NEST is committed to support and celebrate work that lives at the meaningful intersection of the sciences and the arts.

NEST Graduate Summer Fellowships

2023 Fellowships — Call is now open

Project Guidelines

Nature, Environment, Science & Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts is a network of faculty, students, centers, and campus units that combine artistic practice and scientific research to explore our common and disparate ways of observing, recording, experimenting, and knowing. A series of cross-campus initiatives allow students to directly engage with faculty mentors and inspire alternate modes of communicating with the larger public. Co-Investigators Erin Espelie (Associate Professor, Department of Cinema Studies and Department of Critical Media Practices), and Tara Knight (Associate Professor, Department of Critical Media Practices) welcome proposals for the 2023 Graduate Student Summer Fellowships. 

Activated Carbon
“Activated Carbon” by Camila Friedman-Gerlicz & Aaron Lamplugh, 2018 Graduate Student Summer Fellows

General Requirements

CU Boulder is home to some of the top arts and earth and space science graduate programs in the country; and the NEST Graduate Student Summer Fellowships are intended to explore the interrelation, generative overlaps, and productive differences between these respective arts-based and science-based disciplines. NEST seeks projects that engage with central questions, such as, how can methodologies within the sciences inform artists and their approach to art making? In turn, what can contemporary art practice reveal about science to scientists? How can we use the practice of art to directly inform the practice of science, and vice versa? What assumptions in scientific training might be challenged by approaches employed by the arts and humanities?


The central requirements for this NEST Fellowship are (1) creating cross-disciplinary pairs—or small teams—of graduate collaborators to (2) delve into educational traditions, exploring ontology, epistemology, and emerging expertise that (3) result in a broadly-defined media project for public exhibition on campus. Example projects may include: public installations, performances, time-based or moving-image based works, sonic or audio compositions, or any other arts forms that would be within practice-based research.


Each graduate team will be supported up to $10,000 total This fellowship is generally intended for pairs of CU Boulder graduate students creating original research and/or creative work projects in collaboration—with one fellow in the arts and humanities, and one in the sciences; both broadly defined. However, if you are interested in having additional collaborators we ask you to contact NEST before applying. We expect grantees will submit an exhibition-ready or publication-ready project on or by the end of Fall 2023—some flexibility is possible.


Proposal Requirements

Proposals should be a maximum of two pages and include: names and departments of collaborators, a project overview, a summary of research questions and intended project outcomes, and an implementation plan. An initial budget is also requested, and may be submitted as an extra page. Proposals will be evaluated based on the overall vision of the project, the depth of disciplinary methods engaged, and the feasibility for this project to be completed by or in Fall 2023. Be sure to also address how you envision a public-facing component for the final work—e.g., workshop, performance, exhibition, special event, panel, screening, poster presentation, etc. Finally, make sure you take into account current campus, county, state, and federal safety guidelines.


Students must be currently enrolled as full or part-time graduate students at CU Boulder. Doctoral students and Master’s students are all encouraged to apply. Questions should be directed to nest@colorado.edu.


Deadline for proposals is April 10, 2023. Send proposals to nest@colorado.edu with the subject line: NEST Graduate Student Summer Fellowship Application