Foundation, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, and IAH Advisory Board members, the IAH launched its Innovation Fund in 2011 to support innovation in humanistic and artistic enterprise among fixed-term and tenure-track faculty at UNC.
About the Fund
This fund supports projects that venture beyond traditional methods in the arts and humanities as they are practiced and taught on the UNC campus, and for which there are not other resources commonly available, either on campus or externally. It encourages an entrepreneurial mindset to support risky, ambitious projects that aim for a large impact for an identified group and that can also serve as scalable and translatable models for other scholars and educators.
The IAH continues to support—through our Faculty Fellowship Program, working groups and co-sponsorships—scholarly and pedagogical work that engages through traditional methods in the humanities’ ongoing examination of human cultures and in the arts’ creation of expressive forms adequate to human experiences.
Our Unique Funding Model
In this funding model, the IAH partners with project teams for up to three years. The Institute not only provides financial support, but also assists project teams in identifying technical and logistical resources both on and off campus to help them realize their project visions. During the partnership, teams are expected to remain in close communication with the IAH so that we can better support their needs.
Funded projects receive an initial “seed” grant of $5,000 for planning and preliminary work, and the IAH may award up to $45,000 in additional funds to each project team over the course of three years, dependent upon the project’s financial needs and its success in meeting its objectives.
The Institute's definition of innovation is broad and aims to encourage innovative work in many forms. Projects that are funded demonstrate that they are in some way sustainable, scalable and translatable, on a departmental, local or even global scale. The IAH especially wishes to encourage the creation of cross-disciplinary teams in which faculty and students collaborate to produce a collective response to a particular topic or problem, in the process moving away from traditional reliance on the individual researcher or artist. The following list only suggests some of the forms that innovative work might take:
- Engages with new audiences and reaches beyond UNC's borders;
- Uses new means of disseminating or producing scholarly information, the arts or performance;
- Collaborates with other academics or with non-academic partners;
- Develops ways to bring knowledge produced at the University to bear on real world problems;
- Changes the ways classes are taught and expands curricular offerings to respond to pressing social issues and changing student needs;
- Develops new models of collaborative practice in the arts and humanities.