Belonging at Cornell Innovation Grants (Faculty & Staff)

Program for Faculty and Staff

Request for 2023-24 Grant Proposals (Faculty/Staff) 

Due Date: December 4, 2023

Priority will be given to proposals that align with clearly stated institution-wide objectives of improving the experience for students, faculty and staff; specifically, to foster a sense of belonging, promote fair treatment, and support an increased willingness to recommend Cornell as a great place to be, along with workforce composition and retention metrics. Exciting and innovative proposals that include cross-college/unit collaboration and promise to drive sustained impact to the Cornell community are encouraged.

Proposals must:

  1. Feature a program that enhances the experience of students, faculty and/or staff.
  2. Include at least two Cornell community members (preferably from different campus organizations, colleges or units) who will serve as leads on the project.
  3. Be endorsed by the Belonging at Cornell diversity leads for associated colleges/units.
  4. Offer an innovative approach that highlights Cornell’s distinctive strengths and/or addresses gaps in existing programs, whether the project is newly created or related to existing activities.
  5. Be inclusive of all populations on one or more of Cornell’s campuses.
  6. Be able to demonstrate tangible progress within a one-year timeframe
  7. If the program is ongoing or continuing, the proposal must outline a plan for sustainability including funding streams.

The PADE will allot two grants each up to the amount of $15,000 for the 2023-24 academic year. All Cornell staff and faculty are eligible to apply.

  1. Funding will be awarded in January 2024.
  2. Priority will be given to units that have not received a grant in the past.
  3. To maximize use of these resources, funding should not be used to hire additional staff and should not pay for internal people’s time.
  4. Funding is not intended to support academic research.
  5. Proposals should identify and fill gaps in current offerings.
  6. Awardees must submit a final report to the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity at the end of the funding period.

Faculty and/or staff members interested in submitting a proposal should prepare a document no more than five pages in length that includes:

  1.  A description of the overall project;
  2. The goals of the project, including short-term and long-term impacts highlighting one or more of the Belonging at Cornell metrics the project will influence;
  3. Program execution and evaluation strategy;
  4. Plans for long-term financial sustainability;
  5. Budget and budget justification;
  6. Names, titles and college/unit affiliation of program leaders and team members involved.

A signed statement (or email) indicating endorsement from the relevant BaC lead(s) should be sent along with the proposal.

Proposals must be submitted to by December 4, 2023.

The Belonging at Cornell grant committee, made up of diversity leads from the colleges/units, will evaluate all proposals according to the predetermined rubric and make recommendations to the PADE.  Final selections will be announced in January 2024.

Fall 2022

Several excellent proposals were received in response to the call for BaC Innovation Grants for faculty and staff in Fall 2022. Three projects that stood out for their promise to enhance the sense of belonging for our campus community were selected for grants. These projects involve execution of intentional actions to address identified issues for diverse individuals, opportunities to collaborate and learn with others focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the university and outreach to the



Fall 2020

Three Belonging at Cornell (BaC) Innovation grants were awarded in Fall 2020. These grants supported a range of projects that align with university objectives of improving the Cornell experience for students, faculty, and staff, and supporting the environment of Cornell as a great place to study and work: