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Opportunities for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

Graduate Dean Professional Development Award

Graduate students who have been invited by recognized organizations or conferences to present their work may apply for partial travel assistance from the Graduate Dean.

Average awards are $400–700.


There are four deadlines annually. Decisions are made within five weeks of each deadline.

2018–19 Timeline
DeadlineGrantees Notified
October 1 October 31
December 3 January 11
February 22 March 18
April 8 May 6

Grant payments reimburse eligible travel expenses. To collect payment, grantees submit receipts showing proof of purchase to the Graduate Division offices. Grantees receive reimbursement checks approximately six weeks after submitting receipts.


Graduate students in any year of study, enrolled in any program at SAIC are eligible to receive the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award.

Students may submit more than one application each year, and more than one application per deadline.

Students working together on the same presentation or exhibition must apply as a team. The collaborative team should select one representative student to submit the proposal on behalf of the team. If the grant is awarded, the lead student will be the sole recipient of the grant payment.

Students are not eligible to receive the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award if any of the following conditions are true:

All students on a collaborative team must be eligible for the team to be considered.

Graduate Dean Professional Development Awards do not support any of the following:

Evaluation Criteria

Graduate Dean Professional Development Award funds are limited, and grants are highly competitive. Each year, the Graduate Dean receives far more requests than can be honored. Often, extremely worthy applicants cannot be supported.

The Graduate Dean considers the following criteria when evaluating proposals:

Optional Faculty Endorsement

The Graduate Dean requests that faculty assist applicants in expressing the worth of the travel opportunity and the suitability of the opportunity for the student. By endorsing a proposal, a graduate coordinator, faculty advisor, or instructor certifies the importance of the opportunity at this time in the student's professional development. Students should attach a brief endorsement letter or email from an instructor to the application.

Application Form

Complete the 2017 Graduate Dean Professional Development Award Application Form.


Clay Morrison Scholarship

The Clay Morrison Scholarship was established in 2011 in memory of SAIC alumnus Thomas Clay Morrison (1948-2007), who studied at SAIC (1975-77) and received his MFA in 1977. At SAIC, Morrison was deeply involved in studying art originating from beyond the academic mainstream, which can be traced to the teaching legacies of Helen Gardner, Kathleen Blackshear, Whitney Halstead, Ray Yoshida, and is ongoing. The Clay Morrison Scholarship for graduate students was established in 2011 to encourage and support SAIC graduate students from any department or program who are studying art created independently from the academic mainstream, including self-taught art, “outsider art,” popular culture, and/or international folk art. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a student based on an outstanding statement of interest and purpose in the area(s) described above. The award will apply to tuition for the following semester.

Graduate students in any program at SAIC entering their second year of study in the following semester or Arts Admin/Art History dual degree grads entering their third year of study in the following semester may apply. Students apply through an open call and complete an application in SlideRoom. Professors who recently taught classes specifically related to the scope of the Clay Morrison Scholarship are contacted to encourage students to apply. Student submit either work samples or work of the artist(s) they are studying, an artist statement that outlines the student’s interest in self- taught art, “outsider art,” popular culture, and/or international folk art. The statement should describe any previous research or study, and any plans or goals for future study in any of the above-mentioned genres. 

Application deadline for the 2018–19 academic year is March 1, 2019.  


Plus One Grants

Plus One Grants afford the opportunity to program additional events at SAIC by speakers whose travel to Chicago has been hosted by other organizations. Proposals can be generated by both faculty and graduate students, but all must be formally sponsored by at least two different SAIC departments. 

Download the Plus One Grant application form.


The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Education Graduate Scholars Program

The AIC MEGSP is a joint venture between the Department of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Graduate Division of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The MEGSP hinges on a recurring year-long, three credit/semester seminar and accompanying internship for SAIC Graduate students. The program is designed to provide practical experience and theoretical grounding in Museum Education for students enrolled in any graduate program at the School. Aimed at both artists and arts professional in-training, this program emphasizes object-based research and teaching. It builds upon the unique collaboration of a world-class encyclopedic museum and a major art school that comprises a range of studio, design, scholarly, and professional graduate degrees. This will be the first sustained partnership of this level between the two sister institutions. The program is open to first year graduate students (and will occur during their second year of study).

Applications for the 2019-20 year will open in Spring 2019.  


SAIC Berlin Residency

The SAIC Berlin Residency is awarded to a graduating MFA student annually through an open competition. The 2019 residency is offered for two months, August to September 2018. All applicants must confirm their availability for these months before applying. There will be no alterations to the schedule, and awardees must occupy the residency for both these months. Travel and basic accommodations are provided, and applicants should review the available accommodations. No special accommodations can be made. Awardees are responsible for their own travel documentation and visas. Upon completion of the residency, awardees must submit a summary report. General questions can be addressed to graddivision@saic.edu.

Applications to the SAIC Berlin Residency program will open in February 2019 with deadline on March 28, 2019: https://saicscholarships.slideroom.com/#/login/program/39417.


AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship

As a member of the Associated Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), SAIC participates in the AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship, which provides significant professional practice opportunities to high-achieving recent graduate alumni who are underrepresented in higher education. The fellowship consists of a one-year full-time (or near full-time) teaching load at an AICAD institution, salary commensurate with starting salary for full-time faculty, mentorship, and professional development support. Graduating MFA students and recent alumni are nominated by the departments for eligibility to apply.

Applications for the 2018–19 AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship will be announced soon. These deadlines are set by the administrators of the AICAD Teaching Fellowship program.


World Less Traveled and SAIC Travel Grants

The World Less Traveled Grant was endowed by a gift from Marion Parry, and the SAIC Travel Grants were endowed by a gift from Edward L. Ryerson. The grants were created to provide funds for thesis research, conference attendance, travel for exhibitions, and self-initiated study trips (not SAIC study trips) available to both undergraduate and graduate students. The Office of the Dean of Faculty is pleased to announce that this fund will be made available annually for use in the subsequent semester. World Less Traveled Grants are awarded with a maximum amount of $1,500 and the SAIC Travel Grants are awarded with a maximum amount of $1,000.

Degree students in good academic standing may apply for the WLT and the SAIC Travel Grants. Students apply through an open call and complete their application in SlideRoom. Students submit a project description, artist statement, one-page resume, and a budget. Members of the Dean’s Office jury the awards to both undergraduate students and graduate students.

The deadline to apply is November 2, 2018. For further information about SAIC travel grants and study trip scholarships, see the Study Abroad and Off-Campus Office.


Nominated Fellowships

Explore additional fellowships for graduating students based on annual departmental nominations: Graduate Division Scholarships and Fellowships