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Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality

irise faculty

Professional Development & Research Grants

In order to apply for a Research/Creative Work Grant, please read through the following information as to grant purpose, guidelines, and eligibility.  

Grant Purpose

Many DU faculty members are already engaged in the study of (in)equality in their respective fields and the promotion of equality through their praxis. From issues of access and equity in education, to representation of women in the STEM fields, to engagement with national and international policy regarding equality, to the legal implications of legislating for equality, to the representation of historically excluded populations in media and art, DU faculty conduct research, and participate in local, national, and international research collaboratives for equality. However, this scholarship often occurs in isolation or is hampered by disciplinary boundaries and structures that weaken our ability to address the complex problems of the day.

In supporting research, scholarship, and creative works IRISE follows the principle that it is not enough to study (in)equality, but it is our responsibility to use the knowledge we acquire to promote changes leading to increased social justice and equality. The IRISE Research/Creative Work Grant aims to facilitate interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative works that seek to deepen our understanding of inequalities (including but not limited to race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation) that impact the quality of life for historically marginalized communities and/or to promote equality in historically underrepresented communities.

Potential Funding Options

IRISE may fund research up to $5000.00 per project per academic year. As appropriate to various applicant's disciplines, IRISE funds are intended to support either:

  1. Pilot Projects, that is, small-scale preliminary studies likely to demonstrate the viability or help improve the design of corresponding full-scale research endeavors;
  2. Short Term or Case Studies that can be completed within the award period;
  3. Creative Projects.

IRISE funds should be sufficient to accomplish the project and outcomes proposed; the project's success cannot be contingent upon receipt of additional funding. Most expenses for research, scholarship, and creative activity are eligible. Applications should address the production of scholarly/creative work rather than the presentation of work that has already been completed. Awards cannot be used for buy-out from teaching, for summer salary, or for overload during the academic year. Research assistance by students should be funded at the current prevailing rate for R.A.’s in your academic department. "Other" and "Miscellaneous" expenses should constitute no more than 10 percent of the total budget for the proposal. Funds ordinarily must be spent within 12 months of the date of the grant award. Grants are awarded with the expectation that the project will produce publishable results. Save for exceptional circumstances, a grant recipient will not be eligible to receive a second grant without documenting such performance with previous award. If you have questions about whether your activity meets the guidelines for funding, please contact IRISE

Grant Eligibility

IRISE research/creative work grants are open to all DU faculty, whether individually or in teams. Consistent with the mission of IRISE, grant proposals must illustrate interdisciplinary engagement. We define interdisciplinary as at a minimum research collaborations between at least two faculty in an academic unit who represent different scholarly paradigms. Preference will be given to teams that bridge departmental, divisional, academic unit, and/or college divides. Preference will also be given to projects that: increase diversity on campus; identify a grant that you will apply for in connection with this collaboration; offer an innovative approach to addressing inequality; and/or demonstrate engaged research.

Grant Proposal Considerations

Your grant application must address the following questions:

  1. How the proposed work engages thinking about at least one of the following social identities in connection to (in)equalities: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin, or religion?
  2. Is the project focused only on understanding and advancing knowledge of (in)equality, does it aim to have a practical impact in promoting equality, or both? If both, what is the proportional emphasis on each of these objectives?
  3. How is your project interdisciplinary? What disciplines are involved and how do they come into play through your proposed work?

Grant Proposal Requirements

Please fill out the Grant Application. There will be areas to upload the following requirements.

Grant Proposal
Your grant proposal should include the following:
    • Project Title
    • Abstract (100 word maximum): The abstract should be a brief summary of your grant proposal's key points.
    • Introduction & Literature (500 word maximum): Introduce the issues/theories/research you plan to address with your project. State the purpose of the project, relevant literature, and the proposal's interdisciplinary connection to the study of (In)equality.
    • Method and Procedures (500 word maximum): Describe your research or creative methodology/methods. Be sure to include research question(s), sample/subjects, data collection, and data analysis, as appropriate.
    • Potential Outcomes (200 word maximum): Discuss expected outcomes/impact of your project for both the institution, as well as larger understandings of (in)equitable systems.
    • Timeline (100 word maximum or small table): Provide a timeline of activities related to your project, including anticipated start and end dates and other important activities.
    • Budget (Itemized and justified account of needs; disclosure of other funding sources, and corresponding amounts, used for the project; no word limit).

References (as needed, no word limit)

Letter of Endorsement:
Include a supporting statement from your Dean or Department Chair indicating that the project is appropriate for the faculty involved, in consideration of their career development, and addressing the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed within the expected time.

If you are completing human subjects research, you will need to get approval from the University of Denver Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects. If your project involves animals, you will need approval from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Funds will not be granted until proof of approval is provided.

Grant Decision Procedure

Applications are available at

Application will be available until March 1, 2017. The IRISE Grant Committee will be reviewing applications and will announce the awardees in early May 2017.


A summary report on the project is due within one quarter after use of the funds. Reports should be addressed to Tom Romero, Assistant Provost for Inclusive Excellence Research and curricular Activities. All reports should include the following components: an accounting of how funds were expended; a description of activities undertaken and how each of these activities advanced the project goals; a discussion of the ways in which the project contributed to the faculty's research and professional development as well as how it helped further the objectives of engaging the participants and the community in the study of (in)equalities.