Diversity Innovation Grants

We encourage you to take an active role in building an inclusive campus culture. The Rutgers University–New Brunswick 2017 Taskforce on Inclusion and Community Values outlined our action-oriented goals as follows:

Work towards Inclusion and respect Difference

Provide Opportunity and ensure Access

Value Innovation and promote Leadership

Foster Global Reach and honor Humanity

We seek proposals for projects and activities that move our community values from ideals to actions. As we invest in broader institutional efforts to advance an inclusive campus culture, Diversity Innovation Grants offer a way for creative, innovative, and grassroots efforts to join in our larger strategy. Proposed projects should encourage understanding and learning, invest in relationship-building across difference, and offer new ways to promote equity and diversity to achieve our goal of an inclusive campus culture. We invite projects that encourage conversation and connection across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability and nationality to create opportunities for belonging and to strengthen a sense of community. 

Priority will be given to:

  • Proposals that promote cross-campus, intergroup, and partnership approaches to support community-building. (For example, efforts focused on staff, multiple student organizations at the graduate/undergraduate level; or multi-school or multi-unit initiatives that partner together to promote relationships, awareness, and communication.)

  • Proposals that will have a lasting impact, such as a learning community or proposed integration of diversity into curriculum or series of events will be reviewed more favorably. Bring your creativity to bear in developing projects  (ex: art projects, community building exhibit, action-oriented projects, etc.) that advance an inclusive campus culture.

While one-time events will be considered, applicants will need to make the case for why one-time engagement is significant and has the potential to shape campus culture beyond the activity itself. 

Funds are considered one-time seed funds. Existing events or activities that already are funded through another mechanism will not be prioritized. This is also a vehicle to request co-sponsorship for an ongoing activity, but the applicant must demonstrate why the additional funding is needed, i.e. whether it is extending or adapting an existing activity, engaging new audiences, etc., take special care to clarify the outcome if the grant is not funded.

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • Relevance to advancing an inclusive campus culture.

  • Nature of impact on participants.

  • Budget feasibility, realistic accounting for costs. Note: costs or fees associated with any outside speakers must be reflected in your budget.

  • Demonstrated campus partner commitment. (If the activity would require certain partnerships to come to fruition within or beyond the campus, those partners should be identified and have signed on to the application at the time of submission. Also note that a letter of support will be requested from entities beyond Rutgers University–New Brunswick for projects that partner with community organizations and entities [e.g., local schools, non-profit agencies, etc.]).

  • Feasibility that the project can be completed in the time outlined.

Applications for the Diversity Innovation Grant are currently closed. The page will be updated when the next round of applications opens.


Applicants must be a current Rutgers University–New Brunswick student, staff or faculty member. We anticipate making awards across all campus roles, and strongly encourage applications from all members of the campus community. Student applicants must be affiliated with a registered student organization with a budgetary account number or have the administrative support of their academic department in order to transfer funding. A letter of recommendation from the students’ sponsor or Campus Office collaborator (e.g., faculty member or appropriate representative from a university office/center or student organization) must be included as an attachment with the application.

Diversity Innovation Grants cannot be used to fund the following types of activities: individual travel, personnel costs (ex: salary for a current Rutgers employee and/or student workers salaries), publication costs, conference fees, etc. Please note previously funded Diversity Innovation Grant activities are not eligible. If you are unsure whether a proposed project fits within the scope of the Diversity Innovation Grant program please contact diversity@rutgers.edu.

Award Amounts

Grants will range from $250 to $2,500.  We expect to make up to 5-7 grants within the $250-$500 range, and 2-3 grants in the $1,500-$2,500 range; IMPORTANT: grants exceeding $2,500 will require cost-sharing with another office. Funds are considered one-time seed funds.


  • Creating a learning community to promote the development of knowledge or skill-building through a facilitated reading group, series of workshops, or training and planned activities to extend the skills learned.

  • Creating a key resource to fill a campus need, that will advance an inclusive culture.

  • Innovations in teaching and performance that aim to promote inclusion in the classroom.

  • Activities that promote community-building, using an intergroup, multi-unit, or partnership approach.

  • Improving communication across difference.

Application Guidelines

Applicants must submit a completed budget.

Sample Budgets

Sample Budget for $500 grant





Resource Creation



Event Supplies





Sample Budget for $2,500 grant





Burgstahler's "Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice" at $34/copy x 16 people

Evans, Broido, Brown, and Wilke's "Disability in Higher Education: A Social Justice Approach" at $28.28/copy x 16 people



Breakfast for participants 


Workshop Trainer

Workshop fee for external Universal Design Learning expert trainer for three workshop sessions





Cost Sharing

Center for Student Success Research Contribution



Total Request