Belonging at Cornell Mini Grants

Pilot Program for Graduate/Professional Students

2022 Request for Mini Grant Proposals - Closed

Funding timeline:

  • Proposals due: November 7, 2022
  • Grants announced: November 30, 2022
  • Transfer of funds: December 2022 (identified account required for funds transfer)
  • Final Report Due: December 1, 2023

Priority will be given to proposals that align with institution-wide BaC objectives of fostering a sense of belonging, promoting fair treatment, and supporting an increased willingness to recommend Cornell as a great place to be. Exciting and innovative proposals to support programs or activities that promise to be successful and drive sustained impact to the Cornell community are encouraged.

Proposals must:

  1. Feature a program/activity that advances diversity, access, equity, and belonging, with particular attention to enhancing the experiences of graduate/professional students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia. 
  2. Be hosted by a unit, office or department, or a graduate student organization with support from the organizational advisor (staff member or faculty advisor).
  3. Offer an approach that highlights Cornell’s distinctive strengths and/or addresses gaps through new programs and initiatives, or the improvement of existing programs and initiatives.
  4. Be inclusive of, or directly addressing, concerns of one or more communities historically underrepresented on one or more of Cornell’s campuses.
  5. Be able to demonstrate tangible progress within a one-year timeframe.
  6. If the program is ongoing or continuing, the proposal must outline a plan for sustainability including funding streams.

The PADE will allot up to ten (10) mini grants up to the amount of $1,000 for the Fall 2022 semester. All graduate and professional students are eligible to apply. Supported programs/activities must conclude in advance of the final report due date, December 1, 2023.

  1. Applications may be from individuals or groups.
  2. Programs/activities that are not currently supported will receive priority. However, if requesting funds for programs/activities that have previously received support, the nature of the other support should be described, as well as the rationale for the request for additional support through this call.
  3. Proposals will be chosen for a maximum award of $1,000 each. No student or organization may receive the award for more than two consecutive years.
  4. To maximize use of these resources, funding cannot be used to hire additional staff and cannot not be used to pay Cornell employees or students.
  5. Funding is not intended to support academic research or to fulfill academic course requirements.
  6. Proposals should identify and fill gaps in current offerings.
  7. Awardees must submit a final report to the Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity by December 1, 2023.

Graduate/Professional students interested in submitting a proposal should prepare a document no more than three 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 how it will influence the Belonging at Cornell objectives
  3. Program execution and evaluation strategy
  4. Budget and budget justification. If requesting funds for programs/activities that have previously received support, the nature of the other support should be described here, as well as the rationale for the request for additional support through this call.
  5. Names, degree programs, graduate fields, brief bios and statement of commitment to diversity efforts for program leaders and team members involved
  6. A signed endorsement statement from the organization advisor and/or department or school leadership indicating support and alignment with DEI priorities
  7. An identified Cornell department account for the deposit and management of mini-grant funding

Proposals must be submitted to by November 7, 2022.

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated against a rubric

Final selections will be made by the PADE and announced on or before November 30, 2022.

Belonging at Cornell Mini Grants

2022 Pilot Program for Graduate/Professional Students

The Belonging at Cornell student pilot mini-grant program for 2022 has been completed. Five grants in the amount of $1000. were awarded in December to graduate/professional student teams and organizations. The winning projects focused on professional development, support of TAs, reading discussion groups, a clothing resource opportunity and support of the CBE “Diversity Day.”

The projects receiving grants this cycle are:

  • “Breaking Barriers” – Women in Public Policy (WIPP) will present learning and networking opportunities with Cornell women alumni who have established careers in male-dominated sectors. Project leaders include Marla Munkh-Achit, a second-year MPA fellow at Brooks School of Public Policy; Katie Farrell, a first-year MPA student with a concentration in environmental policy; and Tiffany Vu, a second-year MPA student with a concentration in environmental policy.
  • TA Support Program – Graduate students, supported by CTI, will develop a graduate student cohort to provide networking, support, and resources for early-program TAs who are committed to developing their own teaching skills and practices. Project leaders include Kimberly Hochstedler, a third-year PhD candidate in the Department of Statistics and Data Science; and Rink Tacoma-Fogal, a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Animal Science.
  • Reading discussion group - The Dyson Diversity Council’s Graduate Student Committee (DDC), in collaboration with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, will host a reading group relating to diversity and inclusion of underrepresented backgrounds in the academic workplace for economics. Project leaders include Anthony Ponce, second-year PhD Student in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; and Emil R. Kee-Tui, a second-year PhD student in Dyson in the field of development economics.
  • "Life Transitions Closet" - QGrads (LGBTQ+ Graduate Student Association) and Trans Empowerment Programming at the LGBT Resource Center will collaborate to offer a donation-based community closet with gender-affirming clothes to queer, trans, and non-binary students who are going through a transitory period of gender identity and expression. Project leaders include Yue Zhang, a first-year PhD Student in Biophysics; Gundeep Singh, a third-year PhD student in Biophysics; and Alex Pasqualini, a fourth-year PhD student in music & sound studies.
  • “CBE Diversity Day” – Planned and executed by CBE’s Diversity and Inclusion Program (DIP) with the support of the CBE department, an all-day event will offer various sessions related to diversity topics and serve as a networking opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, and professional student attendees. Project leaders include William (Will) Tait, a PhD candidate in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department; Richard Huang, a graduate student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department; Luis Nieves-Rosado, a graduate student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department.