Funding Opportunities

Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant

June 3, 2011 - KRENTZMAN QUAD. Campus buildings for institutional cards. Summer 2011. Northeastern University. PHOTO: Mary Knox Merrill / Northeastern University

The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) in collaboration with the ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development invite applications from faculty for a new initiative to advance academic priorities related to diversity and inclusion. These grants provide financial support for new, innovative projects, workshops, symposia and activities to strengthen institutional capacity-building related to diversity and inclusion.

Faculty Innovation Awards – Cycle 3 (2018)

Corliss Thompson, Patty Goodman, and Dean He, Dialogue Across Difference: Initiating, Creating, and Sustaining Change in a Diverse Community (CPS)

Martha Loftus, First Generation: The Foundation Year Distinguished Speaker Series (Foundation Year / CPS)

Earlene Avalon, Kristen Lee, Christina Lee, Life Skills in the Classroom and Beyond (CPS / Bouvé)

Faculty Innovation Awards – Cycle 2 (2017)

Deirdre Loughridge, More Voices, Smarter Innovation: Diversity in Music Industry and Sonic Arts (CAMD)

Fred Davis, Summer Bridge Program (COS)

Polly Attwood, Shaunna Harrington, Amy Stratman, Graduate School of Education Teacher Prep Summit & Inquiry (CPS)

Faculty Innovation Awards – Cycle 1 (2016)

Neal Lerner, Evidencing a Culture of Inclusivity in the Northeastern Writing Program (CSSH–English Dept.)

Tracy Robinson-Wood, Diversity as Sustainability: Resistance to Stay Resilient (BOUVE)

Nicole Aljoe & Barbara Guthrie, New England Women of Color in the Academy Action Based Conference (CSSH)

Carl Nelson, Work Success For Northeastern University Students and Graduates With Disabilities(DMSB)

The purpose of the Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence grant program is to provide strategic investments to support new faculty-driven projects that introduce innovative approaches to diversity and inclusion.

Funds are designed to provide incentives for faculty to launch new and innovative efforts, rather than supporting maintenance of ongoing efforts. Proposals may include applied research or creative projects focused on diversity issues in higher education and/or diversity as it is relevant to the applicant’s particular academic discipline and/or college. If an applied research project is proposed, the linkage to institutional goals or recruitment, retention, and/or success of faculty and/or students from historically underrepresented groups should be made explicit.

Proposals must include plans for presenting the funded project to the campus community or how it benefits the campus community. This grant program seeks to engage a broader spectrum of faculty in the work of making Northeastern University a model for society with regards to diversity and inclusion.

Proposals in one or more of the following target areas are encouraged:

  • Projects or applied research that link to the institutional goal of increasing the recruitment, retention, and/or success of faculty and/or students from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Projects or applied research that link to the improvement of institutional climate of the department, college, and/or university for faculty and/or students from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Opportunities to introduce underrepresented scholars to the campus community or scholars whose work addresses or creates a model for improving access, success, recruitment, and retention of students and faculty from historically underrepresented groups.
  • Exemplars of inclusive pedagogy to enhance the quality of teaching and learning about diversity.
  • Programs (speakers, symposia, etc.) that enrich the diversity experiences of students at all levels.

Any Northeastern University tenured, tenure-track, or full-time faculty in an academic department within a college or school and/or faculty representing college-wide initiatives are eligible to apply.

Students and part-time faculty are encouraged to participate as members of a project team, but cannot serve as lead or Principal Investigator for the Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant.

The review criteria for each application will be based on the significance, innovation and sustainability of each proposal. See “Review Criteria” for greater detail.

Written proposals should not exceed 6 pages in length.

The proposal must include the following sections:

Background/Specific Aims: Introduce the proposal and describe the main purpose, goals, and objectives of the project, including how the specific aims address diversity challenges within the department, college, and/or university.

Project Plan: Describe in detail the proposed actions to meet the specific aims of the proposal. Explain how the project will work, who will participate, expected outcomes and response rates, what will occur.

Impact & Sustainability: Describe who will lead the project, and how the impact will be sustained by the team/unit/department/college if successful.

Evaluation: Provide detailed explanation of how goals and project success will be evaluated, and how the effect/impact of the project will be evaluated (e.g., surveys, interviews, attendance data, etc.).

Timeline: Provide a detailed timeline for project activities, data collection activities, evaluation etc.

Budget and Justification: Brief description of the overall funds needed to complete project. Describe how grant funds will be used over the course of the project. Detail any additional matching, resources, contributions in time, additional funds or sponsorships provided by unit or external entities.  Cost-sharing is strongly encouraged and will be looked upon favorably in the review process. Include the department name, administrator/assistant name, and budget code associated with the management of all grant funding.

Dean’s Letter of Support: Proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Dean of the college before being submitted. While one or more department heads or program directors may play the central role in the formulation and implementation of the proposal, the Dean will be responsible for addressing how the proposal advances the overall diversity effort of the school or college.  A letter of support from the Dean is required with each proposal.

CV’s of Project Leaders/Investigators  (not included in page count)


Budget Guidelines:

  • Total costs are limited to a maximum of $12,000 per award. Requests for funds less than the maximum award level are encouraged.
  • Salaries for undergraduate or graduate research assistants are allowable if the proposed applied research project justifies their role and value to the project team.
  • No faculty salaries or extra compensation for faculty or staff are allowed.
  • Food/catering costs are allowable up to $2,000, but the purchase of alcohol is not allowable.
  • No equipment including computers, iPads/tablets, phones, instructional technology etc. may be purchased using grant funding.
  • Any research on race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality must have direct application to improve Northeastern University institutional practices in the recruitment, retention, and/or success of historically underrepresented faculty and/or students.
  • Printing and publicity costs may be allowable depending on the scope of the costs and necessity to the project. *See FAQ’s for more information on printing and publication.
  • Reasonable travel costs are allowable for bringing speakers, experts, and underrepresented students to the campus. However, travel costs to send faculty, staff, or students to conferences or events is not allowable.

Applications for funding are due by February 1, 2019. 

Applications are open from January 1, 2019 – February 1, 2019.

Awards will be announced by March 1, 2019.

Completed proposals should be submitted electronically to the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion via the following email address:

For this cycle, OIDI expects to fund between 2 and 6 awards.

Questions can be directed to Audrey Grace, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at

In collaboration with the Provost and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion will appoint a review committee of faculty and officers of administration chaired by a faculty member who has been named by the Provost.

The majority of the committee are faculty members. Reviewers independently critique each proposal according to the criteria below and provide comments regarding the major strengths and weaknesses of each proposal. Final decisions on funding are made and announced by the Vice Provost for Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion in consultation with the Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Program Guidance and Administrative Support is provided by Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Contact Audrey Grace, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at or with questions.

Significance/Innovation: Does the proposed project address an important area of challenge in the unit? If supported, would the proposed project substantially impact the diversity profile of unit and the university? If successful, to what extent could the strategies be useful to other units’ efforts?

Project Plan: Are the ideas and specified strategies clear and well reasoned? Does the proposal make an effective case that the proposed actions are best or promising practices? Is the project feasible?

Engagement/Leadership:  Are the unit leadership and stakeholder groups effectively engaged?   Is there sufficient expertise to carryout the project activities?

Program Evaluation: Is there a reasonable plan to collect information to determine the impact and/or success of the project? Is there a plan for utilizing and sharing the data to inform future practice in the unit?

Budget: Is the budget reasonable and appropriate for the proposed project? Is there a plan to leverage unit resources to help support the project?

Sustainability: Is there a plan to sustain the effort if successful after the initial funding period?

Overall Evaluation: What are the major strengths and weaknesses of the project/proposal?

To receive a Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant, you must agree to submit a final report on the activities and outcomes supported by the grant.  This report is to include an accounting of expended funds.  This does not need to be a detailed accounting, but should offer a description of how funds were used (e.g. speaker fees, food costs, undergraduate/graduate wages or stipends, materials, etc.)

Ongoing projects (+/- 2 years) will require two reports.  One mid-way through the project and one at the end of the project.  For this academic year, reports are due January and May.

Successful applicants are expected to include the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the ADVANCE Office of Faculty Development emblem on all promotional material and to mention that the event/project was funded by Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant.

  1. Can this grant fund my research on race/ethnicity/gender/sexuality? Yes, but only if the research is directly applied to improving Northeastern University institutional practices.
  2. Can I pay Northeastern faculty members an honorarium? No.
  3. Can I pay faculty members who are not affiliated with Northeastern an honorarium? Yes, speaker fees or costs associated with bringing in speakers or experts to campus are allowable. All honorarium or speaking fees must be justified as an integral part of the proposed project.
  4. Can I pay faculty or staff extra compensation for working on this grant project? No
  5. Can I pay students from the grant funds? Yes, and the proposal must detail student contributions to the project and justify how the wages/stipend earned by the student contributes to the success of the project.
  6. Can I host a reception and pay for it from the grant funds? Yes, food costs are allowable. No alcohol is to be purchased using grant funding.
  7. I want to publish the results of the project. Can I pay publication costs? Publication costs may be allowable if related to academic journal publications. Generally, printing of booklets, magazines, reports will not be allowed.
  8. I want to propose a project that extends over 2 years. Is this allowable and can I retain the grant funds for the entire time period? Yes, as long as the required reports are submitted every 6 months.
  9. I want to present the findings of the my project at a national conference or event. Are travel costs allowable? No.
  10. I want to invite in a national expert to campus. Are their travel costs allowable? Yes. Reasonable efforts should be made to secure multiple quotes, or best available price for travel arrangements.

Please direct questions about this initiative to Vice Provost John V. Armendariz at or Audrey Grace, Director of Diversity & Inclusion at