AFAC-ACSS announces Call for Proposal on ‘Research on the Arts Program’

Deadline: 10 August 2019

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) has announced a call for proposal on the Research on the Arts Program (RAP) which aims to support research on all art practices across disciplinary boundaries and methodological approaches the Arab region.

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Research on the arts also aims to answer a specific analytical question concerning artists, art practices and/or art production. Additionally, the processes and practices involved in connecting, producing, thinking, and communicating art and culture work, in specific contexts, may be documented and analyzed.


  • The role of official and unofficial institutional processes in giving rise or constraining the emergence of art.
  • The impact of the expansion of art markets, economic restructuring and constrained public funding on the arts.
  • The impact of neoliberal models of institutions and organizations on the arts.
  • The definition of artistic work, artistic identity and audiences.
  • The relationship between artists and the state; the role of official institutions in providing support or undermining artistic production.
  • The effect of technological innovations and computer technology on artistic dissemination and the production of new forms of artistic expressions.
  • Impact of laws, cultural policies, culture industry and practices on the form and content of art works.
  • Access of diverse publics to the arts.
  • Art spaces as aesthetic and/or political spaces.
  • The role of the arts in class and status reproduction; how current social inequalities reflect on the arts.
  • The role of arts at particular historical moments and what they reveal about society.
  • Meaning, measurement and impact of arts.
  • Arts as tools of inclusivity and exclusion.
  • Public perceptions of the arts.
  • Elitism vs. populism in the arts
  • The impact of exile, displacement and migration on art production.

Grant Information

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  1. Grants are available to individual researchers (up to USD 15,000), teams of researchers or collectives (up to USD 25,000), and institutions (up to USD 35,000).
  2. Grants are for the duration of 18 months for individuals, teams and collectives (starting December 2019 and ending May 2021) and for up to 24 months for institutions (starting December 2019 and ending December 2021).

Areas of Support

This program supports research projects at any stage of their development. Research proposals can be submitted for new or ongoing projects and may include:

  1. Preliminary or “pilot” phases of a project;
  2. Longer-term projects combining fieldwork and analysis;
  3. Analysis and write-up of previously concluded data collection;
  4. Extensions of previous projects that seek to bring in new cases and examples;
  5. Comparative projects extended to include further locations.


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  • The proposed outputs of the project must be commensurate with the research plans and must include a substantial written component such as publications (web and/or print) and scholarly resources (e.g. visual products, websites, databases, curricula, bibliographies, maps, policy briefs). The output of preliminary research may be a fully developed research proposal, while projects including data analysis and write-ups may have substantial journal articles or full-length book manuscripts as outputs.
  • For the purposes of this program, films and documentaries are not considered as suitable project outputs.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Disciplines: This program is open to researchers from diverse backgrounds in arts, humanities and social sciences, as well as allied fields. Arts and humanities disciplines include art history, comparative literature, contemporary art, curatorial studies, fine arts, graphic design, architecture, languages and literature, folklore studies, media studies, musicology, performance arts, and visual arts. The core social science fields include disciplines such as anthropology, demography, economics, history, political science, psychology and sociology. Allied fields include education, gender studies, cultural studies and urban studies.
  2. Nationality
    • Applicants must be citizens of an Arab Country (defined as a member of the league of Arab States) or nationals of an Arab Country (defined as long-term residents, even if they don’t hold citizenship as in the case of refugees or stateless residents) and must be based in the Arab region.
    • In the case of teams and collectives, the team leader must be a citizen/national of an Arab country and must be based in the Arab Region. However, teams, collectives and institutions may include Arabs in the diaspora or non-Arabs, but at least two members of the team/collective/institution must be citizens/nationals of an Arab country and must be based in the Arab region. For institutions, the institution must be based in the Arab region. (Branches of foreign international organizations are not eligible to apply).
  3. Individuals, Teams, Collectives and Institutions
    • The program is open to individual researchers, research teams, collectives of researchers and institutions (universities, research centers, arts centers, Research NGOs, etc.). For the purposes of this call:
      • Individual researchers could be academics or art practitioners Research teams include researchers from the same or different institutions, geographies and disciplines who have an interest in conducting multidisciplinary research on the topic of arts.
      • A collective is an independent group of researchers that has been working collaboratively on a specific theme for years and has a mission statement, a set of practices or a set of outputs that reflect its identity and purposes.
      • Institutions could be a university or a university department, a think-tank, a research NGO etc.
    • Research teams, collectives, and institutions must present their applications in teams of up to four members, including a principal investigator and co-investigators.
    • Individuals
      • An applicant should be:
        • A holder of a Ph.D. degree in one of the disciplines or fields described above; or
        • An art practitioner with at least ten years of practical experience.
    • Teams, collectives and institutions
      • Teams and collectives may comprise up to four research team members.
      • Team structure may take one of two forms: A Ph.D. holder (principal investigator) in one of the disciplines or fields described above, and up to three team members including (at least) MA degree holders and/or art practitioners.
      • An art practitioner with at least ten years of experience after graduation (principal investigator) and up to three team members including (at least) MA degree holders and/or art practitioners.
      • ACSS grantees (principal and co-investigators) who have benefited previously from an ACSS grant are only eligible if their grants were closed before March 2017. AFAC grantees who have a current open grant are not eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply online via given website.

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