James Madison University promotes access, inclusion and diversity for faculty, researchers and programs, believing that these are foundational components of outstanding research and education. The Inclusive Research and Pedagogies Seed Fund supports Academic Affairs’ mission of enhancing access, equity and inclusive excellence in faculty teaching, research and professional development.

The seed fund also promotes research practices that will impact and respond to student research, student learning/training and institutional culture as well as regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities.

Our definition of diversity aligns with JMU’s Policy 1302.

This initiative supports JMU’s Strategic Priorities outlined in Goals 2E, 4B, 4C and 8B:

  • Goal 2E:  The university will value a culture of diversity in teaching, research, and service.
  • Goal 4B: The university will prioritize a model of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to learning as pathways to innovation, knowledge creation, and problem-solving in our complex global environment.
  • Goal 4C: The university will provide appropriate levels of sustainable support, oversight, and accountability for students, faculty, and staff engaged in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors.
  • Goal 8B: The university will continue its commitment to the investment of resources to support a wide array of professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.

The Academic Affairs vision, as captured in the following strategic goals, aligns with the university goals:

  • AA Goal 1: There is a broad consensus that our future as a national university hinges on the establishment of a distinctive, JMU blend of liberal arts, research, and professional education.
  • AA Goal 2: Academic Affairs will pursue strategic initiatives, identified by DEI leaders, to support our continued transformation toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all stakeholders.

Therefore, the Office of Inclusive Strategies and Equity Initiatives (ISEI) and Research and Scholarship (R&S) are collaborating to provide at least five inclusive research and pedagogy seed fund awards annually for up to $4000 each.

The grants may support projects in critical DEI-responsive pedagogies and research. The grants will specifically seed projects that pilot new and innovative pedagogies and research that responds to the urgent DEI needs of our times and are expected to lead to external funding participation.

The ISEI office will support the seed funding while R&S will convene and incentivize the collaborative external funding application to follow the initial award. Funded initiatives will have great impact within and across identified relevant disciplines and help foster and sustain DEI.

Applicants can ask for funding that addresses the mission of ISEI, R&S and/or Academic Affairs through any of the following priorities:   

  1. Projects that will explore aspects of DEI within the academy or specific discipline.
  2. Projects on issues relating to sustainable research and advanced pedagogical practices that foster access, retention, diversity, and inclusion and may lead to external grants. 
  3. DEI research that will have great disciplinary, regional, national or global impact.
  4. Research that incorporates diversity and/or inclusivity in responding to a research or pedagogy gap at JMU and/or within a discipline.      
  5. Major grant writing DEI initiative.
Grant Guidelines
  • Applicants must be JMU faculty with research as one of their required areas of evaluation/job expectation.
  • Applicants must have the capacity to facilitate the academic research projects proposed.
  • Research proposed must have a significant DEI component.

Research, scholarship and creative endeavors from all disciplines at JMU are accepted.

The grant may not fund:

  • Salaries
  • Conference support
  • Food/drink/entertainment expenses
  • Purely instructional projects
  • Purely one-off research projects with no external funding or broader scalability of research to respond to a larger societal challenge or opportunity
  • Event programming
  • Syllabus development

Faculty may seek matching funds from departments or elsewhere for these costs.

Applicants may propose:

  • Projects to pilot new (or expanding) innovative initiatives which explore aspects of diversity in any discipline or that will have a significant impact across disciplines. Projects may also advance new DEI-responsive methodologies.
  • Projects on issues relating to sustainable AP-ISEI, ORS and Academic Affairs practices that foster access, retention, diversity, and inclusion at JMU and that will lead to external grants.
  • Projects with potential for future scaling up or expansion including application for externally funded research on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Proposals will articulate all of the following:

  • how the project will advance diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • plans to pursue external funding
  • broader impact of the research project beyond advancing faculty research trajectory
  • plans to disseminate (publish, present, exhibit, invent, etc.)
  • deliverables, outcomes, and metrics, if applicable
  • the role of students in the scholarly plans, if applicable
  • planned collaborations, if applicable (internal and/or external, within and/or external to your discipline).

Project Personnel

Potential Principal Investigator(s) and/or other personnel

Proposal Summary

Basic project idea summary

Budget and Budget Justification

This is a budget justification for the seed grant, not for the larger project. The applicant may, however, signal the larger ROI by including expected grants or other future fiscal benefits of grant in the proposal narrative.

Proposal Narrative

The (up to) 1000-word proposal narrative will include:

  • Project description
  • Project rationale and significance
  • Proposed research methodologies, instruments and participants, and procedures


Double-spaced. 12-point font. Style should be discipline-compliant and consistent.

Project Budget and Timeline

May not exceed one page combined

  • Conceptualization and significance of the project
  • Clear and feasible plan for seeking external funding
  • Alignment with the fund’s goals
  • Potential broader impact on institution, faculty and students
  • Feasibility and sustainability
  • Connection to timely research and theory
  • Innovative research design
  • Potential for replicability
  • Project team constitution
  • Effective project assessment plan
  • Organization and coherence of ideas
  • Potential for scalability or expansion

Articulate source and amount of matching funds, if applicable.

Applications Open

October 7, 2022

Full Proposal Deadline

January 31, 2023

Project with capacity for scalability and capacity for external funding application

External funding application

Email the completed proposal to submission to Sarah Burke at

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