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Seed Funds for Gender Inclusion

a small green sprout on a beige background. The text read, Northwestern's Office of Diversity and Inclusion wants to help your plan for a more all-gender inclusive campus grow.

Gender Inclusive Initiative (GII) Seed Funds 


Northwestern’s Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) is seeking proposals from staff, faculty, and students for seed funding for initiatives to promote gender inclusion on Northwestern’s campuses. 

Seed fund proposals must demonstrate how the project/initiative will foster inclusion, build community, educate stakeholders, or advance gender equity within the unit, department, or organization. Interdepartmental proposals are welcome. 


Seed funding may be used to support the development or expansion of projects, initiatives, and programs that seek to enhance gender inclusion at Northwestern in one of the following categories: climate; health; systems and policies; facilities; teaching and research. 

We are particularly interested in proposals that have the potential for high impact with a one-time or one-year application. Example project ideas include, but are not limited to: 

  • Trans-centered education and training for faculty, staff, and graduate/undergraduate students (climate; teaching and research) 
  • Modify existing course curriculum or develop a new course to incorporate gender inclusive practices (teaching and research) 
  • Conduct research that aims to create positive interventions or improvements in gender equity/inclusion (teaching and research) 
  • Guest speaker honorarium or travel (climate) 
  • Conference or institute attendance that builds skills in gender equity/inclusion with plans of impact back to campus (climate) 
  • Changing signage, letterhead, or other materials (facilities) 
  • Trans-centered social gatherings (climate) 
  • Gender affirming literature and resources (climate) 
  • Launching a new co-curricular program or series for students (climate) 
  • Campus based conference or symposium (climate) 
  • Departmental/unit field trips to relevant cultural events (climate) 
  • Technology to support gender equity/inclusion (systems and policies; health; climate) 

Seed funds are available in two categories: 

  • Smaller projects (e.g., community building events, local speakers, or smaller facility improvements such as signage) should be applied for in the $500 to $2500 fund pool. 
  • Larger undertakings (e.g., conferences, multiple speakers with travel expenses, or deeper renovations to space or materials) should be applied for in the $2501 to $5000 fund pool. 


The primary applicant(s) and collaborators may be full-time Northwestern University staff, faculty, and students. Staff and faculty applications require approval from budget managers within their units. Students may apply with an advisor’s approval or through an existing student organization with a SOFO account.  

The Gender Inclusive Initiatives Advisory Council will review all proposals and award seed funds. 


The deadline for proposal submission is July 31, 2023, at 5:00p.m. Awardees will be notified of decisions by the week of August 21, 2023.  


Project proposals will be submitted through a Qualtrics application portal. The application will require the following: 

  • Title/Working title of Project, Initiative, or Program workshopseeds
  • Names of applicants, including a designated contact 
  • Organization, unit, or departmental affiliation 
  • Project narrative (approximately 500 words) including: 
  • Rationale/interest in seed funds  
  • Overview of the proposed project 
  • Target audience 
  • Primary goals/outcomes 
  • Plan for measuring outcomes and defining success (e.g., impact) 
  • If/How this project may lead to future efforts to further promote or sustain gender inclusion within the unit/department 
  • Expected timeline for completion (funds must be processed within FY24) 
  • Budget amount requested 
  • Budget justification (rationale of expenses) 


Proposals will be reviewed by the GII Advisory Council on the following dimensions: pastel-colorful-simple-tips-for-grocery-saving-instagram-post.png

  • Rationale for interest in GII seed funds 
  • Fit of proposed project with focus of seed funds 
  • Potential innovations, contributions and likely impact of seed funding 
  • For larger (up to $5k) fund requests, degree of sustainability 
  • Appropriateness of timeline and budget 


Seed fund awardees will be expected to (1) complete brief quarterly project update forms (through the duration of the project), (2) attend a mid-year check in meeting with a subset of GII advisory council members, (3) write and submit a post-fund summary report of the project’s successes, challenges, and plans for continuation (where applicable), and (4) attend and present at an end-of-year celebration with all seed fund awardees.  

Awardees will also be asked to consent to having their project, program, or initiative featured on the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion’s (including the Women’s Center) website, social media, and other marketing materials.  

More information about these expectations will be provided to awardees at a later date.  


Applications should be submitted through the Qualtrics application portal using this link by July 31, 2023 at 5p.m. 

Any questions regarding the GII Seed Fund should be directed to Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Michelle Manno, at or Women’s Center Director, Sarah Brown, at 

Open Workshop on July Nineteenth

On July 19th, Michelle Manno and Sarah Brown, CoChairs of the Gender Inclusive Initiatives Advisory Council, will host a two hour open workshop for anyone affiliated with NU and interested in submitting a proposal. 

The first fifteen to twenty minutes will be spent going over the proposal process and what to expect once funds are awarded. After that, we will open up for questions and take one on one advising meetings in separate breakrooms. Folks are encouraged to drop in and out as they wish during this two hour period and may elect to stay and utilize the main zoom room as a coworking space through the duration. 

Registration with a valid NU email is required.
The info. portion at the start of the workshop will be recorded and available here after the 19th. 


Register for the Open Workshop on how to apply for Gender Inclusive Initiative Seed Grant Funds! 


Apply for Seed Grant Funds by July 31st!