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 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?

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.