Multicultural Research Awards

Application & Submission Materials   |  Terms and Conditions   |   2017 MRA Award Recipients |  Prior year Recipients 

IDEA Multicultural Research Awards

About the Award

The Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, IDEA, invites proposals for research that addresses issues related to its mission “to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.” 

Since it's inception in 1996, the MRA has awarded over 1.5 million dollars to more than 165 UMN faculty from at least 45 different disciplines working in equity and diversity research.

Award recipients are required to present their work as part of Diversity through the Disciplines Symposia sponsored throughout the academic year. Awardees are also encouraged to showcase their research at the Gallery of Excellence, a showcase of equity and diversity research preceding the annual equity and diversity breakfast.

Award Criteria

The following criteria is considered in evaluating proposals:

  • Proposals with a single Principal Investigator 
  • Collaborative proposals between senior and junior faculty or between faculty and graduate students
  • Proposed research project that is:
    • Interdisciplinary, inter-collegiate, cross-cultural, and groundbreaking across disciplines, departments, colleges, or bridges the campus with local communities.
    • Innovative, transformational and engaged with or focused on diverse communities in the United States or the Global South. 

Special consideration is given to:  Junior faculty of color and faculty who teach in units where the proposed research will advance curricular diversity or are working on topics where research support traditionally has been difficult to obtain. Now more than ever, we especially welcome research that promotes our understanding of race, indigeneity, gender, sexuality, immigration, health and mental health disparities, and projects that address educational and opportunity gaps in schools.

Award Eligibility

Applications are invited from all University faculty members who hold tenured or tenure-track appointments and whose scholarly research will focus on issues related to diversity, equity, and advocacy.

2017 Application and Submission Details

The submission of an incomplete application or of supporting materials other than those specifically requested is not permitted. Be sure to keep a copy of all submitted materials for your own records.
MRA application deadline for 2017 has passed.
A complete application must include these materials:

  1. the application form
  2. the research proposal
  3. the budget form with a budget justification - importance of each item in the budget
  4. your brief CV

•  After completing the on-line Application Form, all materials listed below are to be emailed by the deadline to: 
– Subject line should read “MRA submission”.

•  Proposal: This must:

• Be limited to four pages, using 12-point font or larger, and 1-inch or greater margins.
• Be written in a style that is accessible to a non-specialist audience.
• Include all of the following information:

•  Abstract: Provide a non-technical abstract of the research proposed (200 words or less).
•  Present status of knowledge: Provide a brief description of the nature, importance, and specific objective(s) of the research.
•  Plan of work: Provide a brief description of the research you plan to conduct and the time line for completion of the project. Specify the material and method to be used and the specific hypotheses to be tested.

•  Budget: A complete Budget form must be submitted as part of the the application. This is a word doc. You must make a copy of this template to complete and submit via email:
You may add lines to the budget section as needed.
•  Budget justification: - As part of the Budget Form - you must state how each item in the budget is important to the successful completion of the research. The length of the Budget Justification section may not exceed one page.

•  If you choose to include summer salary, be sure to include fringe benefit costs. Your department’s Human Resource’s Coordinator should be able to help you calculate the fringe.
•  If you choose to include funds for a graduate student researcher be sure to include fringe and that the rate includes tuition fees if during the academic year.
•  You must include a list of all current, pending and potential sources (i.e., grants being prepared and/or already submitted) of support over the past five years (including the Graduate School and other University of Minnesota sources). Specify the granting period, the title of the proposal, the name of the granting agency, and the amount of the award.

•  Brief vitae with pertinent publications: 

•  Limited to one page, using 12-point font or larger, and 1-inch or greater margins.
•  List educational background specifying the degrees obtained dates, and institutions.
•  Also list all academic appointments in the last five years (including post-doctoral if applicable). 

Download a copy of these MRA Application Instructions.



Award Terms and Conditions

Award Period: The award period will be no longer than one calendar beginning June 1, 2017 and ending no later than May 31, 2018. If it is necessary to launch your research sooner than June 1, please obtain an approval from IDEA.

Award Funds: The amount of each award will vary, depending upon the nature of the research proposed and the number of meritorious applications received. 
No single award will exceed $7,000.

Use of Funds: Award funds may be used to support partial summer salary, travel, research materials, research assistants, or other purposes directly related to the scholarly activity. Single semester or summer leaves, a sabbatical, or any other form of University-supported leave may not be held simultaneously with the Multicultural Research Award.

Request a Change: At any time the awardee may contact the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy to request permission to deviate from originally submitted work plan, budget or similar concern.

Unused Funds: Any funds that are not utilized at the end of the award period and as specified in original application and supporting materials must be returned to the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy. A failure to notify and return funds will disqualify awardee from receiving any future Multicultural Research Award.

Unused Funds must be returned to IDEA no later than:
2017 awardees - December 31, 2018
2016 awardees - December 31, 2017

Renewing a Previous Award: Recipients may apply for an award renewal only once and it must be done for the year directly following the initial award (for example if you received an award in 2016 you may apply for a renewal only in 2017). To apply for a renewal, follow the same process as if it were a new application. All above terms and conditions apply.

Research Reporting and Sharing

Final Reporting: Principal investigators must submit a final report to the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy no later than August 31, 2018.
Reports may be submitted electronically via email to
The following information must be provided as part of the final report.

• Summary of originally stated outcomes and goals,
• Research conducted
• Outcomes and goals met
• Final budget that includes both originally stated amounts and final expenditures.

Final reports due no later than:
2016 awards - August 2017
2017 awards - August 2018

Sharing Your Research: Principal investigators are required to present the results of their research at Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposium within two years (Spring 2018 or Spring 2019) of receiving an award. Diversity Through the Disciplines Symposia will be scheduled at least once each academic year. Failure to present at this symposium within 2 years of receiving award will disqualify awardee from receiving any future Multicultural Research Award.  Sabbatical and Leaves of Absence are not considered reasons for not presenting. Those who have extenuating circumstance or teach during presentation times will need to notify IDEA and make alternative arrangements to share their research such as participating in the Gallery of Excellence held as part of OED’s Annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast held in November.

Diversity Through the Disciplines participation no later than:
2017 awardess - Pring 2018 or Spring 2019
2016 awardees - Spring 2017 or Spring 2018
2015 awardees - Spring 2016 or Spring 2017

Application Review Committee: Finally, although it is not a requirement, recipients may be asked to support and “give back” to the Multicultural Research Awards by volunteering to be on the application review committee in the future.



 2017 IDEA Multicultural Research Award Recipients

Assistant Professor Gabriel Chan,  Public Affairs, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Understanding Gender-Responsiveness of Multilateral Climate Finance

Assistant Professor Joshua Collins, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development
Incorporating bystander intervention and ally development in the classroom and beyond: An integrative literature review

Associate Professor Molly Dingel
, Center for Learning Innovation, University of Minnesota, Rochester
Underrepresented students' sense of belonging: The role of living learning communities
Assistant Professor Lake Dziengel, Social Work, College of Education and Human Sevices, University of Minnesota, Duluth 
Resilience and the Role of Pets in LGB & Trans* Communities
Assistant Professor Ona Egbue, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Evaluating the Impact of Peer-Mentoring on Female and Minority Students’ Experiences in STEM Disciplines
Assistant Professor Insoon Han, Department of Education, College of Education & Human Sevices, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Fostering the Development of Social Justice Ally through Diversity Course Transformation: Pedagogical Approaches in the White-dominant Classroom  
Assistant Professor Rachel Hardeman, Division of Health Policy & Management, School of Public Health

#TinyBlackLivesMatter: An Exploration of the Association between Structural Racism and Inequitable Birth Outcomes 

Assistant Professor Jacob Mans, School of Architecture, College Design
One House, Many Nations
Assistant Professor Lorena Munoz, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Poverty, Health and Race: Improving Healthy Food Practices Through Traditional Indigenous Growing Technologies
Assistant Professor Elliot Powell, American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
The Other Side of Things: Afro-South Asian Collaborative Sounds in Black Popular Music
Associate Professor Arun Saldanha, Geography, Environment, and Society, College of Liberal Arts

Prince from Minneapolis: The Geographies of Race and Genius
Associate Professor Catherine Solheim, Family Social Science,  College of Education and Human Development
Developing and Testing a Financial Coaching Program for Karen Refugees
Associate Professor Michael Stebleton, Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, College of Education and Human Development
A Hunger Crisis: Examining Food Insecurity and its Impact on Undergraduate Students 
Assistant Professor Christopher Terry, School of Journalism,  College of Liberal Arts

Gender, Race and Eligible Entities: An Evaluation of the Empirical Evidence in the Federal Communications Commission's Minority Ownership Policy Proposal
Associate Professor Bhaskar Upadhay, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development
Case Studies of Teachers’ Experiences Teaching about Race and Beyond



2016  IDEA Multicultural Research Award Recipients

Assistant Professor Hector Fernando Burga, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Planning the Latino Immigrant City in Minnesota
Assistant Professor Jennifer Gomez Menjivar, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, College of Liberal Arts

Black in Print: Fictions, Discourses and the Politics of Seeing Blackness in Latin America  

Associate Professor Zenzele Isoke
, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Black Women and the Art of Political Resistance in the Twin Cities
Assistant Professor Derek Jennings, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Children’s Program
Assistant Professor Christopher Johnstone, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education & Human Development

Accessibility, Inclusion, and Identity in Study Abroad
Associate Professor Muhammad Khalifa, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), College of Education & Human
Development Understanding Indigenous Culturally Responsive Leadership: Strategies for Improving Schools   
Assistant Professor Melissa Lewis, Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, School of Medicine

First-Year Medical Students Learning and Personal Growth following Indigenous Health Lectures

Associate Professor J.B. Mayo, Jr., Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education & Human Development

Uncovering Queer Spaces during the Harlem Renaissance
Assistant Professor Cristina Ortiz, Anthropology, Division of Social Science, Morris Campus

Rural Community Identities in a Context of Transnational Immigration   
Assistant Professor Lena Palacios, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Chicano and Latino Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Transforming Justice: Formerly Incarcerated Women Engaging in Anti-violence Activism through Participatory Video   
Assistant Professor Punti, Civic Engagement Education,  Associate Professor Teresa Swartz, Sociology and Asian American Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Not Just Child’s Play: How Parents and Kids of Diverse and Under-Represented Backgrounds Understand, Access, and Experience Youth Activities  
Assistant Professor Shannon Walsh, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts

Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence against Women in Latin America  

2015 IDEA Multicultural Research Award Recipients

Assistant Professor Daheia Barr-Anderson, Kinesiology, CEHD, Twin Cities
A Mixed Methods Assessment of Family Influence on Weight-Related Behaviors among African-Americans

Professor Jigna Desai, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
Rethinking Asian American Displacement and Erasure in the U.S. South

Assistant Professor Zan Gao, School of Kinesiology, CEHD, Twin Cities
Promoting Health and Quality of Life through Smartphone Apps in Asian Immigrant Breast Cancer Survivors

Associate Professor Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Design, Housing, and Apparel / Interior Design, College of Design, Twin Cities
Toward appropriate transition environments for Native youth victims of trafficking

Assistant Professor Dan Knights, Computer Science and Engineering, CSE, Twin Cities
Immigrant Microbiome Project: Characterization of the obesogenic gut microbiome among Hmong immigrants

Associate Professor Hee Lee, School of Social Work, CEHD, Twin Cities
Asian American Immigrant Parents’ Health Literacy and its Link to Children’s Health and Mental Health Disparities

Associate Professor Keith Mayes, African American & African Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
For the Sake of Internal Security: Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and the Silencing of Black Power

Assistant Professor Olihe Okoro, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy, Duluth
Patient-satisfaction with Health Care: Experiences and perceptions of low-income African American women

Assistant Professor Jimmy Patino, Chicano & Latino Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
“A Time for Resistance”: Transnational Chicano Identity, Immigrant Rights, and Abolition Democracy in the Chicano Movement

Assistant Professor Hyejoon Rim, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, CLA, Twin-Cities
A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Corporate Social Responsibility: Public Perception of CSR in the United States, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates

Assistant Professor Jeanine Schroer, Philosophy, CLA, Duluth
The Stereotype Project

Assoc. Professor Catherine Squires, Communication Studies, CLA, Twin Cities
Hallie Q. Brown: A Life of Eloquent Citizenship

Assistant Professor Sheri Stronach, Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, CLA, Twin Cities
Exploring Early Social Communication in Toddlers from Diverse Populations

2014 IDEA Multicultural Research Award Recipients

Abimbola Asojo, Associate Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC
Cultural Expressions In Design 

Oscar Baldelomar, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Division of Social Sciences, UMD
Immigrant Latino Families' Adaptation To Schools In Rural Contexts

Michael Ceballos, Assistant Professor, Biology, Division of Science and Math, UMM
Comparison Of Immune Factors In Tribal Cattle (Ganado Criollo) And Local (Minnesotan) Commercial Livestock Breeds

Sauman Chu, Associate Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC and
Hyunjoo Im, Assistant Professor, Design, Housing and Apparel, CDeS, TC
Examining The Impact Of Using A Bilingual Interactive Mobile App For Childhood Obesity Prevention Of Latino Americans

Oscar Garza, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Care and Health, CoP, TC
Missed Opportunities In Cancer Prevention: A Multicultural Perspective On HPV Vaccination Services

Priscilla Gibson, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, CEHD, TC
Educating Students For Competencies To Be Allies With Issues Of Oppression And Social Justice

Annie Hill, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies, CLA, TC
Breaking Free: The Rhetoric Of Slavery And Redemption In Midwestern Anti-Trafficking Campaigns

Jennifer C Gomez Menjivar, Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages and Literature, CLA, UMD
Cybertopias: Global Markets, Technology and Mayan Women’s Identities in Guatemala

Jarrett Gupton, Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, CEHD, TC
 Homeless Youth In Higher Education: A Cultural Social Analysis

Tania Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Postsecondary Teaching & Learning, CEHD, TC
Service-Learning As A Racialized Pedagogy: Teaching About Race And Racism Through Community Engagemen

Kathryn Quick, Assistant Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, TC
Collaborating With American Indians To Re-Interpret And Strategize About Transportation Safety

Lin Xiu, Assistant Professor, Management Studies, Labovitz School of Business and Economics, UMD and
Hairong Feng, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, CLA, UMD
The Effects Of Gender Role Orientation And National Culture On Coping Strategies

William N. Salmon, Assistant Professor,  Writing Studies, CLA, UMD
Creole Attitudes and “Generation Y” Mayans in Belize

Tetyana Shippee, Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy & Management, SPH, TC
Racial/Ethnic Differences In Quality Of Life In Long-Term Care Settings

Roozbeh Shirazi, Assistant Professor, Organizational Leadership and Policy Development, CEHD, TC
Different Rules, Different Rights? The Academic and Social Experiences of Iranian Graduate Students and Recent Graduates in the United States

Amanda Sullivan, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, CEHD, TC
When The Shield Becomes A Sword: Racial Bias In Special Education Identification



Historical list of faculty recipients prior to 2014:

Abimbola Asojo Tracie Collins Jarrett Gupton David Martinez Maria Sera
Cawo Abdi Shonda Craft Tasoulla Hadjiyanni Sarah-Jane Mathieu Paul Shaw
Linus Abraham Lesley Craig-Unkefer Ishtiyaque Haji Keith Mayes Tetyana Shippee
Rosita  Ernest Davenport Mary Hermes J.B. Mayo Roozbeh Shirazi
Ryan Allen Donald Day Annie Hill Ronald McCurdy Robert Silberman
Sheila Ards Priscilla Day Karen Ho Toni McNaron Catherine Solheim
John Arthur Amos Deinard Hyunjoo Im Dario Menanteau Michael Stebelton
Keletso Atkins Jigna Desai Zenzele Isoke Carol Miller Dara Strolovitch
Oscar Baldelomar Daniel Detzner Walter Jacobs III Edward Minnema Francis Shen
Heidi Barajas Jill Doerfler Leola Johnson Tania Mitchell Roxanne Struthers 
Kathleen Barlow Joycelyn Dorscher Tadd Johnson Lorena Munoz Amanda Sullivan
Manuel Barrera Susan Everson-Rose Rhonda Jones-Webb Bic Ngo Teresa Swartz
Kenneth Bartlett Kale Fajardo Angelica Lawson Ruby Nguyen Moin Syed
Joseph Bauerkemper David Feinberg Erika Lee Deniz Ones Carla Tabourne
Louis Bellamy Karen Feldt Hee Lee Yuichiro Onishi Bedassa Tadesse
James Bequette Hairong Feng Josephine Lee Corliss Outley Natasha Tinsley
Martha Bigelow Katherine Fennelly Richard Lee Clifford Panton Eden Torres
David Born Colette Gaiter Helga Leitner Lisa Park David Treuer
Elizabeth Boyle Keya Ganguly Carolyn Liebler Jimmy Patino Jeanne Tsai
Rose Brewer Carolyn Garcia Malinda Lindquist Julie Pelletier Carolyn Tubbs
Geraldine Brookins Oscar Garza Ruth Lindquist David Pellow Sherri Turner
Clint Carroll Solomon Gashaw Catherine Liu Jennifer Pierce William Turner
Bianet Castellanos Rebecca Gercken Enid Logan Gwendolyn Pough  Bhaskar Upadhyay
Michael Ceballos Priscilla Gibson Margaret Kamau Kathryn Quick Dennis Valdes
Ananya Chatterjea Njeri Githire David Karjanen Elizabeth Quintero Ross VeLure Roholt
Maria Cheng Michael Goh Young-Nam Kim Luis Ramos-Garcia Leah Walker McGuire
Vichet Chhuon Jennifer Gomez Menjivar Kendall King Angelita Reyes Elizabeth Wieling
Brenda Child Marti Hope Gonzales Katy Backes Kozhimannil Cheryl Robertson Gloria Williams
Linda Chlan Ramon Gonzales Rachmi Diyah Larasati Beatrice Robinson Kirt Wilson
Catherine Choy Katy Gray Brown Bernadette Longo Michael Rodriguez John Wright
Sauman Chu Tabitha Grier-Reed Lynn Lukkas Rebecca Ropers-Huilman Zha Xiong
Lesa Clarkson Laila Gulzar Yat Sang (Terry) Lurn William Salmon Lin Xiu
        Jiyoon Yoon
        Virginia Zuiker