Campus Climate Improvement Grants

aerial view of campus

Climate Grant applications for 2020 are closed as of May 4th, and will reopen in Spring 2021.

Every Spring, UMass undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit their creative ideas for fostering connection on campus in the upcoming academic year. These grants, ranging from $250 to $2,500, are intended to support projects that help build community and create a more inclusive campus. OEI invites projects that create resources, events, or programming that encourage conversation and connection across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability and nationality, in order to increase opportunities for greater belonging and further strengthen our community.

The funded projects have previously included film series, book clubs, workshops, art exhibits, lectures, events and more. Participation by students, staff and faculty in this initiative since its inception in 2017 have been key in helping the campus move forward in creative and effective ways as we work towards making UMass a community of choice for all.

Successful projects have taken place across the entire academic year, or, just during in the Fall or Spring semesters. 

Application Information

Priority for funding will be given to:

  • Proposals that promote cross-campus, intergroup, multi-unit partnership approaches to support community-building. For example:
    • Multiple student organizations at the graduate/undergraduate level partnering together to promote relationships, awareness, and communication
    • Multi-college or multi-unit initiatives that focus on a campus climate concern together
  • Proposals whose scope extends beyond a specific office or major, and includes a broader portion of the campus community. For example:
  • Resources designed to increase inclusion among underrepresented students
  • A learning community open to the campus community that promotes knowledge- or skill-building, and provides the opportunity to use and extend the skills learned
  • A conversation series that invites staff, students and faculty who might not have met to engage across difference, to get to know each other better and understand what each brings to the UMass community
  • Proposals that are likely to yield sustained climate improvement, such as a learning community or other resources whose impact lasts beyond the term of the project. For example:
    • innovations in teaching and performance that promote greater inclusivity
    • While one-time events will be considered, applicants will need to make a case for the impact on campus climate.

We will evaluate proposals based on:

  • Relevance to Campus Climate
  • Intergroup collaborations
  • The nature of the impact
  • The partnerships proposed to carry out the project
  • And for larger grants, sustained impact

Funds are considered one-time seed funds. Projects previously funded through a Climate Grant will not be funded again, and existing events or activities that already are funded through another mechanism will not be prioritized. If an applicant is extending or adapting an existing activity, please clarify how this grant will facilitate this. Applicants should however consider how a project might continue and possibly scale beyond the term of the grant, and the potential partnerships and funding that would be necessary.

Prior to submitting an application, we recommend that applicants read more about climate improvement and learn about previously awarded grants in 2017-182018-19, and 2019-2020.

Eligibility

Applicants must be a currently enrolled UMass-Amherst student, staff or faculty member. We anticipate making awards across all campus roles, and strongly encourage applications. Student applicants must be affiliated with a registered student organization with a budgetary account number, or have the administrative support of an academic department to whom funds may be transferred. 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.

Award Amounts

Grants will range from $250 to $2,500.  We expect to make up to 10-15 grants within the $250-$500 range, and 5-10 grants in the $1,500-$2,500 range; IMPORTANT; grants exceeding $2,500 will require cost-sharing with another office. If awarded, the grantee must inform OEI of any changes to the budget by June 10. And again, funds are considered one-time seed funds: additional awards for the same project will not be provided after this funding cycle.

Application Guidelines

Prior to application, prospective grantees must have attended one of three information sessions in Spring 2020 to be eligible to apply, or speak with Emmanuel Adero to review information covered in the in-person sessions. Please contact Eddie Gorry to schedule a zoom meeting with Emmanuel Adero at diversityadmin@umass.edu.

 

Applicants must submit a completed budget. Download the budget form and upload it on the application page.

Once funded, grantees shall notify the Office of Equity and Inclusion of any dates for events, meetings, or other funded programming. Funded projects also require a status report, to notify the office of progress of the project, successes or challenges, and milestones to date. Final reports are due May 1, 2021.

Sample Budgets

Sample Budget for $500 grant

Item

Description

Cost

Resource

Resource Creation

$400

Supplies

Event Supplies

$100

 

Total

$500

Sample Budget for $2,500 grant

Item

Description

Cost

Books

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

$1,000

Refreshments

Breakfast for participants 

$700

Workshop Trainer

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

$1,800

 

Subtotal

$3,500

Cost Sharing

Center for Student Success Research Contribution

$1,000

 

Total Request

$2,500