Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards

Established by the Office for Equity and Diversity, the University of Minnesota's Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards seek to infuse equity and diversity into every aspect of the University’s teaching, learning, research, service and outreach by funding creative yet pragmatic proposals for projects that support equity and diversity initiatives.



The process of re-imagining the University’s work on equity and diversity requires a willingness to develop and implement new ways of thinking and operating. While the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) embraces its leadership role in guiding the advancement of equity and diversity, this work cannot be accomplished by a single office.  Instead, we must move forward together across University units, departments, colleges, and campuses.

We also know that individual academic and administrative units have specific needs, concerns, strengths, and capabilities. This is particularly true while the University faces substantial financial challenges that require innovative academic, fiscal, and administrative planning strategies to advance excellence throughout the institution. And given that these strategies must embrace the University’s core values of equity and diversity if the University is to achieve excellence, repeated budget cuts challenge us all in our pursuit of an aggressive change agenda.

The Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards provide a platform for cooperative efforts that will not only advance the institution’s transformation, but will also help ensure that all resources devoted to equity and diversity are leveraged to insure maximum potential impact. OED has determined that funding initiatives that are focused on a unified theme, or area of concentration, is one way to support the leveraging of resources.


Focus for 2016 Awards

The focus for the 2016 awards is building capacity for institutional change through the use of strategic partnerships. Partnerships must go beyond financial assistance/sponsorship and efforts must exemplify working in collaboration in one or more of the following ways:

  • Internal: partnership of two or more units/offices within a larger department or college OR partnership of two or more units/offices across various departments or colleges.
  • External: partnership of one or more units/departments with one or more external stakeholders (community organizations, corporations, etc.).


Eligibility, Funding, and Reporting

All academic and administrative units across the University’s campuses are eligible to apply for Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards. Offices, units and programs within the Office for Equity and Diversity are not eligible to apply for awards, though these units may be consulted for guidance and support in the development of proposals and may serve as partners in the work proposed by applicants.

The amount of award will depend upon the scope and breadth of the project, but will typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Work on the funded projects must start within 90 days of the award notification and be completed within a year of the start date. Within 60 days of the project’s conclusion, awardees must submit a summary report evaluating the project’s outcomes, including project benefits, recommended improvements, and use of funds. The disbursement of funds may occur in phases, depending on the nature of the proposal. However, in all cases, a minimum of $500 will be withheld until the submission of the evaluation report.


Application Process

2016 application deadline: Monday, May 9, 2016

Award notification date: No later than Monday, June 6, 2016

Proposals must include:

  1. A completed application form: download the Microsoft Word (.docx) version
  2. A two- to three-page project proposal addressing the following:

    a.         A description of the project and how it addresses the stated focus;

    b.         The tactics that will be employed to meet the stated focus and outcomes;

    c.          The members of the University and external communities who are intended to benefit from the work;

    d.         How progress will be measured, identifying specific benchmarks and/or metrics and the timetable for achieving these benchmarks;

    e.         Who, specifically, will be carrying out the project and measuring progress to the stated outcomes;

    f.          A description of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions that have been secured or are being sought.

  3. Two letters of support for this project, one of which must come from the Associate Dean level (or equivalent) or higher.

Send electronic copies of the application, project proposal and letters of support to:

Barbara Chapin

For questions, contact:

Barbara Chapin
Office for Equity and Diversity
432 Morrill Hall
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN  55455