Inclusive Climate Grants

The PSD Inclusive Climate Grants offer funding to support PSD constituents in developing projects that will support/advance diversity and/or positively impact the climate of the PSD. The project must support/advance the PSD D&I mission and vision by enhancing inclusion in the PSD broadly or locally in specific Departments and/or units. We invite all PSD students, faculty and OAAs, postdocs, and staff to develop proposals for various programs, initiatives, events, workshops, activities, conferences/symposiums, etc. (referred to as “project(s)” below), with requests up to $1,000 per project proposal.

The applications for Autumn 2024 projects are open from March 18, 2024, through May 31, 2024. Decisions will be announced on June 17, 2024.

Applications for Winter 2025 projects will be open from June 10, 2024, through September 13, 2024.


Application Details


All PSD constituents

Application Periods:

The Inclusive Climate Grant Applications will open each quarter for requests two quarters ahead; for example, in Spring 2023, you would be able to submit proposals for Autumn 2023; in Summer 2023, you would be able to submit proposals for Winter 2023, etc. Please find below the application periods for the 2023-2024 Academic Year:

  • Summer 2024 Application period for Winter 2025 Projects: June 10, 2024 – September 15, 2024;
    Decisions announced September 30, 2024.
  • Autumn 2024 Application period for Spring 2025 Projects: September 30, 2024 – December 15, 2024;
    Decisions announced January 13, 2025.
  • Winter 2025 Application period for Summer 2025 Projects: January 6, 2025 – March 16, 2025;
    Decisions announced March 31, 2025.
  • Spring 2025 Application period for Autumn 2025 Projects: March 24, 2025 – June 8, 2025;
    Decisions announced June 23, 2025.

PSD constituents will be able to apply for funding for multiple projects throughout the year but can only be funded for up to two projects.

Grant Amount Awarded:

Up to $1,000.00.

Examples of Allowable Expenses (additional University/PSD guidelines may apply):

  • Supplies (printed handouts, activity supplies, etc.);
  • Marketing materials (yard signs, flyers, brochures, etc.);
  • Meals and refreshments;
  • Venue expenses (rent, setup/breakdown, clean-up services, etc.);
  • Keynote/Facilitator honorarium and/or travel/lodging;
  • Movie/Audio rights for film showings and music-based experiences;
  • Awards (for conference/symposium presentations);
  • And more – this list is not exhaustive of possible project costs.

Examples of Unallowable Expenses:

  • Normal operating funds for Departments/committees/student groups;
  • Dissertation research or personal travel costs;
  • Expenses not congruent with University and/or PSD guidelines.

Project Proposal Criteria

Successful applicants will demonstrate how their projects will support/advance the EDI mission and vision of the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • New programming to increase diversity and/or impact inclusion for PSD cohorts;
  • Programming that addresses one of the key focus areas in the University’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative (Infrastructure – People – Community – Climate);
  • Projects that honor the Heritage and History Months and Weeks celebrated by the PSD;
  • Projects that can be fully executed within the academic quarter for which they have been requested;
  • Projects that demonstrate additional funding efforts (i.e., the prior or current pursuit of additional or alternate funding).

Advertising Acknowledgement

The PSD EDI Office reserves the right to highlight programs or projects funded by this initiative on the PSD website and/or social media accounts. Any advertisement created for events funded by this initiative must include a statement disclosing the source of financial support (i.e., funding provided by the Physical Sciences Division Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office).

Project Completion

We will follow up with awardees in the Academic Quarter following the one their project takes place to review the outcome of the project. Awardees will submit receipts and paid invoices/purchasing orders to the PSD EDI Office for record-keeping, as well as a statement describing:

  • How they used the funds;
  • The actual cost of their project;
  • The number of attendees (if applicable);
  • How success was measured;
  • Whether they believe that the project succeeded. Why or why not?

Returning Unused Funds

At the end of the project, any unused project funds must be returned to the PSD EDI Office.

Examples of Previously-Funded Projects

Read the PSD News article profiling these projects.

  • Mathematics Department Lunchtime Ado with Female Speakers Series: This grant funded lunchtime talks with women guest speakers to the department, attended by women students, postdocs, and OAAs. Over lunch the experience of women in mathematics is discussed. 2-3 times a quarter.
  • Ada Lovelace Week: This grant funded a week of programming intended to uplift women and non-binary technologists in STEM. Talks celebrated applied CS and design, hardware and electronics, and subfields in Physics and Computer Science that are stereotyped as male. 
  • Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity in Astronomy (IDEA): This grant funds a group of graduate students and postdocs who meet bi-weekly to discuss ideas and host events related to EDI. Activities include a mentoring program, obtaining financial support for students, and supporting first-generation, low-income, and URM students in the classroom. Specifically, funds were used to supplement honoraria for presenters of IDEA Week workshops on inclusive mentoring and supporting women and gender minorities of color in the department.
  • ATLAS Hadronic Final State Forum: This grant funded ASL interpreters for a workshop style meeting to push the frontier of jets, substructure, and other physics potentials of ATLAS. Through collaboration, innovation, and the open sharing of ideas, this forum seeds projects that will contribute to the greater success of broader ATLAS. Four days in December.