Apply Now! Grant Aims to Connect Water Researchers with Student Artists

The folks at Water@UW, in collaboration with Humanities Exchange Fellow Julia Buskirk, are announcing a unique new grant aimed at introducing UW undergraduate art students to UW System scientists for a series of art-science partnerships.

Called “Flow,” the art microgrant project will provide funding to ten undergraduate artists to produce art in partnership with water researchers in the University of Wisconsin System.

“So many interesting things happen when disciplines interact with one another,” says Buskirk. “I wanted to help facilitate this on UW campuses between water researchers and artists to create connections and also highlight the importance of science communication.”

A Trout Lake Station artist-in-residence at work on a painting of water shield. Photo: K. Steichen Rosing

Buskirk says the uncertain future of so many of our water resources and the challenges they’ll face under different climate change scenarios inspired her to create a way for researchers to share their findings, reach wider audiences and make their science more equitable and effective. “Academia and researchers can only do so much amongst themselves,” she says. “I hope Flow will connect artists with researchers to share science in creative ways and inspire future collaborations.”

Interested researchers can apply by sending an email to Julia Buskirk at by next Monday, February 8. The group of participating artists will then select the water researcher or lab they are interested in partnering with.

If selected, a researcher (or a graduate student, research specialist, or post doc from their lab) must commit to TWO virtual meetings with the artist to discuss their research and answer any questions: one during the week of Feb 22-26 and one during the week of March 8-12. Availability by email or phone to answer additional questions throughout the artist’s drafting process (March 12-April 1) is preferred. The organizers stress the importance of patience and a passion for science communication as key to a successful collaboration.

Artists’ final pieces will be displayed through Water@UW and Center for Humanities platforms, and a PowerPoint version of the artist’s piece will be made available to participating scientists as well. The project is being funded by a HEX-U grant through the Center for the Humanities. 

We here at the CFL are BIG fans of art-science collaborations and we hope any interested faculty or students will apply for this fantastic opportunity!

Feature Image: Zebra Mussels, Illustration by Julia Buskirk from the “Water Lines” blog at UW’s Holding History project.