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Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Collaboration and Implementation Grants

Applications Open: February 12, 2019
Proposals Due: April 12, 2019

As part of a broader, campus-wide strategy of complementary efforts to support and enhance bilateral relationships between the University of Michigan and Minority Serving Institution (MSIs), the Rackham Graduate School will offer three (3) MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grants for the 2019–2020 grant cycle.

Successful awards will propose approaches to increase access for diverse students from MSIs to U-M by enhancing and expanding ongoing inter-institutional relationships and collaborations.

Program Description

Funded in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grants will support U-M graduate and professional programs and serve to strengthen and grow existing relationships with MSIs.

MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grants should build upon ongoing, mutually beneficial collaborations with MSIs in order to recruit and enroll students from MSI partner institutions into U-M graduate and professional programs.

MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grants will support U-M and MSI collaborations that have an established record of being responsive to organizational and cultural differences, while implementing effective activities and evidence-based practices.

  • Three (3) grants will be awarded.
  • Awards will be made up to $30,000.
  • Funding period is 18 months.
  • Awardees are eligible for one-time funding.

Eligibility and Funding

All U-M graduate and professional programs are eligible to apply for an MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grant. The sponsoring department chair must serve either as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-Principal Investigator (co-PI). Grant applications must include a letter of support from the dean or an associate dean in the department’s school or college.

For long-term sustainability and breadth of perspective, applicants are encouraged to apply in teams. Ideally, teams will consist of the department chair, tenure-track faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Individuals serving on a program’s recruitment or admissions committees should be included on the grant team. Grant applications should clearly define the roles for each team member.

Three (3) grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Awards are contingent upon availability of funds and the receipt of eligible and meritorious proposals. Departments are eligible for only one-time funding through the MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grant competition.

U-M programs with a demonstrated, historical commitment to engaging MSIs in intellectually and culturally responsive ways are encouraged to apply.

Allowable Expenditures

All MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grant funds must be used to support activities that directly enhance and expand existing relationships between U-M and its MSI partner institution(s).

Funding may be used for travel support; planning and implementation of collaborative activities; and conferences, research collaborations, and consortium development.

Funding may not be used for faculty or staff salaries, graduate students stipends, or as a replacement or substitute for existing MSI collaboration funding.

Additionally, while traditional recruitment activities are important, MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grants are not intended for recruitment-specific initiatives (i.e. program/departmental preview weekends or graduate fair conference travel, etc.). Nor are these funds intended for transactional engagement that does not lead to sustainable relationships with MSI collaborators. For general recruitment activity funds, please consider applying for the Rackham Recruitment Grant

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals submitted for this competition will be evaluated by the selection committee according to the following criteria:


The demonstrated historical commitment and record of engaging with MSIs

Leadership Support

The support of departmental leadership as expressed through the school or college dean or associate dean’s letter of support

Potential for Scalability, Sustainability, and Impact

The implementation plan and the plan for scalability, sustainability, and metrics to measure impact

Departmental Engagement

The demonstrated school or college commitment to engage with MSIs, beyond the PI and grant team


The justification and cost effectiveness of proposed activities

Clarity and Attainability of Goals

The articulation of clear goals and the plan for how those goals can be achieved within the 18-month grant period

Expectations and Deliverables

MSI Collaboration and Implementation Grant awardees will be expected to:

  • Engage diverse stakeholders representative of faculty, staff, students, and others from U-M and collaborating MSI institutions.
  • Participate in the initial kick-off meeting with other U-M awardees in mid-May 2019.
  • Participate in the annual MSI Summit in October 2019.
  • Participate in quarterly MSI Community meetings, beginning in July 2019.
  • Create an action plan for sustaining and growing the relationship beyond the grant period, including partnership exit plan, if appropriate.
  • Create Midterm and Final Narrative Reports summarizing processes and outcomes, beginning January 2020.

Proposal Submission

Proposals should consist of no more than 2,500 words (approximately 5 pages, single-spaced, 12-point font, with standard one-inch margins).

All proposals should be submitted to by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2019.

Awards will be announced in April, 2019.

Proposals must include the following components submitted as a single PDF document:

  • List of MSI collaborator(s) with accompanying narrative describing the bi-directional and reciprocal nature of the relationship
  • Letter of commitment from MSI collaborating institution(s)
  • Action plan identifying strategies and structures to enhance and expand activities beyond the grant period
  • Proposed timeline for planning and implementation
  • Assessment plan identifying the metrics used to measure impact
  • Proposed communication plan
  • Proposed budget with narrative
  • Letter of support from appropriate dean or associate dean
  • Any additional supporting documents that might enhance or support the proposal

For questions regarding the MSI Outreach and Planning Grants, please contact Edmund Graham.