Apply for a Maker Grant

The BDW is proud to offer BDW Maker Grants. These are funds, up to $500, to support individuals or groups of students in design projects not supported elsewhere in the University. We are especially interested in community-building projects, and enabling long-term student-driven work in the space.

In addition to funds, grant recipients get multiple opportunities for monitor and manager feedback, and dedicated storage space. 

Grant applications for the 2019-2020 school year open in October, and will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Our suggested deadline for the first round of applications is October 15, 2019.

Maker Grants Spring 2017.jpg


How does it work?

  1. Identify a project of personal initiative or community need.

  2. Develop your idea and evaluate necessary resources.

  3. Complete the application form, including this Itemized Budget Form.

  4. Within 1 week, the BDW Managers will schedule a meeting where you will give a 5-minute pitch on your idea, as well as answer questions that the Managers may have.

  5. The BDW Managers will approve or decline your application.

  6. If accepted:

    1. Your items & materials will be purchased and sent to the BDW as you request them.

    2. You will be given designated storage space in the BDW.

    3. Any purchases that cannot be made by BDW Staff can be reimbursed to you after Manager approval.

    4. You will be expected to participate in the BDW showcases at the end of each semester during which you work on your project.

    5. You must document your progress! Once a month you’ll need to update the Managers on your progress. Many previous grantees have kept blogs for easy viewing.

Who can apply?

Students at Brown University, whose project does not already have a funding source. Groups as well as individuals are welcome to apply. The selection process as well as grant money are implemented in a manner consistent with Brown University’s non-discrimination policy:

Brown University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other school-administered programs. 

What can I do with a grant?

Grants proposals may request up to $500 and must come with itemized list of expenses. BDW Managers reserve the right to give less than the requested amount as appropriate.

Actually, What can’t I do with a grant?

  • Projects that do not utilize the space and tools offered by the BDW.

  • Class projects, student group projects, or initiatives otherwise previously supported or funded through Brown University are not eligible.

  • The money may not be used for travel, lodging, or stipends.

 Additionally, we ask that any tools (as opposed to consumable materials) purchased with the grant must be donated to the BDW following the end date of the project.

How long-term can a project be?

The time frame for your project will depend on the type of project.  We expect most projects should be completed in a few months, or within the semester of application. Under special circumstances, project reaching beyond a semester will be considered. Projects going beyond an academic year must be of notable scope and might require more in-depth conversations to gain support.