Carnegie Mellon University

DEI Project Funds

The Department of English has committed to support projects related to our ongoing DEI work in English, CMU, and/or in our broader Pittsburgh community. These small grants are available to any member(s) of the Department of English (e.g. staff, special faculty, faculty, graduate students, and/or undergraduate students). They may be used for research (including classroom and teaching-based research), small action-oriented projects, or to convene small gatherings to discuss a DEI-oriented topic.

The department will offer two application rounds for DEI grants, one in the fall and one in the spring. Applicants may request up to $1,000, although the average award size will be $500 or less. Applicants may apply for grants to use toward individual or group-based projects. If an applicant is awarded, they may not apply again until the next academic year. Applications may be submitted by individuals and/or groups.

Submitting an application

To apply for an English Department DEI grant, submit a project description of up to 500 words to the DEI Committee ( answering the following questions:

  • What is the project, including title, objectives, expected outcomes, methods (if applicable), timeline, and assessment of impact?
  • How will the project help DEI efforts in English, CMU, and/or Pittsburgh?
  • How much funding is requested?
  • What will the funds be used for?

The application should include a title, a brief summary (25-50 words), your name, and your email at the beginning of the proposal. These items do not count toward the word count limit.

Each academic year, an ad-hoc committee will be selected by the DEI Committee chair to read, evaluate, and select applications to fund. Those awarded funds will be announced two weeks after the application deadline. 

2023-24 Schedule

Fall Semester

  • Announcement: November 13, 2023
  • Application deadline: December 4, 2023
  • Announcement of recipients December 15, 2023

Spring Semester

  • Announcement: April 12, 2024
  • Application deadline: May 5, 2024
  • Announcement of recipients May 17, 2024

Examples of uses for funds

  • Research funds (e.g. lodging, travel, admission fees, etc.)
  • Curriculum and syllabus (re)design
  • Survey or participant interview incentives (e.g., $25 gift cards)
  • Professional services costs (e.g. videographer, website developer, transcription services, etc.)
  • Transportation costs associated with the project
  • Childcare 
  • Book funds (e.g. funding support for reading groups, research, etc.) 
  • Honoraria for speakers or workshop leaders
  • Conference or professionalization training funds (e.g. registration fees, lodging, etc.) 
  • Food for coalition building gatherings 

Criteria for assessment

  • Projects that can further the department’s DEI agenda and demonstrate a valuing and understanding of DEI
  • Projects that demonstrate a local component and seek to benefit our immediate and/or surrounding communities

Priority will be given to the following:

  • Projects that have potential for substantial DEI related impact and outcomes
  • Projects that would be difficult to do without this funding
  • Individuals or groups who demonstrate a track record in advancing DEI
  • Individuals or groups who do not have access to other sources of funding
  • Individuals or groups who have not already received DEI project funds in an academic year

Administering the funds

The English department business manager will handle processing the funds to applicants. Based on the nature of the request, funds may be paid in advance or reimbursed after the fact.


The award recipient must submit a final financial summary and a programmatic report (1-2 short paragraphs) to the DEI committee ( upon project completion.

Spring 2022

Name Type Title
Richard Branscomb Research Working Group Rhetoric PhD Dissertation Working Group
Cody Januszko Research Participant Compensations "Yinz Smell That? Embodied Communication and Environmental Risk"
Laura McCann Research Participant Compensations "Countering The Race-Based Hyperfertility Narrative: A Qualitative Interview With Women Of Color Disclosing Infertility Online"
Ben Williams Research Working Group Race and Transnationalism Working Group
Kathy Newman Invited Speaker for Courses Speaker during Banned Books Weeks

Fall 2022

Name Type Title
Megan Heise Conference Attendance "Making Hope: Handcrafted Rhetorics as a Way to Encourage Invention, Reuse, and Resistance in Composing Communities." (A round table at 2023 Conference on College Composition and Communication)
Alan Kohler Speaker Series DEI Speaker Series in Professional and Technical Communication
Jane McCafferty Invited Speaker for Courses Narrative Medicine (Spring 2023)
Taia Pandolfi Speaker Series MAPW Professional Development Speaker Series
Apolline Tardy Research Participant Incentives "Amplifying the Voices of Students with Disabilities as Empowered Self-Advocates"
Mariam Wassif Invited Speaker for Courses "Race and Gender in the Age of Jane Austen"; (Fall 22) and "The Long Eighteenth Century" (Spring 23)

Spring 2023

Name Type Title
Baron Glanvill Conference Attendance "What We Know About The Kruger National Park: Representations Of Safari-Form"
Kiera Gilbert Research Travel "Tracing Riot Discourse: An Investigation of the Effects of White Supremacy on the Legibility of Black Activism"
Julie Kidder Research Working Group Summer 2023 English PhD Working group
Eunji Jo Website Development "Diasporic Voices in Translation: Building a Digital Archive of Contemporary Novels"
Stephen Wittek (Center for Print, Networks, and Performance) Public Lecture Public Lecture by Margo Hendricks.
Mariam Wassif Invited Speaker for Courses "Race and Gender in the Age of Jane Austen" (fall 23) and "Literature and Culture in the 19th Century" (fall 23)

Fall 2023

Name Type Title
Stephen Wittek (Center for Print, Networks, and Performance) Public Lecture Lecture by Patricia Akhimie
Dorothy Hammond Research Participant Incentives "Communication Technology Tools and Channels of Communication in Global Virtual Teams"
Ben Williams Guests for Roundtable Discussion Migrantes Valientes—Brave Migrants
Sarah Idzik Research Working Group Race and Ethnic Studies Reading Group
Eunji Jo Website Development "Diaspora Voices in Translation: Building a Digital Archive of Translated Works post-9/11"

Spring 2024

Name Type Title
Stephen Wittek (Center for Print, Networks, and Performance) Public Lecture Lecture by Mattie Burkert
Kathy M. Newman & Ben Williams Invited Speaker for Courses A speaker on the topic of "Prison Book Bans" during the Banned Books Week, September 22-28, - "Banned Books" (fall 24), "Books You Should Have Read By Now" (fall 24)
Ben Markey Research Participant Compensations "Identifying Bias In Teaching Assistant Assessment Of Student Writing In Statistics"
Courtney Novosat Research travel "Exhibiting the Rhetorics of Freedom in Rural Pennsylvania: Blairsville, Pennsylvania's UGRR History Center and Latrobe's Trump House"