Campus Climate Improvement Grants

aerial view of campus

Apply for a Grant by noon, May 4, 2020 (deadline extended)


We encourage you draw upon your creativity and experiences and take an active role in the work of improving our campus climate! The Office of Equity and Inclusion is seeking proposals for projects and activities that promote understanding and learning, and that invest in cross-campus relationship-building. Proposed projects may take place across the entire academic year, or, just during in the Fall or Spring semesters. We invite projects that create resources, events, or programming that encourages 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.

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.


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

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





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



Apply for a grant here. Applications are due May 4 at noon.