Africana Studies Institute (ASI) Call for Graduate and Undergraduate Proposals

Africana Studies Institute (ASI) Call for Graduate and Undergraduate Proposals


Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research on Women & Girls of Color


In November 2015, the White House Council on Women and Girls announced a new initiative on women and girls of color – the Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research—during a summit co-hosted by the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University. The Collaborative to Advance Equity through Research, which the University of Connecticut joined in 2015, consists of more than fifty colleges, universities and non-profit organizations committed to studying and addressing the educational, health and social services disparities faced by women and girls of color. Through generous support from the Provost’s Office and the Office of the CLAS Dean, and hosted within the Africana Studies Institute, UConn’s Collaborative to Advance Equity aligns with Africana’s goals to prioritize research and collaboration that target health disparities and injustice as well as the health and well-being of populations both racialized and gendered. We now seek relevant proposals from undergraduate, graduate, and student-faculty collaborators to conduct research during 2021. The submission deadline (including reference letters sent directly to Africana by the recommender) is November 20, 2020.


In line with the goals of the Africana Studies Institute and the national Collaborative, research projects must focus on historical and/or contemporary biases that have and continue to lead to social and health disparities among women and girls of color, including but not limited to mental health; educational disparities and resource distribution, technologies of education and inequities, books and learning materials to promote girls and women’s mental, physical, and/or intellectual well-being; environmental health; maternal, fetal, and infant health from conception to delivery and beyond. Works that investigate the impacts of the ongoing global pandemic (such as the economic burden and toll of disease; inequalities in the way we organize and reward care; and the role of public policy in combating health crises that affect women and girls of color) are also encouraged. We solicit community outreach/field-based research; work with data and/or archival documents, digital research and/or analysis. Awardees will present their research subsequent to the award period at a symposium on research on women and girls of color. We expect to fund several proposals at the range of $500 to $3,000, with undergraduates awards not to exceed $1,500 and graduate awards not to exceed $3,000.


Graduate Student Applications

To be considered, successful graduate student applications must have the following components: 1) a project cover sheet 2) a project narrative with statement of purpose, methods, theories, scholarly questions, goals, and intended audience, a timeline for the work to be conducted, expected outcomes and dissemination of the research (see below) and the project’s significance to advance both equity for women and girls of color and the student’s work towards degree) (maximum of 700 words, single-spaced, at least 12pt font) 3) a brief statement outlining any prior research experience 4) 1 reference letter 5) an itemized budget 6) short (2-page maximum) CV


Undergraduate Student Applications

Undergraduates will complete the attached form, which seeks information similar to that required of graduate student proposals as well as promotes undergraduates’ experience in preparing strong funding applications.


All proposals

For consideration, any proposal (graduate or undergraduate) must include the following support documents:


  1. Application cover sheet with name, project title, advisor, unit affiliation, year in school, and any other information to identify you as the applicant.
  2. A proposal narrative (not to exceed 700 words) that includes 1) A discussion of the project’s research contribution and wider significance to advancing equity for women and girls of color (describe the basic ideas, problems, works, or questions the study will examine, and the contribution of the proposed project and why it is important) 2) A work plan that outlines the proposed timeline or schedule that the applicant will follow to execute their work 3) Intended audience and planned distribution of the research conducted. Indicate whether it will be disseminated or used to support greater depth of research for future projects 4) a brief statement of materials to be used, which outlines accesses needed to particular archives, collections, or institutions.
  3. Statement of research competences/skills (what is the applicant′s competence in the skills, techniques and/or languages needed for the study) (between 100 and no more than 300 words)


  1. 1 and no more than 2 letter(s) of recommendation (by an advisor, instructor, faculty collaborator, etc. that speaks to the student’s research experience, preparation to conduct the research, and importance of the funds to complete the proposed project) sent by the recommender directly to by the November 20, 2020 deadline.


  1. 1 to 2-page itemized budget with costs for travel, accommodations, reproduction, institutional access, etc.


  1. A current, short CV (no more than 2 pages)

NOTE: If human subjects are involved all IRB approvals are required before beginning research.

Adjudication Process for All Proposals

All proposals will be subject to a preliminary vetting process by a review board within the Africana Studies Institute to determine basic project eligibility, suitability, conceptualization, applicant preparedness, and general appropriateness for funding. Proposals successful at this stage then undergo qualitative review by the CLAS Dean’s Office. Those that receive a positive evaluation at this level will be ranked and funds awarded up to total funds available for this cycle. Priority is given to proposals from graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Collaborations between a faculty member and a student are eligible for funding as well. Proposals that clearly envisage a publication or other form of community dissemination, or a larger external research grant proposal will be prioritized as well.


Application submission deadline is November 20, 2020, with awards decided on or before January 11, 2021 (funds can be used anytime during 2021). Submit proposals to Amanda Cannada, Program Assistant for ASI: Questions should be posed to Africana Studies Institute director Dr. Melina Pappademos (