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funding design

The costs required to launch many design projects can be daunting for many students, and even deter them from exploring their ideas. However, there are many options available to students to help overcome this block.


Nelson Grants

The Nelson Center is the place to go with entrepreneurship ideas. If your design project has the potential to develop into a venture, there are several tiers worth of grants you can apply for to help fund your idea. Explore grants will provide you up to $500 to help define a problem space and conduct research on an idea, while Expand grants go up to $2500 to help you reach a minimum viable product.


BDW Grants

The BDW also help support student projects with Maker grants. These grants will give you up to $500 to build a project when you can’t find support from elsewhere in the University.


BAI Grants

The Brown Arts Initiative Student Grants Program provides funding of up to $1000 to Brown students in support of projects that involve the production, study and/or critique of the creative arts.


  • Brown students receive a 10% discount on all purchases through the RISD 2D and 3D stores ​

  • The Rhode Island Recycling Center is a great place to find surplus items at discounted prices. Check out their website to see a more detailed list of what they offer, and be sure to bring a tote to carry your materials out in ​

  • RISD Second Life is a non-profit, student-led initiative to sell partially used art supplies at a discounted price


The number one thing you should do when using outside funding for a project is be careful. Make sure to read all of the stipulations of any grant you receive so that you don’t invalidate your award. Keeping track of how, when, and where you spend your money is key to a successful project.

Be sure to stop by D@B office hours if you need help filling out grant applications!

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