Inclusive Leadership Grant Program

Request for Proposals 


The Inclusive Leadership Grant Program provides transformational funding to support opportunity, advancement, and parity within our university community with awards up to $100,000 per year.

Guided by the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, this two-year grant program (with an optional third-year renewal) is designed to resource new and existing projects in two strategic areas: 1) creating a culture of belonging and engagement, and 2) the retention of students, faculty, and staff. 

Utilizing best-practice research, tools, and benchmarking indices, projects must:

  • ​​Increase a sense of belonging and raise the level of satisfaction among students, faculty or staff through qualitative and quantitative data. 
  • Achieve faculty and staff representation as outlined in our university’s Equal Opportunity Plan.
  • Demonstrate the remediation of performance and achievement gaps between student populations.
  • Demonstrate the promotion of faculty and staff as captured in the university’s Equal Opportunity Plan.​​​​​​​

To advance these strategic priorities, we will seek proposals that will incorporate the constructs of belonging, agency, cultural competence, accountability, and career satisfaction.

  • Belonging: The degree to which individuals feel supported, connected, valued and respected.
  • Agency: The ability to use one’s personal power to impact positive change.
  • Cultural Competence: The awareness, knowledge and skills to interact comfortably and respectfully across difference.
  • Accountability: The obligation of individuals to own their actions and decisions, and correct them, if necessary. 

Deans and Vice Presidents in all colleges and units within the university are eligible to apply. Collaborative projects will have an advantage.

Proposals may include external partners; however, UC must be the lead.


Proposals involving multiple partners must identify a lead college or unit.  A college/unit can submit one proposal as a lead but is not limited in the number of proposals it can participate in otherwise.  If awarded, funds will be transferred to the lead to manage project expenditures.

A 1:1 cash match will signal a strong commitment to the proposed project.  However, we realize all colleges/units are not in the position to do so without compromising their general operation.  The lack of funds should not be a barrier to proposal submission.  Therefore, we ask applicants to be creative in sharing how you will assist in financing this project, either through funding, fundraising, or repurposing employee time and tasks (i.e., sweat equity).  As such, a letter of support and intent to fund the project must accompany the proposal at the time of submission

Applicants must be willing to commit to a two-year time frame and provide semi-annual project updates.  Progress toward goals must be demonstrated during the semi-annual reports in order to release funds and continue with the project.


For full consideration, the proposal should include a title and description addressing:

  • The purpose of the project

How does the project contribute to an inclusive culture or enhance the retention of talent (students, faculty, and staff)? Is there a focus on student success or employee engagement and advancement?

  • The intended audience

Who will participate in and benefit from this project?

  • Proposed activities

        In what research or activity will you engage participants?

  • A clearly defined two-year timeline with anticipated milestones

       What are the anticipated activities and milestones to ensure the program is progressing?

  • Desired outcomes and methods for assessment

        What is the anticipated outcome and how will success of the project be determined?

  • A viable plan for sustainability

        How will the work continue beyond the grant-funded period?

Grants will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Applicants must provide an expense description, requested amount, and cost share (if applicable).  They must also indicate other sources of financial support (e.g., federal grants, private gifts).

A strong justification must be made to cover salaries for UC employees, stipends for student assistants, conference travel, and other indirect expenses.

No more than 10% of the award may be used to cover catering expenses.

Grantees funded under this RFP will be required to commit to a minimum two-year time frame with an optional third.

Semi-annual written reports are due to the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact along with an annual presentation to the University’s DEI Council or to the campus community through a university-wide forum.

November 27, 2023                 Announce the Call for Proposals

January 24, 2024                      Proposal Submission Deadline

February 14, 2024                    Notification to the Finalists

February 28, 2024                    Pitch Competition (to DEI Council Members and Experts)

April 3, 2024                             Announce Recipients at the Equity and Inclusion Conference