NU ACCESS Call for External Proposals

  • Application deadline: April 15 2017

The Northwestern University, Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU ACCESS) is seeking external project proposals to advance the role of science within art history, curatorial scholarship, archaeology, and conservation. The Center, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is the first of its kind to make its resources open to external users via merit-review proposals.
External proposals for the current calendar year will be accepted until April 15, 2017, and request access to facilities and scientific expertise at no cost to the user to address relevant questions in art, archaeology and conservation. For examples of past projects please check:

Specifically, the external research program is intended to launch short- or long-term collaborative research projects focused on:

1.The scientific study of one object or a collection of objects with the aim of answering an important art-historical, technical, archaeological, or conservation question.

2.The broader, fundamental issues in the analysis and conservation of artifacts. Areas that may be at the center of such broader studies may include, but are not limited to:
2a.Material identification, fabrication, and performance
2b.Material aging and degradation
2c.Restoration treatment development and testing
2d.New analytical and sensor technology development

Proposed projects are expected to require significant expertise rather than simply access to facilities. Access to research and facilities for external users is supported by NU-ACCESS and based on a proposal submission process and evaluation by a review committee composed of both internal and external reviewers of international stature in the fields of conservation, conservation science, materials science, chemistry, art history, archaeology, environmental science, and/or computer science.

NU-ACCESS can provide in-kind support such as access to dedicated staff and Northwestern’s vast central user facilities, as well as the specialized facilities at AIC. It is important to note that NU-ACCESS is unable to set up fund transfers to third parties.

Requests can also be made for brief visiting scholarship residences to work collaboratively with NU-ACCESS staff for short periods of time, ranging from two weeks to three months in which case support will be provided for travel and living expenses (for a maximum of 3 months), as well as office space, access to the shared user facilities and acquisition of the necessary materials and supplies.

For more information, or to submit an online proposal, please visit: