Imagine Fund Arts, Humanities, and Design Chair Awards

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 9, 2024

The Provost has established two University Imagine Fund chairs, each a two-year award during which the recipient carries the title of Imagine Fund Arts, Humanities, and Design Chair. During each two-year award, the faculty awardee (or co-awardees) receives up to $100,000 to work with a group of faculty, staff, students, and other collaborators to create a program of activities for the University community and the community at large. The goal of these projects is to catalyze cross-departmental, intercollegiate, multi-campus, and collaborative work. 

The chair position supports an emergent process that includes a generative first year and a second year of visible public activities that engage the campus and local communities. One chair is awarded each year. With chairs awarded in successive years, the dual chairs and their staggered terms establish a rhythm of one chair beginning its generative phase while the other culminates with significant public engagement activity.

The committee encourages applicants to demonstrate success in working collaboratively with others, to build on existing work, or begin new work that will benefit from a highly collaborative process.

Deadline & Timeline

The next round of applications are due Friday, February 9, 2024 for a collaborative program of activities taking place September 2024–August 2026.

The new chair will be announced by April 15, 2024.


  • Applicants for the chair role must be tenured or tenure-track faculty from the arts, humanities, and/or design fields at any University of Minnesota system campus. 
  • Multiple eligible faculty members may apply together and share the named chair position; however, one individual must be identified as the “lead co-chair” among the team.
  • Eligibility does not include: visiting faculty, students pursuing a Ph.D., non-salaried faculty appointment type W, or employees with T appointments or A appointments.


Project Criteria

The chair can assemble collaborators, or groups can come together and name a chair from among the collaborators. The proposed activities should galvanize sustained intellectual dialogue around a particular academic theme. The program of interrelated activities can include workshops, symposia, reading groups, speaker events, public engagement actions, partnerships across and outside the university, graduate and undergraduate classes, exhibitions, lectures, and performances.

Criteria for selection:

  • Proposed project is collaborative, cross-departmental, and interdisciplinary
  • Involvement of more than one campus is encouraged
  • Plan appears to be achievable by the team involved
  • Purpose/goals are clearly stated
  • Generative phase addresses purpose in sufficient detail
  • Activities are likely to be attractive to proposed audience(s)
  • Activities advance project goals
  • Activities advance University of Minnesota mission, values, and goals
  • Project includes significant public engagement activity