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The UNC Jazz Studies Area has been gifted with an anonymous donation to provide funding for two $500 annual awards to be given to undergraduate students interested in creative activity and research in jazz studies. Students will design a project and submit a proposal abstract to the committee of Professors Stephen Anderson, Rahsaan Barber, and Juan Alamo. The committee will review all submissions and select the strongest proposal. The award recipient will be announced at the annual spring concert of the UNC Jazz Band. The students will have a calendar year to complete the project and to submit a 1-2 page summary report. If appropriate, the Jazz Studies Area will create a public presentation for the students at the completion of their project.


Grant applications may request funding to support a singular or combination project selected from the following:

  • Composition project
  • Recording project
  • Research-based project
  • Performance-based project
  • Specific program, workshop, festival, etc.
  • Community Engagement project
  • Mentorship program with a distinguished artist, composer, scholar, etc.


  • Any undergraduate student involved in the study and/or performance of jazz at UNC is eligible to apply.
  • A graduating senior may apply for this award in the spring of his/her final semester. If selected, he/she would be expected to submit a report one year later.
  • Students must be full-time students at UNC, but they need not be music majors.
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply.
  • Students currently holding a research award or applying for other support are eligible to apply for the UNC Jazz Study Award.
  • Students may receive this award a maximum of two times.


Proposals should be well-crafted and written using language that is suitable for an academic proposal.  Please avoid language that is colloquial and not pertinent to the scope of the project.  The following points should be addressed:

  • Identify the purpose and scope of the project/research.  How will the project help you to grow as an artist?
  • How will the funding be utilized?
  • Discuss how you will present your work at the final presentation once the project is completed.


  • Proposals will be due on February 15 annually.
  • The recipient of the UNC Jazz Studies Award will be announced at the annual spring concert of the UNC Jazz Band.

The Project Presentation

The award recipients will give a final formal presentation at UNC (typically held in late April) approximately one year after having received the Jazz Studies Award.  The presentation may take various formats based on the nature of the research or the scope of the project that is developed, but below are a few general guidelines.

  • Prepare a formal presentation that will be no longer than 40-45 minutes in duration that includes an explanation of the scope of the project and/or a performance of all or a portion of music composed/produced during the project (provided that it fits into the time-frame listed above).
  • Any media, such as Power Point slides, video, audio recording, or live performance that may illustrate the scope of the project is appropriate.
  • At the close of the presentation, we will allow a few minutes to invite questions from the audience concerning the project.
  • Please dress and act professional.


Please contact Professors Anderson, Barber, or Alamo with any questions.

Past Projects

2016 Jazz Studies Award Winner, Tanner Willeford

Other Sources of Research Funding at UNC