Instructions to begin TMU Initial Inquiry

TMU has recently updated its online application. The application process is divided into 2 stages: 1) the initial inquiry, 2) the full application. Once the initial inquiry is submitted, you will be notified of the status of your project within two-weeks (14 business days) after the Initial Inquiry deadline. If, after submitting an Initial Inquiry online, a project then is invited to submit a full proposal, you will receive notification from TMU via e-mail, which will contain login credentials to the grantee portal. There you will be able to track the status of your application.

To begin an Initial Inquiry, click here.

Who Can Apply

While the Initial Inquiry may be made by an individual or institution in any of the countries in which TMU is active, the Final Proposal must be submitted by an American nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, as TMU does not make grants directly to institutions or individuals abroad.


To be able to submit a Final Proposal, you must submit an Initial Inquiry. The deadlines for Initial Inquiries are:

November 1*

May 1**


TMU’s Board meets to review Final Proposals twice a year. Board review meetings are typically held four months after the deadlines for receiving Final Proposals, which are:

February 1 (with notification by mid-May)

August 1 (with notification by mid-November)


*If you submit an initial inquiry on November 1 and are asked to submit a full proposal, you will need to fill out the final proposal by February 1. The Board will meet in May of that year and you will be notified thereafter. Your project must start AFTER July 1 of that year.

**If you submit an initial inquiry on May 1 and are asked to submit a full proposal, you will need to fill out the final proposal by August 1. The Board will meet in November of that year and you will be notified thereafter. Your project must start AFTER January 1 of the FOLLOWING year.


FAQs for Applicants

Which projects receive priority consideration?

Projects that involve direct, in-depth professional interaction, with the potential for sustained collaboration, and/or show evidence or professional accomplishment and innovation, and/or respond to social contexts and engage local communities.

Which countries are eligible for TMU support?

TMU’s geographic focus is Central, East, and Southeast Europe; the Baltic states; Central Asia; Mongolia; and Russia. Countries where we are active include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Countries not listed here are ineligible for funding.

Who can apply for a TMU grant?

TMU grants are made to American nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, and typically, it is those organizations that submit Initial Inquiries and, if invited, Final Proposals. TMU does not make grants directly to individuals or institutions abroad. However, an Initial Inquiry may be made by an individual or institution in any of the countries in which TMU is active. If invited, individuals or organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status may then submit a Final Proposal through the fiscal sponsorship of an American nonprofit organization. The fiscal sponsor must submit a letter stating their involvement with the project and their willingness to administer any grant funds, as well as a copy of their 501(c)(3) determination letter.

What kinds of projects does TMU support?

TMU provides grants specifically for international travel associated with professional exchanges in the arts and environmental sciences. Approximately two-thirds of TMU’s awards are for arts and culture and one-third for environmental projects. Activities common to both fields include advanced training programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, joint research projects, and exchanges intended to aid organizations seeking greater institutional stability.

Arts and Culture: Creative artistic collaborations, curatorial research projects, performances given in conjunction with lecture/demonstrations and/or workshops, conservation and historic preservation projects, arts management programs, and cultural documentation activities.

Environment: Ecosystem and habitat conservation programs, land use planning projects, activities that facilitate more effective international contact between environmental organizations, measures designed to preserve biodiversity, and efforts to encourage environmental sustainability.

Which expenses are eligible for TMU funding?

Expenses eligible for TMU funding include: international airfare, airport transfers, travel insurance, visas (and all applicable visa processing fees), lodging, and per diem. TMU also allows up to 20% of the total eligible expenses to be allocated toward “administrative costs.” (For example, if the total eligible expenses is $10,000, $2,000 can be used toward “administrative costs.”)

Are there deadlines associated with TMU applications?

Yes! TMU grants are made twice a year. In order to submit a full proposal, you must first fill out an initial inquiry here by November 1 (for grants happening in July of the following year or later) or May 1 (for grants happening January 1 of the following year or later). If you are invited to apply, you will need to fill out a full proposal here by February 1 (November 1 initial inquiry deadline) or August 1 (May 1 initial inquiry deadline).

FAQs For Grantees

Is there a required format for the final report?

While we do not have a specific report form for grantees to submit after the completion of their project, we do require that grantees submit a narrative report and financial statement certifying that all grant funds provided by TMU have been expended in accordance with the conditions set forth in the award letter. The financial statement should be set up in the same format as the approved project budget.

When is the final report due?

Grantees should submit their narrative report and financial statement within three months of completing the project. Final reports must be received before a new application for funding can be reviewed.

What type of photo documentation should I submit?

You can send photographs to TMU via email or CD. Because images may be used for publication in our annual report, they should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Please also include the following information, keyed to each photograph:

  • Names, titles, and organizational affiliations (if known) of people in the photograph
  • Location of scene, including city, country, and institution/organization, if applicable
  • Approximate date of photograph
  • Activity documented, such as “discussion between workshop participants” or “rehearsal of company members” (for example)
  • Photo credit

Photos that show interaction of project participants or that document exchange activities, locales, or outcomes—rather than posed shots of individuals or groups—are best. TMU may at any time use materials from final reports for publications and we make all attempts to appropriately credit work. If your photos are selected for publication, we may contact you to provide further information. Even if photos are not published, they will be placed in TMU’s grant file for the project. If you do not want photos to be used in any publication, please state so in your final report.

How can we keep in touch with TMU and publicize our current events?

TMU is highly invested in our grantees; our staff members are always looking for opportunities to see and share your work. If you have an upcoming performance, conference, exhibition, meeting, or other event, please let us know by sending us an email at tmu (at) If you are interested in publicizing your event on our website or Facebook page, please send us a link to the event’s landing page. We are also opening our blog to “guest bloggers” in order to give grantees the opportunity to talk about their work and discuss the impact of their exchange. Contact us at the above email address for more information.