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UConn Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Research Initiative

Purpose:

The UConn JEDI Research Initiative aims to support innovative research, scholarship, and creative work in topic areas related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).  We seek to fund projects that have the potential to make significant contributions to ongoing scholarly/scientific/artistic conversations in these vitally important domains. Projects that aim to improve UConn’s competitiveness for emerging external funding opportunities related to JEDI or that propose novel interdisciplinary collaborations are particularly encouraged. Proposals from all disciplines are invited.

Topics that may be of interest under this initiative include:

  • Contributing factors to the growth/persistence of racism, bias, and/or inequities
  • The intersection of race, gender, class, sexuality, and/or ability
  • The impact of systemic racism or implicit bias on civic life
  • Development of research-based interventions designed to address/mitigate inequities
  • Novel approaches to raising awareness of or reflection on JEDI-related issues
  • Other topics consistent with the overall goal of understanding challenges related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and developing innovative solutions

Note: As the main purpose of this funding opportunity is to seed innovative research into JEDI-related topics, applications focusing on the implementation of internally focused JEDI trainings, events, speakers, etc. will not be considered under this program.

Timeline/Details:

  • Proposals are due July 1 August 15 by 12:00 noon (deadline has been extended)
  • Submissions should be made via the UConn Quest Portal.  The portal will open to receive applications by Monday, May 9.
  • Review will be conducted by a team of faculty and other scholars with expertise in JEDI-related research topics and methodologies.
  • Award notices are expected in September by December 1. Award setup will begin immediately after notice, pending the completion of compliance review.

Award Categories:

  • Level 1 - Faculty/Institutional Development - awards up to $5K
  • Level 2 - JEDI Scholarly/Creative Expansion - awards up to $20K
  • Level 3 - JEDI Research Expansion - awards up to $60K

Level 1 – Faculty/Institutional Development for JEDI (up to $5K) – Details

  • Provides funding in support of faculty seeking to position themselves for work on JEDI-related projects in the future.  Level 1 awards can also provide seed funds for certain JEDI-related institutional initiatives.
  • This level is designed to provide funding in support of:
    • faculty skill development, particularly in JEDI/DEI theoretical approaches and/or research methodologies for social impact research
    • networking activities for development of novel interdisciplinary partnerships that will lead to future work on JEDI-related research projects
    • the purchase or development of survey instruments or datasets for use in JEDI-related research projects
    • Climate surveys necessary for external funding strategies and/or thoughtful plans of action for institutional change.  Please reach out to the OVPR for more information if you are seeking funding for this kind of project
  • Awards may be used over 1 year
  • 3-5 Level 1 awards are expected
  • Note: the OVPR Scholarship Facilitation Fund (SFF) has been established to support small scale pilot projects, requests for publication support, and other costs related to the initiation and completion of research (see guidelines for details).  Smaller projects that are a strong fit for the SFF should be submitted to that program instead.

Level 2 – JEDI Scholarly/Creative Expansion (up to $20K) – Details

  • Provides funding in support of scholarly and creative projects with strong promise to make substantive contributions to JEDI-related conversations/areas of inquiry
  • This level is designed to provide funding for the development of scholarly monographs, journal articles, mid-scale pilot projects, community engagement projects, creative works, exhibitions, and performances—provided such works make contributions to JEDI-related discourses
  • Projects that include novel collaborations across disciplines are encouraged
  • Awards may be used over 1-2 years
  • 2-3 Level 2 awards are expected

Level 3 – JEDI Research Expansion (up to $60K) – Details

  • Provides funding in support of research projects designed:
    • To expand our understanding of factors leading to racism, bias, injustice, and/or inequity
    • To deepen our knowledge about the impact of racism, bias, injustice, and/or inequality on the health and well-being of individuals, specific groups, and society at large
    • To develop/test novel interventions designed to ameliorate the harms caused by systemic bias, injustice, and inequality or to advance the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
    • To implement research drawing on critical and/or justice-oriented methods and theories
  • This level is designed to develop and enhance the competitiveness of teams that are seeking external funding for JEDI-related projects.
  • Projects that transcend disciplinary boundaries, foster unique collaborations, or productively reshape fields of study/practice are strongly encouraged.
  • Awards may be used over 1-2 years.
  • 1-2 Level 3 awards are expected.

Additional Details and Eligibility

JEDI Research awards are available to individuals with a primary, full-time faculty appointment to UConn/UConn Health, within the following parameters:

  • Eligibility
    • Applicants (lead PIs) must be tenured/tenure-track, clinical, research, or in-Residence faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher.  Faculty of other ranks or titles, postdocs, staff, and community partners may serve as co-PIs, collaborators, or consultants.
    • Applicants may be from any department or discipline within the University, so long as the project makes a strong contribution to research topics/critical conversations strongly related to JEDI.
  • Submission Limits:
    • Eligible faculty may submit only one proposal for JEDI funding as PI, across all tracks.  There are no limits to how many proposals an individual may participate in as a co-PI or collaborator.
    • The same project cannot receive funds from JEDI and other OVPR internal award mechanisms (SFF, REP, SCHARP, etc.).
  • Faculty Salary: Salary support for any faculty PIs/co-PIs/collaborators is not allowable.
  • Additional approvals: Release of awarded funds will be contingent upon approval/confirmation of appropriate IRB protocols (if applicable).

Proposal Guidelines – Level 1

Proposals for JEDI Level 1 Awards should contain the following elements and adhere to the structure and guidelines indicated.  All length guidelines assume 1” margins, 11-12pt fonts, single spacing, and single side pages.

  • Quest Portal forms:
    • OVPR Faculty Applicant Information Form – brief form gathering information about you, as the PI of the project.  Some information will auto-feed based on your NetID and past submissions in Quest.
      • Submitting PI Name
      • Home Department
      • School/College
      • Email
      • Phone
      • Faculty/Academic Rank
      • Primary Employer
      • Question - is your position contingent on grant funding?
    • JEDI Application form – brief form gathering basic information about the project for the purpose of competition management.
      • JEDI Level/Category
      • Special Reviewer Expertise needed
      • Size of team (besides yourself)
      • Name/affiliation/project role of team members
      • Project title
      • Amount Requested
      • Resubmission Y/N (has the project previously been submitted for internal or external funding?)
      • Project Abstract/Lay Summary
      • Future Funding Targets (not required for level 1)
      • Results from prior OVPR-funded projects
  • Cover Page: Title of Project, Applicant information, and a list of collaborators.
  • Project Narrative: Describe the project and its anticipated outcomes.  Project narratives should address the following and not exceed 1 page for Level 1 Awards. References should be included and do not count against page limits.
    • Area of need: Succinctly describe the area of need / gap that you wish to address through this project.
    • Proposed work/plan: Briefly describe the specific activities that you propose undertaking.
    • Project Rationale: Provide a brief rationale explaining how your proposed activities will address the need/gap that you’ve identified and how the project will enable future JEDI-related scholarly/scientific/creative contributions.
  • Budget describing and justifying use of JEDI funds.  Please use the OVPR Internal Funding Budget Template.xlsx.
  • Updated CVs for all key project contributors that include recent work or work that is most relevant to the project proposed.

Proposal Guidelines – Level 2

Proposals for JEDI Level 2 Awards should contain the following elements and adhere to the structure and guidelines indicated.  All length guidelines assume 1” margins, 11-12pt fonts, single spacing, and single side pages.

  • Quest Portal forms:
    • OVPR Faculty Applicant Information Form – brief form gathering information about you, as the PI of the project.  Some information will auto-feed based on your NetID and past submissions in Quest.
      • Submitting PI name
      • Home department
      • School/College
      • Email
      • Phone
      • Faculty/Academic rank
      • Primary employer
      • Question - is your position contingent on grant funding?
    • JEDI Application form – brief form gathering basic information about the project for the purpose of competition management.
      • JEDI level/category
      • Special reviewer expertise needed
      • Size of team (besides yourself)
      • Name/affiliation/project role of team members
      • Project title
      • Amount requested
      • Resubmission Y/N (has the project previously been submitted for internal or external funding?)
      • Project abstract/lay summary
      • Future funding targets (optional for level 2)
      • Results from prior OVPR-funded projects
  • Cover Page: Title of Project, Applicant information, and a list of collaborators
  • Project Narrative: Describe the project and its anticipated outcomes.  Project narratives should address the following and not exceed 2-3 pages for Level 2 Awards. References should be included and do not count against page limits.
    • Project framing: Provide background on your project's field of study/practice to provide context for the work you are proposing.
    • Proposed Work: Describe the work you wish to accomplish through this project, scholarly/artistic approaches you may be drawing on, the specific activities you are proposing, and the expected products of the project (e.g. performances, exhibitions, publications, community-based projects, media, public engagements, etc.).
    • Impact/Outcomes: Explain the contribution your proposed activities will make to advancing JEDI-related goals/discourses, describing expected outcomes, their significance for your area of inquiry and society in general, and also your plans for extending/sustaining the impact of the work beyond the funding period (could include seeking follow-up external funding or plans for activities that build on the work proposed in the current project).
    • Access and Resources: If the project requires special technical expertise or resources, describe how this need will be addressed.  If the project requires access to archives/collections/resources at another institution, describe the arrangements that have been made to gain access to them.
  • Budget describing and justifying use of JEDI funds.  Please use the OVPR Internal Funding Budget Template.xlsx.
  • Updated CVs for all key project contributors that includes recent work or work that is most relevant to the project proposed.

Proposal Guidelines – Level 3

Proposals for JEDI – Level 3 funding should contain the following elements and adhere to the structure and guidelines indicated.  All length guidelines assume 1” margins, 11-12pt fonts, single spacing, and single side pages.

  • Quest Portal forms:
    • OVPR Faculty Applicant Information Form – brief form gathering information about you, as the PI of the project.  Some information will auto-feed based on your NetID and past submissions in Quest.
      • Submitting PI Name
      • Home Department
      • School/College
      • Email
      • Phone
      • Faculty/Academic Rank
      • Primary Employer
      • Question - is your position contingent on grant funding?
    • JEDI Application form – brief form gathering basic information about the project for the purpose of competition management.
      • JEDI Level/Category
      • Special Reviewer Expertise needed
      • Size of team (besides yourself)
      • Name/affiliation/project role of team members
      • Project title
      • Amount Requested
      • Resubmission Y/N (has the project previously been submitted for internal or external funding?)
      • Project Abstract/Lay Summary
      • Future Funding Targets (required for level 3)
      • Results from prior OVPR-funded projects
  • Cover Page: Title of Project, Applicant information, and a list of collaborators
  • Project Narrative: Describe the project and its anticipated outcomes.  Project narratives should address the following and not exceed 5 pages for Level 3 Awards. References should be included and do not count against page limits.
    • Project framing: Provide background on conversation/area of inquiry with which your project will engage to provide context for the work you are proposing.  Be sure to clearly identify and describe the problem/issue/gap in knowledge/obstacle to be overcome that your project will address.
    • Proposed work: Describe the work you wish to accomplish with this project. Explain the scholarly/scientific approach and any theoretical or methodological framework you are applying, the specific activities that you propose undertaking to advance your project, and the anticipated outputs or products of that work.  Proposals should specifically address the ways in which the project is innovative/novel/transformative compared to existing work in your area of inquiry.
    • Impact and outcomes: Explain how your proposed activities will address the JEDI-related problem/issue/gap/obstacle you’ve identified, describing expected outcomes, their significance for your area of inquiry and society in general, and also how the work done in this project will prepare your team to be competitive for the external funding opportunities you are targeting.
    • Expertise/Skills, Access, and Resources: If the project requires special technical expertise, describe how this need will be addressed.  If the project requires access to particular resources or study populations, describe the arrangements that have been made to gain access to them.  If your project includes collaboration, describe how the skills and expertise of each team member contributes to the success of the project and explain how the collaboration is innovative/novel compared to what is common within your discipline.
  • Budget describing and justifying use of JEDI funds.  Please use the OVPR Internal Funding Budget Template.xlsx
  • Updated CVs for all key project contributors that includes recent work or work that is most relevant to the project proposed.

Budget Guidelines

  • Allowable costs include: graduate research assistant salary (AY and Summer), Storrs/Regional Campus faculty summer salary ($3K limit, 9/10-month faculty only), postdoc or other research assistant salary, undergraduate researcher salary, Storrs/Regional Campus faculty course buyouts (approval letter from department head required), fringe costs, equipment purchases, travel to conduct research or meet with collaborators, materials and supplies, participant costs, contractual services.
    • Note: Course buyout funding will be limited to one per PI/co-PI per award and will be limited to the minimum adjunct rate for the course being bought-out (not a percentage of the PI’s salary).  PIs requesting buyouts must explain why release time is vital for the project.
  • Unallowable costs include: clerical or administrative personnel salaries, including personnel whose primary purpose is to explore funding sources and/or prepare funding applications; faculty academic year salary; institutional memberships in professional organizations; travel to professional meetings to present the results of the research; travel to explore extramural funding opportunities; costs associated with the publication of results of the research, including page charges, purchase of reprints, or journal costs.  Generally speaking, basic office equipment such as computers/laptops/tablets are not supported on OVPR awards unless the equipment meets a specialized need within the project which cannot be met through equipment from other sources.

Please use the OVPR Internal Funding Budget Template.xlsx

Review Criteria for Level 2 and Level 3 Awards

Significance/Importance

The "significance" criterion evaluates the degree to which the project as described addresses an scholarly/artistic/scientific challenge that is well defined, well contextualized, and of great importance/consequence for the field.  Reviewers will consider:

  • The degree to which the proposal clearly defines the issue/gap/challenge the project will address
  • The degree to which the proposal clearly contextualizes/situates the area of focus within the large field of study or practice
  • The degree to which the area of focus is of high importance for JEDI-related discourses
  • The degree to which success within the area of focus can advance JEDI-related goals/discourses and improve competitiveness for JEDI-related external funding (if applicable)

Approach/Timeline

The "approach/timeline" criterion evaluates clarity, coherence, and theoretical/methodological soundness of the specific activities the applicant proposes.  Reviewers will consider:

  • The degree to which the proposal describes the work to be accomplished in a clear and sufficiently detailed manner
  • The degree to which the activities are described as part of a coherent plan of action that is well reasoned and sound
  • The degree to which any theoretical or methodological frameworks employed in the work are clearly articulated, well conceptualized, appropriate to the context, and appropriately applied
  • The degree to which the plan of work includes a well developed and reasonable timeline for completion

Innovation/Novelty

The "innovation/novelty" criterion evaluates whether the project stands out as particularly groundbreaking or innovative in comparison to other work in this domain.  Reviewers will consider:

  • The degree to which the project proposes creative/fresh approaches to JEDI-related challenges
  • The degree to which the proposed activities/methodologies are groundbreaking rather than incremental improvements on/expansions of established approaches

Feasibility and Resources

The "feasibility" criterion evaluates whether the project is achievable as described, given available resources and expertise.  Reviewers will consider:

  • To what degree is the project, as described in proposal, achievable?  Are there any concerns about feasibility?  If so, does the proposal anticipate possible problems and articulate alternative approaches?
  • If specialized skills or special access are required for completion of the project, to what degree does the proposal establish their availability?

Team

The "team" criterion evaluates the expertise of those participating in the project, their fitness for the work proposed, and the strength/importance/innovation of any collaborative efforts proposed.  Reviewers will consider:

  • The degree to which the members of the team well prepared and well suited to carry out the project
  • The degree to which the members of the team have complementary expertise
  • If the project includes a novel collaboration, compared to what is common in their discipline(s), to what degree does this unusual collaboration add something meaningful to the project?

Project Evaluation Guidelines

After JEDI awards are made, the OVPR would like to check in with awardees periodically to evaluate project progress and to learn about the impact of the work that has been done.

In the short term, the OVPR will follow up with awardees at the end of each year during the award period.  If the award was given for multiple years, we will ask for a brief update on how your project is progressing and for an updated budget for the following year.  If significant budget changes are needed at any point within an award period (i.e., because of unanticipated delays, new costs, significant shifts of funding between categories), awardees may contact research@uconn.edu to work out a revised budget.

After the award period has ended, we would like to continue receiving updates on outcomes as a result of the award.  We understand that the full realization of many projects may appear some time after the funded work is complete.  Therefore, the OVPR will reach out to awardees (via email) to request follow-up reports on JEDI projects annually for several years following the completion of the award period.  We’ll be interested in hearing about the results of your project, the significance of those results, and gathering statistics about graduate students supported, publications, external awards received, other projects launched, etc.

Program Contacts

  • Administrative contact: Matt Mroz, PhD, OVPR Internal Funding Coordinator. research@uconn.edu; 860.486.6378

 

  • Program Director: Michelle Williams, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research Development and Executive Director of Operations. michelle.williams@uconn.edu.  860.486.3001