Applications for the 2022-23 Academic Year will reopen shortly.
Only applications submitted through Qualtrics will be reviewed.
IDEA Innovation Grant Program Goals
The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) Innovation Grants Program is a university-wide initiative that demonstrates how we can join together as a community to support institutional change. Taking an active role to build a beloved and inclusive community is the responsibility of us all. IDEA Innovation Grants offer a way for creative, innovative, and grassroots efforts to join in the larger institutional strategy.
The New Brunswick program has three goals:
- To fund creative projects that advance the university goal to recruit, retain, and develop a diverse community.
- To promote the development of initiatives and programs that support and/or sustain relationships with community organizations and entities, such as local schools, non-profit agencies, etc.
- To equip individuals with the cross-cultural skills necessary to engage with others in ways that foster dialogue, enable understanding and promote resilience when conflict occurs.
Highest consideration will be given to projects that:
- Involve collaboration (across units, communities, and/or by faculty/staff/learner/unit makeup)
- Promote cross-campus, intergroup, and partnership approaches to support community-building.
- Have the potential for a significant impact (e.g., sustainable, replicable, and/or far-reaching)
- Include outcomes that are impactful, meaningful, clearly outlined, and measurable.
Priority Funding Areas
Climate, Culture, and Community building
Access, Advocacy, and Equity
Training, Learning, and Development
Faculty, students, postdoctoral trainees, and staff affiliated with Rutgers–New Brunswick are eligible to apply. Projects proposed by staff in the central administration must be done in partnership with/and for the benefit of Rutgers–New Brunswick or propose a project that cuts across all Chancellor-led units. We will make awards across all campus roles and strongly encourage applications from all members of the campus community.
- Student applicants must be affiliated with a registered student organization with a budgetary account number or have the administrative support of their academic department in order to transfer funding. A letter of recommendation from the students’ sponsor or Campus Office collaborator (e.g., faculty member or appropriate representative from a university office/center or student organization) must be included as an attachment with the application.
- If the activity would require certain partnerships to come to fruition within or beyond the campus, those partners should be identified and have signed on to the application at the time of submission. Projects that propose a partnership with community organizations and entities, such as local schools, non-profit agencies, etc., will require a letter of support to be submitted with the proposal.
- Feasibility that the project can be completed in the time outlined.
- Budget feasibility and realistic accounting for costs;
- Costs or fees associated with any outside speakers must be reflected in the budget.
- IDEA Innovation Grants cannot be used to fund the following types of activities:
- individual travel;
- personnel costs (e.g., salary for a current Rutgers employee and/or student worker salaries);
- publication costs; and
- conference fees, etc.
Grants range from $250 to $2,500. Grants exceeding $2,500 require cost-sharing with another office. Funds are considered one-time seed funds. Examples include:
- creating a learning community to promote the development of knowledge or skill-building through a facilitated reading group, series of workshops, or training and planned activities to extend the skills learned;
- creating a key resource to fill a campus need that will advance an inclusive culture;
- innovations in teaching and performance that aim to promote inclusion in the classroom;
- activities that promote community-building, using an intergroup, multi-unit, or partnership approach; and
- improving communication across difference.
Applicants must submit a completed budget. See samples below for guidance.
Item Description Cost Resource Resource Creation $400 Supplies Event Supplies $100
Item Description Cost Books
Burgstahler's "Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice" at $34/copy x 16 people
Evans, Broido, Brown, and Wilke's "Disability in Higher Education: A Social Justice Approach" at $28.50/copy x 16 people
$1,000 Refreshments Breakfast for participants $700 Workshop Trainer Workshop fee for external Universal Design Learning expert trainer for three workshop sessions $1,800
$3,500 Cost Sharing Center for Student Success research contribution $1,000
As a condition of receiving the grant funds, awardees are required to assist in sharing their experience with their campus/RBHS community, for example, through department newsletters, publications, and/or websites. Awardees are also expected to attend the IDEA symposium to showcase their project and highlights its impact on the university or surrounding community. Awardees must also complete a standardized final report limited to 1000 words that describes:
- Program goals and objectives: What was the need? How was the identified need addressed and how effective was the project?
- Project evaluation, outcomes, and impact: Describe how the project effectiveness and its success was determined and evaluated.
- Sustainability: How will the program continue? If applicable, describe future plans to continue, extend, or modify this program.
- Final budget: Financial record to include all direct expenditures and receipts.
Appendices (if applicable): Share any publications about the project through presentations, articles, press releases or other products created, such as websites, course materials or modules etc.
- Application Deadline: November 1, 2022 at 12:00PM ET
Please check your chancellor-led unit's pages for timelines, application details, and more. Only applications submitted through Qualtrics will be reviewed.
Attend a Virtual Information Session
Spring 2022 RU–NB IDEA Innovation Grant Awardees
Kaylin Padovano and Simone Snyder, School of Social Work
The movement to end violence against women has historically silenced Black survivors’ experiences, marginalized and criminalized Black communities and ignored the work of Black women within the movement. Rutgers’ sexual violence services and prevention initiatives strive towards inclusivity, anti-racism and reconciliation; however, this cannot be done without healing and repairing the historical harms caused by healing and ultimately shifting power within our own spaces as researchers, providers and advocates. Utilizing a restorative, racial healing model Black Women’s Blueprint— leaders of the movement to place Black women’s lives squarely within the broader political as well as civil and human rights concerns of African American communities in the U.S.—will provide a [# of days] workshop to Center for Research to End Violence (REV) and Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) faculty and staff. These sessions will include: conducting an intercultural assessment of our center/offices, learning ways to decolonize anti-violence work, unpacking issues of guilt and belonging and building trust to move towards healing and repairing harm in order to better serve all survivors at Rutgers.
Hajar Shirley, School of Communication and Information
Amanda Potter, Zimmerli Art Museum
The Vaccination Equity Education Coalition is a community centered effort toward building vaccination confidence that will be achieved by a new
collaboration across the Rutgers University community, school nurses, and elementary school educators and students.
The Vaccination Equity Education Coalition is designed with three project goals/ aims:
1) Execute a three-hour design thinking, experiential workshop with school nurses, elementary school educators, and students at Zimmerli Art Library to co-create a student-led social innovation educational challenge that will launch in the 2022-2023 academic year. Participants of this workshop will return to their organization and become educator ambassadors of the Vaccination Equity Education Coalition;
2) Execute the History of Vaccination Social Innovation Challenge at Cedar Hill Prep School during the 2022-2023 academic year. The student innovators will be mentored by Rutgers-NB students and will showcase their work becoming ambassadors of vaccine equity shaping future cohorts; and
3) Establish an implementation framework to digitally scale the History of Vaccination Social Innovation Challenge across New Jersey in the 2023-2024 academic year. The educator ambassadors (i.e. goal 1 participants) will leverage the existing New Jersey Educator Association network to disseminate this social innovation challenge across New Jersey.
Briana Bivens, School of Graduate Studies
Corina Hernandez, Douglass College
The goal of the Mentoring for Social Justice and Community-Building Project is to foster mutually beneficial relationships between current graduate students and undergraduates committed to aligning their scholarship, advocacy, and collaborations with social justice principles. Through training graduate students in justice-oriented approaches to mentorship and partnering a cohort of graduate student mentors with Douglass undergraduate mentees, the project aims to generate sustainable near-peer mentoring relationships shaped by common interests, experiences, or aspirations.
Lauren Snedeker, School of Social Work
Tracy Davis, School of Health Professions
According to a report from the 2018 U.S. Census, 1 in every 5 U.S. residents will be retirement age by the year 2030. It is important to us as faculty, who represent different fields and industries that work with older adult community members, to ensure that students across different programs are educated about the aging experience (and process) in the U.S. today and are prepared to engage and support older adult community members in their respective professions post-grad. The goal of our project is to develop a taskforce on aging that unites faculty and staff across Rutgers University–New Brunswick working with this population to design and distribute a university-wide survey to fellow Instructors to assess whether they are including content on aging in their courses, how they are infusing this, and their comfort level in discussing this content. The taskforce will develop a toolkit for instructors with resources and classroom activities based on the survey results. There will also be a meet and greet event to introduce the members of the taskforce to the Rutgers University–New Brunswick community, share findings from this project, and bring awareness to the importance of age inclusivity.
2021 RU-NB IDEA Innovation Grant Awardees
Alexandria Bauer, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (Postdoctoral associate); Peggy Swarbrick, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (Faculty)
This project will develop a resource toolkit to promote cultural humility among mental health providers (e.g., psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers). The comprehensive toolkit will include psychoeducational resources on cultural humility, such as narrated Powerpoint presentations on ways to assess and incorporate relevant cultural characteristics into treatment; podcast-style recordings on how mental health providers can begin to discuss and address culturally relevant aspects of treatment; educational materials on diverse populations and intersectional experiences; and handouts, tools, and measures based on cultural considerations for providers to use throughout treatment. These materials will be developed as an online resource on the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies (CAS) website, with additional promotion through professional networks and other channels.
Anita Bakshi, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Faculty); Holly Nelson, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Faculty); Jameson Sweet, School of Arts and Science (Faculty)
This project proposes to create a physical space on campus that acknowledges Native American history and celebrates the continued presence of Indigenous communities in our state. We plan to research, design, and install a garden on Rutgers Cook Campus composed of plants significant to Native American communities for medicinal, ceremonial, and agricultural uses.
Samir Patki & Prasiddha Sudhakar, School of Arts and Sciences (Undergraduate student)
Rutgers Hindu Students Council will be conducting Hinduphobia training to understand and navigate the Hinduphobia students and communities face in their lives. This project will simultaneously promote scholarly research into Hindu culture and history which is underrepresented in academia.
Priscilla Pinto Ferreira, School of Arts and Sciences (Faculty)
The CO-OPs of color & mutual-aid international solidarity project will bring together members of the Rutgers and NJ/NY communities for a global learning experience about cooperativism and mutual aid organized by Black and Latinx women in the US and Latin America. This project will build an international community of learning and cooperation between Black and Latinx domestic worker co-ops in the NJ/NY/PA area and majority-Black favelas in Brazil. It will educate the Rutgers community about the intersections of class/race in social enterprise through an international virtual panel centering on Black and Latinx co-op organizing in the US and Brazil.
Kimberly Cook-Chenault, School of Engineering & Graduate School of Education (Faculty); Saundra Tomlinson-Clarke, Graduate School of Education (Faculty)
The overarching goal of this project is to provide a mechanism for enhancing the climate, culture, and training of educators in STEM fields via a series of targeted seminars framed on providing inclusive and accessible engineering education pedagogy and practices through a collaboration between the School of Engineering and Graduate School of Education.
Christopher Manente, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (Staff); Courtney Butler, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (Staff)
Neurodiversity describes how diverse we are from a neurological perspective and suggests that variation of the human brain should be accepted as a spectrum of the human population. The goal of our project is to develop a taskforce on neurodiversity that will conduct a university-wide survey, hold multiple stakeholder focus groups to identify the needs and priorities of Rutgers’ neurodivergent community and those positioned to support the success of this group, and host an event at the Rutgers Center AAS focused on neurodiversity at Rutgers to share our findings and raise awareness about issues surrounding neurodiversity within our campus community.
Amanda Potter, Zimmerli Art Museum (Staff); Whitney Prendergast, Zimmerli Art Museum (Staff)
In conjunction with the Zimmerli Art Museum’s current exhibitions “Angela Davis – Seize the Time” and “Stitching Time: The Social Justice Collaboration Quilts Project,” which underscore the power of art to illuminate, humanize, and otherwise drive participation in the work of social justice, we propose to work with Social Justice Collaboration Quilts Project co-founder Maureen Kelleher on a series bringing members of the community on- and off-campus together to explore the arts as an instrument of change. The programs, envisioned as a series of workshops to be held in the spring semester, will combine both in-gallery exploration and facilitated conversation about the wide-ranging impacts of mass incarceration and other social justice issues raised in the Zimmerli’s exhibitions with hands-on collaborative art-making, primarily through quilting/fabric arts.
Lauren Kelly, Graduate School of Education (Faculty); Caitlin Petre, School of Communication and Information (Faculty)
As a partnership between faculty from Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) and School of Communication and Information (SCI), this project seeks to cultivate youth activism and community-building by training high school and college students as current leaders and future educators at an annual Youth Leadership Training Institute. Hosted at Rutgers University, the Institute which will provide mentorship and training for current and future youth leaders and organizers.
Spring 2020 Diversity Innovation Grant Awardees
Victoria Banyard, School of Social Work (Faculty)
Rutgers faculty, staff, and students of the School of Social Work Center on Violence Against Women and Children and the Department of Labor Relations Center on Women and Work received training in Photovoice during an intensive two-day, hands-on workshop in the spring of 2020. The purpose of this training was to better position Rutgers researchers to engage with marginalized communities in inclusive research design, development of interventions, and in communicating with policy makers and other stakeholders. Photovoice is a qualitative research strategy that documents voices from marginalized communities about social problems where they can express their ideas and suggest solutions.
Patricia O'Brien-Richardson, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (Faculty)
January 29, 4-7 p.m., Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
The 2020 CROWN Conference aimed to educate and illuminate the campus and the community at large on a single, unifying topic everyone can relate to: hair. This conference sought to address and explore the impending CROWN Act in New Jersey, an act aimed at eliminating hair discrimination via a multi-prong and interdisciplinary approach of education, advocacy, policy, community engagement, public health, social justice, and human rights. This opens the gateway to address pervasive systemic issues, such as hair discrimination, with the goal of bridging a culture of equity towards systems transformation. The conference was open to the campus and the larger community to build capacity and knowledge for advocacy as part of a community of solutions for change.
Marcy Shwartz, School of Arts and Sciences (Faculty)
This project provided a four-week reading and discussion program through People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos at the Unity Square Community Center in New Brunswick. The program brought together Spanish-speaking residents from the Unity Square neighborhood and Rutgers undergraduates from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese to read short stories in Spanish and share their own life experiences through an exploration of the story.
Raquel Vega, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Staff)
The 4-H Youth Development program at the School of Environment and Biological Sciences (SEBS) has been working on developing and expanding partnerships with New Brunswick youth through collaborations with the New Brunswick School District. To promote family involvement in high-risk communities, the SEBS Department of Youth Development collaborated with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WISCIENCE (Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement) department to develop a training and service learning program for Rutgers scientists and undergraduates in STEM disciplines to teach after school Family Science Programs within the local K-8 school district to underserved youth.
Cassandra Oliveras-Moreno, Mason Gross School of the Arts (Staff)
The proposed project was a Freedom of Expression workshop presented by Mason Gross School of the Arts, The New Brunswick Community Arts Council, and Highland Park Arts Commission, as part of Windows of Understanding 2020. The workshop addressed freedom of speech and expression in the classroom and wider community, particularly as it pertains to the arts. It was facilitated by a panel of representatives of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an organization committed to supporting and advocating for marginalized voices. The 2020 project ran from January 20–February 29 and focused on the themes of Immigration, Mental Health, Mass Incarceration, Food Insecurity, Violence, and LGBTQ+ issues.
David Goldman, School of Arts and Sciences (Staff)
“What Your Students Want You to Know” was a program designed to give our diverse student population the opportunity to educate faculty on their experience here at Rutgers. Inverting the typical power dynamic of the classroom, panelists had a platform to share their perspectives as members of minority student groups and to address questions from an audience of interested faculty members. This program brought together the School of Arts and Sciences Office of Undergraduate Education with the Cultural Center Collaborative, student organizations, and faculty. This conversation helped faculty see their students more fully, beyond the constraints of the classroom environment.
Ilona Arnold-Berkovits, School of Social Work (Staff)
The purpose of the event was to present and discuss an unusual approach to promoting and sustaining diversity and inclusion: increasing the probability of college acceptance for students from high schools with higher proportions of economically disadvantaged students. This approach would benefit not only student opportunities and campus culture at Rutgers and other universities, but also at K-12 schools nationally. Representatives and members of applicable Rutgers University departments and groups were invited to this two-hour event.
Darren Clarke, Graduate School of Education (Staff)
The "Empowering Voices of Diversity" Schools Outreach Project built on the existing GSE efforts to develop teachers to be engaged in and committed to excellence, equity, and social justice in their teaching practice. Our vision was to prepare educators so that they are able to educate and engage with students regardless of their background. Six South Africa Initiative alumni served as outreach ambassadors to provide teacher training for five NJ public schools, using curricula innovations inspired by their transformative learning experience in the South Africa program. There was one collaborative planning meeting in February, followed by an April and May training session here at Rutgers. The program anticipated up to 50-75 teachers would participate in each session.
Jimmy Dumas, Institutional Planning & Operations (Staff)
The "Songs We Sing" was a songwriting workshop for 10 students from diverse backgrounds where they could express themselves in a culturally uplifting way through music. Over the span of three sessions and one performance, we challenged the students to deconstruct how the lenses of perception regarding but not limited to identity, race, culture, gender, and class could be used to distort the truth and erode their sense of self-worth. Ideally, we would be able to have them demonstrate their resilience, power, and creativity through their lyrics and melodies.
Olivia Boss, School of Arts and Sciences (Undergraduate Student)
This project was a formalization of an existing relationship between Rutgers’ Department of Anthropology and the New Brunswick Middle School. For the past two years, Rutgers Anthropology students and faculty have given presentations to sixth graders in New Brunswick Middle School following their social studies unit on human evolution. In addition to expanding on the information they learned in class, the presentations also discussed education and career paths related to anthropology and included a period where every student could observe, touch, and ask questions about casts of fossil hominin crania. The grant was used to give the school a set of their own casts to further support their study of evolution.
Julio César López Otero, School of Arts and Sciences (Graduate Student)
The goal of this project was to make the most recent investigations and established benefits of speaking more than one language accessible to the public outside of academia, particularly bilingual populations who often receive misinformation on bilingualism. RUBilingual hosted workshops and forums in the tri-state area to aid in informing, educating, dispelling myths, and discussed concerns with interested members of the community. We also provided specific strategies and resources for schools with linguistic minority speakers to help parents and educators support literacy development in both languages.
Rafael Vizcaino, School of Graduate Studies (Graduate Student)
The Program in Comparative Literature and the Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies hosted members of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES) for a one-day symposium to explore the linkages between critical theory, pedagogy, and activism. The theme of the symposium was on the pedagogy and activism of Latin American liberation theologies.
Gabrielle Cabrera, School of Graduate Studies (Graduate Student)
This project consisted of two workshops aimed at the undocumented student population on campus. The objective was to provide a space for undocumented and migrant students to write, perform, and/or make an art project out of their migration narratives and experience of undocumented life at Rutgers University and in the broader U.S. publics. The first workshop hosted a local artist and performer from California who shared how their life experience as an undocumented migrant shaped their art in various mediums. The second workshop invited the campus community to share the art projects and narratives they’ve created via an Open Mic and Art House.
Sarah Ragsdale, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Graduate Studies (Graduate Student)
“Rutgers Ready!” was a song and music video project that promoted and showcased cross-campus approaches to sustainability. The project included a catchy original song promoting RU values of inclusion and diversity as well as innovation and creativity across the campus community. The project served as a model for encouraging artistic involvement in achieving future sustainability. The project was a collaborative effort by the M.A. Program in Political Science - Concentration in the United Nations and Global Policy studies (UN MA), the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Project, and the Honors College.
May Yuan, School of Arts and Sciences (Graduate Student)
The proposed project was a workshop on the character virtue of forgiveness and how it could be applied to create mutual understanding between people of different races and cultures, as the first part of a series of events dedicated to Social and Emotional Learning within higher education. The workshop aimed to teach resilience to cultural insensitivity through forgiveness, ways to facilitate communication of one’s feelings of offense (toward micro-aggressions, for example), and to cultivate the desire to help the offender to correct the misunderstanding.
Laura Eppinger, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Faculty)
This two-day training and reflection was open to all Rutgers staff, and shared perspectives gained from programs run by Rutgers 4-H Youth Development professionals, utilizing Rutgers Cooperative Extension practice. This was a resource-sharing and reflection opportunity for participants. The goal was to share guidelines for cultivating inclusivity when running programs for young people and lessons and curricula to lead with youth. It shared a space that was designated for asking tough questions about engaging with youth in ways that respect the diversity of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, economic class, and more.
Vincent Javet, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (Faculty)
This project designed and fabricated a hybrid temporary-permanent installation in the form of a parkette to transform parking spaces in front of Martin Hall for people of all walks of life to gather together and be immersed in nature. This project was part of the Department of Landscape Architecture’s Material Tectonics course. Using both the Blake FabLab and the RU Makerspace, students designed and built a space to promote equity and diversity, ultimately helping rebuild and reimagine part of Cook Campus from a parking lot to a space that would strengthen a sense of community and belonging, using nature as the great equalizer.
Charles Senteio, School of Communication and Information (Faculty)
Trayes Hall, Multi-Purpose Room, Douglass Student Center
The event was a discussion about how the media portrays African American Activism. It aimed to seed a discussion of how activism has been portrayed in the context of broadly defining "media" which can take on various mediums. The event featured a speaker and diverse panel to engage in discussions on this topic.
Mukti Mangharam, School of Arts and Sciences (Faculty)
The Committee for Bias Awareness and Prevention (CBAP) in the English Department aimed to build an inclusive environment within the department by raising awareness of issues surrounding racial, gender and sexual discrimination in the academy. The Committee focused particularly on faculty and graduate students, aiming to foster conversations around inclusive forms of pedagogy and community building. Two events were hosted for graduate students and faculty members to discuss pedagogy and hear guest speakers. The Committee also aimed to provide funding for graduate students to restart a previous graduate student group, the Anti-Racism Colloquium, that would hold readings, book discussions, film screenings, and discussions on inclusive forms of community building.
Laura Curran, School of Social Work (Faculty)
This purpose of this project was to fund a series of podcasts focused on issues related to building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive learning environment in the social work classroom. In the podcast, we "interviewed" a series of faculty, field practicum instructors, and students about their experiences related to diversity and inclusion in the social work classroom and field education settings. The podcasts was hosted on the Rutgers YouTube channel and also highlighted on the SSW website and social media outlets.
Siddhi Shah, School of Arts and Sciences (Undergraduate Student)
The Mark Leadership Conference is one of the largest student-run conferences in the nation. It is a unique and innovative experience where 20+ speakers from diverse backgrounds come together to share their stories of how they made their mark on the world in an all-day event. The annual conference is designed to provide students of Rutgers University and regional institutions a different opportunity to acquire knowledge, cultivate passions, and encourage conversations with inspiring students and professionals from all walks of life.
Hsiu-Fen Lin, School of Social Work (Graduate Student)
This project ”Honoring our Role: Women Sharing Real-Life Advice, Stories and Recipes Woven into our Souls” helped an invisible group, International Women’s Group (IWG) at Rutgers, publish a book with the stories of its members. The IWG is a volunteer organization that was founded in 1988 by volunteers from the Rutgers community. This project invited international women from all over the world to write down their stories in English which for many, is their second language. The book contains personal short stories, advice for their younger selves and family recipes. This project empowered women to overcome language barriers and embrace cultural differences.
Yoliem Miranda Alarcon, School of Engineering (Graduate Student)
The project was a workshop geared towards high school students from the New Brunswick/Piscataway area who are interested in STEM fields and the applications of 3D printing in the Biomedical Sciences. This multi-part event included a tour of the Biomedical Engineering Department labs and the Makerspace shop; a workshop for students to use hand-held 3D printers; a lecture portion to learn about the current uses of 3D printers in regenerative medicine; and two demonstrations in the labs and shop. With this workshop, we aimed to excite high school students from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in STEM.