University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Gender Equity Grants

The Women’s Center invites applications for the following grants which support campus climate change for women. Awardees are honored at the Celebrating Changemakers event hosted by the Women’s Center.


Women's Center Gender Equity Grants (formerly Institutional Change Grants) support initiatives by employees or campus groups which will lead to a University that reflects the values of inclusiveness, fairness, diversity, excellence, and opportunity for all—with a focus on impacting the campus climate for women faculty, staff, and students, including those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, women with disabilities, women with diverse sexual orientations, and women from diverse economic backgrounds. The Women's Center's Gender Equity Grants are intended to foster and support increased awareness, improved understanding, and institutional change.

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 Women’s Center embraces its leadership role in guiding the advancement of equity and diversity for all women, this work cannot be accomplished without initiatives throughout campus. Therefore the Women’s Center funds initiatives, like this one, as one way to increase the leveraging of resources.

Why is this grant focused on women?  Unfortunately, in spite of significant gains, women have not yet reached parity – on campus or in the world – and the University of Minnesota is committed to an equitable workplace. National statistics show that women are less likely to be promoted to leadership positions partially due to implicit bias (e.g., women head only 19% of colleges and universities), women experience a significant amount of workplace sexual harassment which creates uncomfortable, less productive work environments, women still earn 77 percent of the wages of their male counterparts in comparable positions, and women are more likely to be lecturers and instructors (as opposed to full professors).

Gender Equity Grants Categories

Gender Equity Grants can be used to fund coordination of various types of programs and projects. Grants can fund one-time or short-term events and projects that further the mission of the Women's Center to improve and enhance the campus climate for women faculty, staff and students. Examples of one-time or short-term activities eligible for funding include, but are not limited to: lectures, panel discussions, conferences, workshops, events celebrating women at the University of Minnesota, and creative/artistic performances or exhibits.

Gender Equity Grants can also support programs and projects that address the need for long-term systemic change within the University community to create an institution that reflects the values of inclusiveness, fairness, diversity, and opportunity for all women. Examples of long-term systemic change activities eligible for funding include, but are not limited to: action research, education, organizing, and advocacy that help to eliminate barriers and inequities that prevent the full realization of an inclusive and just institution for all women faculty, staff and students.

Additionally, grants can be used broadly or be focused on specific groups. The Women's Center has specifically earmarked grant funds to support projects that specifically focus on impacting the campus climate for all Professional & Administrative (P & A) women and all Civil Service/Bargaining Unit (CS/BU) women. (Please indicate on your application if you are applying for a P & A or CS/BU Gender Equity Grant.)


The Women's Center, a unit of the Office for Equity and Diversity.


Grant awards will depend on the scope and breadth of the project but will typically range from $250-$1,000. Typically, 4-8 grants are awarded annually. Grant recipients are recognized at the annual Celebrating Changemakers program.


4:30 pm, Friday, June 1, 2018: (for funds distributed in 2018-2019). Applicants will be notified within 75 days following the application deadline regarding the funding decisions.


Faculty, staff and students on any University of Minnesota campus are eligible to submit a proposal for Women's Center Gender Equity Grants. Past grant recipients may apply for additional funding from the Women's Center. However, no additional requests for funding will be considered until the final report for a past project has been submitted to Women's Center.

Selection Criteria

In addition to required Gender Equity Grant criteria, special consideration will be given to proposals representing collaboration across University departments, colleges, and/or units. Preference will also be shown toward individuals or groups with limited access to other means of institutional support.

Selection Committee

Committee comprised of Women's Center staff, and may include additional students, faculty, P/A staff, and civil service and/or bargaining unit staff.

Application Guidelines

Download the application and guidelines (Microsoft Word).

Applications should provide a clear description of proposed activities, a statement outlining the ways in which they support the mission of the Women's Center, a realistic set of goals and objectives, the project’s anticipated impact, how the project will be evaluated, and a detailed budget.

Submit application materials via email to the Women's Center at Please submit all materials within a single PDF or Microsoft Word attachment. 

PLEASE NOTE: Grants will NOT be awarded for programs or projects that have already occurred at the time the proposal is submitted or that will occur prior to the beginning of the fiscal year in which the grant is awarded. This grant cycle will fund projects occurring in 2018-2019. Gender Equity Grants will be awarded to support on-going activities only if the proposal clearly demonstrates how funding is critical to ensure the continuation of the outlined activities or to significantly expand their scope and impact.

Availability of Funds -- Funding Cycle:
Funds will be available for transfer no earlier than the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1) of 2018, and must be used during the fiscal year for which the grant is awarded. Grants awarded in the summer of 2018 funding round are to be used in support of activities occurring in fall 2018 through spring 2019.


Questions: Women's Center, 612-625-9837, or

All application materials are available in alternative formats upon request.