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HCDE DEI Mini Grants

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is a group of community-elected faculty, staff, and student representatives serving as public advocates to represent the diverse needs and interests of our HCDE community. Through a range of initiatives, we help foster greater solidarity, care, and collective accountability within HCDE.

HCDE DEI Mini Grants support grassroots diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the department. Proposals can cover a wide range of community building, group training, and other DEI-related efforts. 

Mini Grant Application Form

About HCDE DEI Mini Grants

All students, staff, and faculty are invited to apply for awards of typically up to $700. Applications for greater than $700 may be considered if they are well-justified and demonstrate the potential to broadly impact the HCDE community. We intend to fund a maximum of two projects each year per applicant with the review panel prioritizing new applicants. Typically no more than one-third of the total budget for the year will be allocated per quarter.

Categories of DEI mini grant submissions include:

  • Events and programming that engage HCDE community members in equity work
  • Recruitment and admissions support for underrepresented groups
  • Compensation or support for participants from vulnerable groups
  • Project-based resources for efforts to support equity across teaching, mentorship and training (e.g. toolkit materials or printing)
  • Honoraria and/or travel for speakers from historically underrepresented groups
  • One-time coverage for inequitable costs (e.g. student travel visas or disability accommodations for academic conferences)

Students seeking funds to compensate participants from vulnerable groups for their time will need to clarify in the application what their study procedures are and how they will ensure that the work is conducted with dignity and respect. Please ensure that you have reviewed best practice for working with vulnerable groups (e.g., Creative Reaction Lab's Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide or Towards Equitable Design When We Design with Marginalized Communities).

Grant applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Proposals will be evaluated based on how much potential the activity has to impact the HCDE community or a subset thereof and how strongly the activity links to DEI goals of climate and community, teaching, learning, hiring, or outreach. Recipients will be required to submit a short report (300-500 words) following completion of the project.

To be fundable as a DEI Mini Grant, the grant must clearly contribute to the DEI mission of the HCDE department within or beyond the UW. Any award that does not address justice or equity concerns or actively works against those goals will not be considered for funding. DEI mini grants should not be combined with requests for capstone project funding unless: the capstone project is sponsored by a student team, the sponsor is a non-profit, or you have already discussed the proposal with HCDE DEI committee members.

Example projects

  • Payment for an early film screening of Coded Bias (a documentary addressing the cultural bias baked into AI systems)
  • Participant compensation in disability-justice mobile apps user study
  • Respondent compensation for increasing diversity of participants in design studio survey
  • Interviewee compensation for the development of a design and decolonization toolkit
  • Payment for equity-centered community partners in a hackathon
  • Spring DEI-field trip
  • DEI-specific mentorship activities

Grant structures

Category Structure Value Advantages
Long-term grant (renewal as a checkbox on proposal)
  • Grant disbursement upon successful submission
  • Option of submitting lightweight supplement proposal at later time for successive renewal
Up to $700 each
  • Covers larger projects with proven outcomes that require additional funding (potentially multi-year projects)
  • Criteria based on project performance/ outcomes and committee budget 
Student Affinity Group grant
  • Funding set aside for each affinity group to use 
  • Proposal required but is dedicated for group’s use
Up to $1,000 each
  • Encourages affinity groups to take advantage of funding for events and speakers
Targeted grant
  • DEI Committee identifies gap and puts out call for proposals on a particular topic
  • Disburses grant based on alignment to topic goals
Greater than $300 each
  • Jumpstarts proposal submissions with guidance on a topic for ideas for groups to submit for
  • Likely requires some level of supervision/goal-checking by Committee for larger value projects

Having trouble with your idea?

The HCDE DEI Committee offers guidance on DEI Mini Grant planning. Please reach out to the DEI Chair or any committee members with the subject line "DEI Mini Grant Planning Support."