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DIF: Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Funds


Students attending DARE event
DIF is a program that supports Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the development of a project that will advance diversity within those populations.
by Application
Eligibility: All Students, Postdoctoral Scholars
Nomination Period: Spring quarter
Duration: One year
Amount Awarded: Up to $5,000


Review the DIF Overview and Proposal Guidelines.

Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Funds (DIF) offers funding to support Stanford graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the development of a project that will support graduate student diversity. The project must serve the academic interests of current Stanford students and/or postdoctoral scholars, and enhance the quality of their educational experiences. We invite students and postdoctoral scholars to develop proposals for up to a year’s worth of activities, with budgets up to $5,000 per year.

Stanford’s commitment to diversity is broadly conceived and includes, but is not limited to, first-gen status, culture, socioeconomic background, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities, veteran status, tribal membership, religion, and life experience. A diverse community of scholars asks unexpected questions and contributes divergent insights, pushing the forefront of knowledge further and faster. As a result, the Stanford community reaps the educational benefits of diversity, while preparing future generations of leaders for a global society.

Proposals will be accepted from graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate student or postdoctoral scholar organizations in all degree programs in any of the seven schools.

Selection criteria include:

  1. Project Quality & Impact: Does the overall project support the diversity mission of Stanford University. This could include:
    • Support the academic success and interests of a diverse graduate student or postdoctoral scholar population
    • Enhance the quality of the educational experiences of a diverse graduate student or postdoctoral scholar population
    • Cultivate an interest in academic careers and aim to diversify the professoriate
    • Encourage undergraduate students from underserved or nontraditional backgrounds to consider PhD programs and a research career
    • Have academic or educational objectives
  2.  Leadership Team: Be directed by and largely involve currently enrolled Stanford graduate students or postdoctoral scholars. Is the leadership team energetic, committed, and representative of the project area?
  3. Application Quality: Is the application well written and concise?
  4. Budget: Is the budget reasonable and appropriate?

These additional project features will be considered, but not required:

  • University-wide impact, or the potential to be scaled up to have University-wide impact
  • Collaboration among several units (voluntary student or postdoctoral scholar organizations, community centers, degree programs)
  • Contributing funds from other sources
  • Advances other priorities of VPGE, such as:
    • Enhancing the educational experiences of students or postdoctoral scholars
    • Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among students or postdoctoral scholars
    • Fostering student or postdoctoral scholar leadership and professional development
  • Support and/or contribute to the diversity of the graduate student or postdoctoral scholar population
  • Academic outreach programs coordinated by Stanford graduate students or postdoctoral scholars to local communities underrepresented in the academy

Funding will be awarded in compliance with the principles set forth in the Supreme Court’s June 2023 ruling on affirmative action


Application Opens: April 1, 2024

Application Deadline: May 12, 2024 at 11:59 PM (PST)

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The application for DIF 2024-25 is closed.

Contact vpgeapplications with any questions.