Anti-Racism Grants

In 2021 the OVPR Anti-Racism Grants program was created to catalyze innovative research and scholarship efforts and advance knowledge around complex societal racial inequalities that can inform actions to achieve equity and justice.

Learn More and Apply by June 3, 5 pm

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These grants were developed in partnership with the Provost’s Anti-Racism Initiative, and are jointly administered and advanced in partnership with the National Center for Institutional Diversity’s Anti-Racism Collaborative. For each program cycle, OVPR will provide funding for up to seven proposals – five at level 1 up to $50K and two at level 2 up to $100K.

During the first three cycles of the Anti-Racism Grant, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) awarded over $1.5 million to support 23 interdisciplinary teams.

FY25 Research Focus Area

There are persistent racial disparities within the United States and globally, embedded in systems related to health, education, income and wealth, law and criminal justice, and community development and infrastructure, among other areas. Despite evidence of deep systemic and interpersonal racism across societal spaces, the manifestations of racial inequality and the complex mechanisms through which racial inequality impacts individual, group, community, institutional, and societal level outcomes are still under examination. Further, we are in a time of increased urgency given the current intersections of the COVID-19 public health crisis, rapid shifts in educational systems, economic challenges, and growing awareness of deep historical legacies of and ongoing civil resistance to systemic racism. We believe that research can play an important role in supporting and advancing a society that is humane, equitable, and just.

As such, a key goal for the OVPR Anti-Racism Grants program is to support rigorous, innovative, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in relation to racial equity and justice in society. Another goal is to provide funding and research development support to PI teams with projects that would position the PIs/teams to be competitive for future external funding to expand and grow their efforts and impact.

 

PROJECTS SHOULD FOCUS ON TOPICS AND PROCESSES RELATED TO RACISM AT STRUCTURAL, SYSTEMIC, INSTITUTIONAL, INTERPERSONAL AND/OR INTRAPERSONAL LEVELS, WHICH COULD COVER A VARIETY OF DOMAINS, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Historical injustice and reparations
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education in formal and/or informal settings
  • Socioeconomic and occupational stratification and mobility
  • Environmental racism and social justice
  • Community development and infrastructure
  • Social movements and activism
  • Immigration experiences and policy
  • Social attitudes and responses to diversity
  • Criminal justice, policing, and the legal system
  • Race and intersection with emerging technologies

This program does not provide funding for evaluations of existing academic or clinical programs and prioritizes generalizable, publishable research that can lead to future external funding.

TWO GRANT TYPES WILL BE FUNDED BY OVPR:

  • Level 1 Grant Awards
    • 5 grants (expected range $25K-$50K) for a 15 month duration. Eligible proposals are not limited to, but could include:
      • Seed grant projects for multidisciplinary groups; these could be initial collaboration projects with high synergistic value/promise
      • New additions to existing projects that allow for enhanced methodological rigor, precision and/or nuance; could also include novel uses of existing data or multiple datasets
  • Level 2 Grant Awards
    • 2 grants (up to $100K) for up to 18-month duration. Eligible proposals are not limited to, but could include:
      • Projects by already established collaborative teams for “next level” research/scholarly projects of high innovation and synergistic value that would significantly advance thinking and study in their topic area
      • Larger scale research projects using multiple methods or mixed methods approaches
      • A combination of novel research/scholarship and translation/engagement efforts

We invite proposals that aim to grow the current scope of research on racial inequality and anti-racism, develop new knowledge through interdisciplinary scholarly engagement, and include collaboration in the service of increasing the impact of the research. We also encourage proposals that explore and address interconnections of racial inequality with inequalities of gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability status, among other identity and status areas.

We expect and welcome methodological diversity in addressing pressing questions. Thus, we are open to projects that utilize a wide array of research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods, ethnographies, design-based research, community participatory methods and historical research, to name a few. We also welcome methodological research that can enable and support research on and with racialized communities that build capacity for equitable societal systems.

For both grant levels, prioritized projects will include scholars from multiple disciplines and academic department/unit backgrounds, as well as projects that substantively include junior faculty on the PI leadership team. We strive to support a diverse group of researchers in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and seniority.

Along with grant funding, awardees will be provided additional support through the OVPR Research Development team and will be connected to a variety of other opportunities (e.g., research development, student funding, public engagement and dissemination/translation, networking) through NCID’s Anti-Racism Collaborative.

FAQs

Is the program interested in funding professional development and capacity building for anti-racism research? To what extent should the proposed activities be tied to a specific research project?

The program is intended to support specific research projects, not professional development activities. 

Is it possible for a faculty person to be part of a team of people applying, but not be "the applicant", for more than one grant?

Yes, faculty may collaborate on more than one grant proposal as part of a collaborative team. A faculty member may apply as PI on one grant application and also participate as a collaborator on a second grant application.

My research in this area is done in collaboration with researchers at a separate university. Does this grant program allow for the effort of non-UM investigators?

At this time, the grant does not cover effort for non-UM investigators.

Can the duration of my proposed grant stretch for 18 months into early 2025?

Yes, if applying for a Level 2 grant. And, depending on the project start date.

Am I eligible to apply for the Anti-Racism Grant?

All PI-eligible faculty from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses are eligible to apply.

Can a post-doc serve as PI or co-PI on the grant?

No, a post doc cannot serve as lead or co-PI, but may be a part of a collaborative team on the grant.

Can we add additional pages to the project narrative for Narrative References? Or, do we have to include references within the five page maximum?

Yes, one or two additional pages may be added.

Cost sharing is not required per the instructions, if we were to include a commitment from our unit, what sort of commitment should be described in the letter? Are you seeking a financial or a physical commitment, i.e. lab space, personnel, etc.?

No, cost sharing is not a requirement for the Anti-Racism Grant.  If you are including other commitments, please be very specific and break down the cost in the budget per unit or other source, what the funds will be used for and the cost- if financial.  If physical space, please include a brief statement about the space commitment in the budget justification. And, also in the budget breakdown, if applicable. The same with personnel related funding. Please include in the budget and a statement in budget justification.

Can we use Anti-Racism funds to cover faculty effort (non- PI) on the grant?

The OVPR leadership team discussed this issue based on community input and approved including faculty time/effort as eligible grant expenses. Our team viewed this change as enabling support for a broad range of research/scholarship types as well as an equity issue. Like all budget items, requested coverage of non-PI faculty effort (e.g., through course release or summer support for faculty with 9-month academic appointments) should be described in the budget justification section.

What these grants do not fund:

This program does not provide funding for evaluations of existing academic or clinical programs and prioritizes generalizable, publishable research that can lead to future external funding.

Are there limitations on the budget with regard to indirect and direct costs including effort, RAs and a statistician?

Other staff/personnel effort relevant to the project objectives would be allowable.

Is tuition support an acceptable budget item for the RCI internal grants?

Tuition support is not an eligible budget expense for the Anti-Racism grants.

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Questions?
If you have any further questions, please contact OVPR.RCI.Program@umich.edu.