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Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Collaboration and Implementation Grants

In alignment with Rackham’s strategic goals and 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 two (2) 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 inter-institutional relationships and collaborations.

Applications Open: January 20, 2020. Proposals Due: June 5, 2020

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 establish new and strengthen 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.

  • Two (2) grants will be awarded.
  • Awards will be made up to $30,000.
  • Funding period is 18 months.
  • One-time funding; Past recipients of Collaboration and Implementation Grants are not eligible for either award.

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 are strongly encouraged to be on the grant team. Applicants are also encouraged to collaborate with other U-M units. Grant applications should clearly define the roles of each team member.

Two (2) grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of eligible and meritorious proposals. Departments are eligible one time only for 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, consortium development, and sponsorship of MSI students summer research.

Funding may not be used for faculty or staff salaries, graduate students stipends, or as a replacement or substitute for existing funding to support current efforts.

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, 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:

Commitment to MSIs and Mutual Benefit

The demonstrated historical commitment and record of engaging with MSIs and clearly articulated mutual benefit to U-M and 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 action plan, plan for scale and sustainability, and potential for 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.
  • Participate in the annual MSI Summit in October 2020.
  • Participate in bi-monthly MSI Community meetings, beginning in July 2020.
  • Create an action plan for sustaining and growing the relationship beyond the grant period, including a partnership exit plan, if appropriate.
  • Create Midterm and Final Narrative Reports summarizing experiences, processes, and outcomes, beginning January 2020, ending October 2021.

Proposal Submission

Visit the MSI Outreach and Collaboration Grants Application to submit your proposal. Applications are due Friday, June 5, 2020.

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

Additional Resources: