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Rackham Faculty Allies and Student Ally Diversity Grants

Rackham Graduate School offers two funding opportunities to promote diversity in graduate education: the Faculty Allies Diversity Grant and the Student Ally for Diversity Grant. Both grants fund initiatives that help graduate students from all groups – including those that have been underrepresented in higher education – feel welcome and thrive in their studies at the University of Michigan. The student grant is designed to assist Faculty Ally work, so a Student Ally for Diversity Grant requires applying for a Faculty Allies Diversity Grant, but applying for a Faculty Allies Grant does NOT require applying for a Student Grant.

Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant

One of Rackham Graduate School’s core missions is to support faculty-led activities to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in graduate programs and departments. The Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant provides Faculty Allies with funds to develop and build diversity initiatives within their departments in collaboration with students and colleagues. We encourage Faculty Allies and their programs to approach this grant as an opportunity to experiment with new and innovative activities, events, and projects that promote diversity and address the needs of their increasingly diverse graduate student cohorts.

Purview

The Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant emphasizes efforts to enhance diversity, promote equity, and foster inclusion (DEI) for current graduate students. Activities eligible for support include, but are not limited to, efforts to improve climate; aid retention and completion; enhance academic and professional development; boost career outcomes and success for UM graduate students; and encourage student-alumni engagement.

How It Works

Any graduate program at the University of Michigan may apply for one Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant per year for up to $12,000 (Rackham Graduate School reserves the right to fund proposals at a lesser amount). Grants cannot be used to pay faculty or staff salaries and benefits, or U-M tuition or fees.

At least one Principal Investigator (or primary proposal author) must be a faculty member who has been designated as a Faculty Ally for Diversity.

If a grant is approved, Rackham Graduate School will pay the award at the conclusion of the project/activities. In order to receive funds, programs must submit a report on the grant activities that details how the grant made a difference for students and includes an accounting of expenditures. Rackham Graduate School will disburse funds on actual money spent to the project/grant designated by the grantee. Funds must be claimed for activities taking place within the proposed grant time frame (i.e., May 2020-July 2021).

Sustainability

The Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant is intended as seed money for Faculty Allies and their programs seeking to develop creative activities and projects to support and enhance the experience, learning, and outcomes of their diverse community of graduate students. The goal is to allow programs to experiment with initiatives or respond to needs arising from increased student diversity. But once the benefits of those activities or projects have been established with the help of Rackham funds, the expectation is that programs will find ways to make them permanent and sustainable.

The Faculty Allies Diversity Grant is thus structured on a 4-year cost-sharing model. Rackham programs can apply for support of the same project or activities for a total of four years. Programs must submit a formal application each year for which they are requesting funding. The subsequent three years of funding have a high likelihood of being approved as long as programs are actually using the grant monies and explain the benefits of the funded activities. In Years Three and Four, Rackham requires programs to commit to cost-sharing (2:1, Rackham: Unit). The 4-year cycle will look like this:

  • Year 1: Up to $12K, no cost sharing
  • Year 2: Up to $12K, no cost sharing
  • Year 3: Up to $8K Rackham, $4K program
  • Year 4: Up to $8K Rackham, $4K program

Innovation

In order to encourage ambitious initiatives around DEI work, Rackham is able this year to offer a small number of initial grants of up to $20,000 to support highly creative approaches to promoting the success of students from all backgrounds. These could include collaborating with adjacent departments to develop collective workshops or activities; organizing a major conference that engages students, faculty, and alumni; offering a writing boot camp for faculty and students. Here, the funding model would be: Year 1, $20K; Year 2, $12K; Year 3, $8K/Rackham + $4K/program; Year 4, $8K/Rackham + $4K/program.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

  • The fit between the graduate program’s DEI needs and the proposed innovation or initiatives
  • The likelihood that the proposed innovations will make a significant, lasting difference to students in the graduate program
  • Demonstrated commitment of the faculty, program, and department leadership to the proposal, including willingness to share costs and to create structures to support the proposed initiatives beyond the period of the grant
  • Number of students impacted
  • The fit between the proposed innovation and the unit’s academic and research directions

Student Ally for Diversity Grant

The Student Ally for Diversity Grant offers funds to pay a graduate student or students to work closely with a program’s Faculty Ally on the new initiatives or projects proposed in the Faculty Allies Diversity Grant, preferably in the Spring/Summer term, but also during the academic year. Together, the Faculty Ally and Student Ally will implement their Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant proposal, planning and preparing a set of activities to enhance their program’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Programs applying for a Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grants for 2020-2021 have the option of also applying for the Student Ally for Diversity Grant. The student grant offers up to $5,000 to support graduate students who will partner with the program’s Faculty Ally on implementing the Faculty Allies Diversity Grant over the spring or summer (2020) or during AY2020-21. If programs would like to be considered for this additional, optional award, Faculty Allies should submit a Student Ally for Diversity Grant proposal as part of their Faculty Allies Diversity Grant submission.

Funding

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to support one student during the 2020 spring and/or summer term at 25% or two students during the spring and/or summer term at 12.5%. Programs must submit a report of the Student Ally’s contributions at the end of the student’s work period.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

  • The fit between the graduate program’s DEI needs and the proposed activities to be carried out by the student
  • The likelihood that the student can meet select goals, as outlined in the Faculty Allies Diversity Grant application, in the prescribed hours-per-week time limit
  • The Student Ally should have a commitment to diversity issues and agree to serve as part of the program’s Faculty Allies for Diversity in Graduate Education

Proposal Submission

Proposals are due on February 17, 2020 by 11:59 am, and must be submitted through the online application. The following required documents must be uploaded as a part of the application:

Narrative (No more than five pages)

  • Current status of DEI climate within your graduate program, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Proposed activities, including detailed descriptions
  • Challenges around DEI in your program, with attention to how proposed activities will fill gaps and support graduate students
  • Evidence of commitment by faculty and program, including provisions for administrative support

Budget (One page)

  • Breakdown of activities and costs
  • Commitments of financial support from other sources (cost-sharing), if applicable
  • Total budget amount and how much is being requested from Rackham (maximum $12,000)

Letter of support (One page)

  • From the department chair, director, or dean with responsibility for the graduate program

SADG Proposal (One page, if submitting)

  • Explanation of how student will contribute to proposed RFADG activities, including specific work, weekly time commitment, and estimated timeframe for project. The Faculty Ally may identify one or two graduate students to support the DEI work funded by the RFADG, either in the Spring/Summer term or during AY2020-21.
  • Letter of support signed by the student’s advisor and/or graduate program director should be provided.

Award Notifications

Awardees will be notified April 2020.

2020-21 Call for Proposals

Deadline extended! Proposals are due on February 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., and must be submitted through the online application. Award notifications will be sent out later in 2020.

2019–20 Rackham Faculty Allies Diversity Grant Awardees

Asterisks indicate a recipient of an additional Student Ally for Diversity Grant.

  • Benjamin Allen, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Medical School
  • Sueann Caufield*, History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Patricia Coleman-Burns*, School of Nursing
  • Kristin Dickinson*, Germanic Languages and Literatures, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Matthew Diemer, Combined Program in Education and Psychology, School of Education
  • Cherie Dotson, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
  • Mara Duncan*, Cell and Developmental Biology, Medical School
  • Robert Duncan*, Neuroscience, Medical School
  • Daniel Eisenberg*, Health Services Organization and Policy, School of Public Health
  • Maisie Gholson*, Educational Studies, School of Education
  • Karl Grosh, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Irene Hwang*, Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Vesa Kaartinen, School of Dentistry
  • Anuj Kumar*, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Medical School
  • Carolyn Kuranz, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, College of Engineering
  • Sunghee Lee*, Survey Methodology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Michael Liemohn, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Jacqueline Mattis*, Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Marie McCarthy*, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
  • Robert Megginson, Mathematics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Geeta Mehta, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Geeta Mehta*, Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Shahzad Mian, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Medical School
  • Joshua Miller*, English Language and Literature, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Akira Ono, Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School
  • Damani Partridge*, Anthropology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Malini Raghavan*, Immunology, Medical School
  • Emily Rauscher, Astronomy and Astrophysics, College of Engineering
  • Amy Schulz*, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health
  • Laura Scott*, Biostatistics, School of Public Health
  • Kanakadurga Singer, Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School
  • Selena Smith*, Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Stilian Stoev, Statistics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Addie Weaver, Social Work and Social Science, School of Social Work
  • Westley Weimer, Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Kate Wilhelmi*, Epidemiology, School of Public Health
  • Zhaohui Xu, Chemical Biology, Medical School
  • Carolyn Yoon*, Ross School of Business
  • Alford Young, Sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Contact the Dean’s Office

If you would like to become a faculty ally or have questions about the grant program, please email us at rackfacultyallies@umich.edu.

Hours

The Dean’s Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.

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