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DIF: Diversity and Inclusion Innovation Funds Details

At a Glance

by Application
All Students
Postdoctoral Scholars
Application Period: 
Spring Quarter
One year
Amount Awarded: 
Up to $5,000


Update: The DIF deadline has been extended from May 13th to June 30th. We hope the extended time will give us all a better understanding of AY 2020-21 and will also help you when planning and submitting your proposals for the coming year. Given our extended timeline, we hope to get announcements out by the end of July- plan accordingly when re-submitting your applications.

Given university-wide budget constraints as a result of COVID-19, final amounts awarded could be lower than prior years. Please take this into consideration when constructing your budgets. Please also consider how you might utilize virtual/online resources in the event that in-person gatherings are not possible during AY 2020-21.

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 advance 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, culture, socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities, 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 programs and departments in any of the seven schools.

Selection criteria include:

  1. Project Quality & Impact: Does the overall project advance 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 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, departments)
  • 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
  • Further diversifies 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