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Dean’s Strategic Initiatives

The Dean’s Strategic Initiatives I (DSI-I) Fund supports faculty, student, or postdoctoral research fellow activities that engage Rackham graduate students in intellectual exchanges that support their academic or professional development. We especially welcome proposals that engage graduate students across disciplines, at different stages of their studies, and that engage large numbers of students (typically >20). The proposed activity must have a primary focus on graduate research, scholarship, creative studies, or professional development. Awarded proposals have typically included events such as workshops or seminars that are open to all graduate students to attend.

Graduate students must have a substantial involvement in the activity; attendance at an event is not sufficient to be eligible for DSI-I funding.

Exclusions: This fund does not provide resources for university events that principally benefit undergraduates or for professional activities that principally benefit postdoctoral research fellows or faculty. Similarly, these funds are not intended to support curricular development or course-related activity. The fund does not support individual student research or travel, financial emergencies, development of curricular resources, or entertainment or social events. Funding from the DSI-I fund cannot be combined with other funding provided by Rackham, including Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops (RIWs). The fund does not provide resources for off-campus events.

Individuals requesting funding to support graduate recruitment can submit an application for the Rackham Recruitment Grant. Students who face unanticipated financial exigencies may apply for assistance through the Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund. Funds to support travel to a professional conference to present a poster or paper are available from Rackham Conference Travel Grants.


Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students may submit proposals. Program staff may submit proposals on behalf of a faculty member.


Awards up to $5,000 may be provided. It is our expectation that these funds will supplement commitments from other sources.


Applications are accepted throughout the year.

Application Instructions

Applications consist of a narrative proposal and a budget. The proposal should explain the purpose of the activity, who will take part, and how it meets the objectives of this fund. The budget should provide the anticipated expenses, all sources of revenue secured to-date, and any outstanding requests for support. Proposals must include the specific dollar amount being requested from the DSI-I fund. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please note that past support from this fund should not be considered an indicator of continuing support.


Send applications to [email protected].