Professional Development Grants

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together, we have to talk.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
“We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish together as fools.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Humankind is surely going to destroy itself unless it succeeds in growing into something like a single family…for this, we must become familiar with each other.” -Arnold Toynbee

What are diversity and inclusion professional development grants?

As a member of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), you can apply for a grant of up to $1,000 to further your learning in the areas of diversity, multiculturalism, equity or social justice. These funds are available on an annual basis. The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (190G Coffey Hall) accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the fiscal year. You may submit a proposal anytime as long as all awarded funds are spent by the end of the fiscal year.

The primary purpose of the grants grogram is to complement, build and strengthen staff development related to issues of diversity and inclusion. CFANS defines diversity as the fact of human difference that makes a difference in how we interact with one another, communities, institutions and ourselves (relative to developing and respecting human potential, creating a supportive, nurturing climate and environment and acknowledging legal responsibilities to historical inequalities). Because of circumstances unique to our nation and to our democracy, we pay particular attention to the areas outlined in the University of Minnesota’s equal opportunity statement. Those areas include: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status and sexual orientation. 

It is to the special acknowledgement, appreciation, suppor, and celebration of those differences while strengthening the college, our communities and democracy that we target this grant program. Applicants are asked to think about and describe the level at which learning, growth and change can occur as a result of receiving a grant: personal, interpersonal, institutional and/or cultural. Special consideration will be given to applications that demonstrate a greater impact with a wider audience.

Who should apply to this grant program?

All full-time CFANS personnel are eligible to apply for a grant—regardless of their role within the organization.

What can the funds be used for?

• Books, videos, learning and resource materials
• Professional conference registration fees, online courses and/or credit courses related to diversity, multiculturalism, equity, social justice education or related areas
• Travel expenses for workshops and conferences related to diversity, multiculturalism, equity, social justice or related areas
• Longer-term immersion experiences that will provide significant contact across boundaries of human difference

What are examples of multicultural staff development initiatives?

• Develop partnerships with new, diverse or historically underserved groups that you haven’t worked with before.
• Develop new working relationship with multicultural communities (Hmong, Russian, Native American, and African American, etc.) and determine appropriate responses to serve their needs.
• Purchase resources to assist you and others in working with people with disabilities.
• Identify ways to work with the GLBT community on campus and in the college.
• Attend a local, regional or national institute, conference or workshop that focuses on issues of diversity and multiculturalism.
• Build a local resource library and create a plan to involve staff, volunteers, young people and/or community partners in ongoing learning about issues of diversity, multiculturalism, equity, inclusiveness or related areas.
• Attend an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) certification workshop.
• Enroll in an intensive language development class in a language other than English that is frequently spoken in Minnesota.
• Participate in a project on an American Indian Reservation.

How many awards will be given during this round?

The number of awards is varies, depending on available funds. 

How do I apply for a diversity and inclusion grant?

Complete the application form and return it to the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (Attn: Karl Lorenz, 190G Coffey Hall).

When will I be notified if I've received a grant?

Submissions are reviewed on a bi-weekly basis. Submit your proposal early to ensure that funding is available.

How will I obtain the funds if I am chosen to receive a grant?

If your grant is approved, as with any other professional development expense, you will need to complete a University Employee Expense Worksheet (Form UM 1612). On the bottom right-hand corner of the Worksheet, you will write the EFS number assigned to this grant program and include the amount not to exceed the amount of your award. The proper EFS number will be provided to you in your award letter. You can, of course, supplement your award amount from other professional development resources available to you. Please indicate this on the budget section of the application. Your grant funds must be spent by the last day of the fiscal year.

What are the reporting requirements?

Individuals awarded these grants must submit a short evaluation form that describes the funded effort or experience, including supporting data as to the impact (changes/benefits) of the experience. The required evaluation form will be sent to you with your award letter.

If you would like more information about the diversity and inclusion professional development grant program, please contact Karl Lorenz at 612-624-9299 (