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TCU Inclusive Excellence Research Grant

To promote inclusion and equitable outcomes in everything that we pursue, the Office of Academic Affairs announces the TCU Inclusive Excellence Research Grant Program.  This program will support participatory action research in either (1) existing programs to achieve equitable participation and success or (2) pilot projects or programs that use evidence-based strategies to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among our campus community. We aim to bring together the considerable intellectual resources and practical experiences of our faculty and staff to ensure deep integration of Inclusive Excellence into our mission to promote academic excellence and an inclusive campus culture that educates students to be responsible citizens and ethical leaders in a global community.

Participatory action research (PAR), also known as site-based research, is often conducted by those working in an educational setting.  PAR frequently identifies an existing program or uses evidence-based practices to create a new program for bringing about behavioral or learning outcomes of participants.  For example, curricular learning modules, student success programs (advising, counseling, mentoring) and high-impact experiences (study abroad, research, service-learning, leadership training) are commonly deployed with goals to enhance student engagement, self-efficacy, cultural competence and ultimately graduation rates. PAR assesses participants of these programs, collecting leading and lagging indicators, to provide evidence as to how a program is actually performing within its current institutional setting for participants spanning various demographic groups. PAR projects contribute to the broader research on evidence-based practices.

PAR is often a collaboration between disciplinary experts who are offering a course or program and PAR researchers with expertise in assessing cognitive and behavioral impacts of participants.  Most PAR is oriented to a cycle of action that includes: 1) identifying and defining the focus of investigation, 2) acting upon a plan for collecting data to use in answering the research question, 3) analysis of data, and 4) reflecting on the findings and using the information to develop subsequent action plans.

Inclusive Excellence is designed to infuse diversity and inclusion efforts into all aspects of the university, ensuring that diversity and inclusion are essential to the mission and success of every area of the university. The Inclusive Excellence Framework allows each unit of the university to review current operations and intentionally plan a strategy to identify and support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives within the unit. Inclusive Excellence views diversity, equity, and inclusion as the responsibility of every member of the TCU community. A diverse and inclusive campus leads to innovation, broadened perspectives, and deeper understanding.  These values are foundational aspects of higher education, and a key part of TCU’s strategic plan, Vision in Action: Lead On.

This solicitation supports participatory action research with goals aligned with the Inclusive Excellence Framework (

excellence graphicAs such, funding priorities described below include programs that aim to integrate inclusive excellence across the six dimensions shown in the graphic to the right.

The TCU Inclusive Excellence Research Grant Program will consider any proposals with goals to bring about a more inclusive environment.  In particular, proposals within the following areas are encouraged:

  1. Campus Programs: Research and assess the effectiveness of existing campus programs, intentionally DEI-related or not, to ensure inclusion and success, with attention to individuals from diverse backgrounds;
  2. Advancing Students: Pilot, research, and assess initiatives to recruit, retain and graduate students and/or place them into jobs, or graduate or professional school, with attention to students from historically underrepresented groups;
  3. Advancing Employees: Pilot, research, and assess initiatives to recruit, retain, and advance employees, with attention to individuals from historically underrepresented groups;
  4. DEI Essential Competency: Pilot, research, and assess discipline-specific training for faculty and graduate students, to modify existing courses or develop new courses to fulfill DEI Essential Competency in the TCU Core Curriculum, and other academic initiatives that promote an understanding and appreciation of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  5. Courses and Curricula: Pilot, research, and assess courses, curricular and co-curricular experiences that serve to enhance learning, persistence to graduation or student success in other ways.  For example, service-learning, international experiences, research or other high-impact practices;
  6. Campus Climate: Pilot, research, and assess initiatives to promote student success and an academic environment that is welcoming to all and is free of bias.

All permanent full-time faculty and staff are eligible to apply for Inclusive Excellence Research Grants.

  • Tenure track, tenured, and non-tenure track faculty holding a renewable appointment are welcomed to
  • Staff inside and outside of academic affairs are welcomed to apply.
  • Staff must be full-time permanent employees.

Collaboration: Initiatives and projects conducted between academic units and in collaboration across academic and non-academic units are encouraged.

Limitations: The Inclusive Excellence Research Grant will provide up to $15,000 of project support.  Funding cannot be utilized to support salaries.  Student support (graduate or undergraduate) is limited to $5,000 per project (included within the $15,000 budget limit).

Examples: Examples of initiatives, programming, or activities may include, but are not limited to, the development of inclusive pedagogies, infusion of DEI into the curriculum, activities that foster intergroup relations and dialogue across differences, and activities that close the demographic participation and outcomes gap within institutional programs and practices.

Primary Focus Area of Proposed Project: Identify the primary focus of the proposed project, which can be one of the six Funding Priorities (listed above) or can comprise a different focus (note on application face page.

Abstract: Provide a brief description of the proposed project to be undertaken to advance Inclusive Excellence at TCU (note on face page; 200-word limit).

Proposal is limited to six pages of narrative (double-spaced) and must include:

  1. Project Description: Identify and define the focus of proposed investigation to be undertaken to advance Inclusive Excellence at TCU.
  2. Research Strategy: Explain the importance of the problem the proposed project addresses and provide cited works and/or preliminary evidence (both published and unpublished) that support the proposed project/activity.  Discuss (1) proposed plan for collecting data to use in answering the research question, (2) analysis of data (quantitative and/or qualitative tools and methodology), and (3) strategy for reflection on the findings and using the information to develop subsequent action plans.  Please include a visual of your “action cycle” in your narrative to aid the reviewer in the understanding or your overall vision.
  3. Broader Impact & Dissemination Plan: Explain the potential impact of the proposed research to advance Inclusive Excellence at TCU and how the results of this project will be communicated to the TCU and/or larger community (presentations, publications, website, etc.).
  4. Timeline and Benchmarks:  Provide study timeline (2-year maximum) and benchmarks.
  5. Future Actions/Directions:  Indicate how results of proposed research could catalyze structural changes at TCU and/or be integrated within our curricula, programming, and/or work processes to achieve Inclusive Excellence.  Also, describe how results can be leveraged to obtain external funding, if available, to assist in project implementation (include specific external funding sources).
  6. Investigative Team:  Explain how the research experience and/or training of the investigative team will support achievement of the project objectives. How will the team coordinate efforts to manage the project and achieve project goals? What initiatives or projects might result in collaboration across campus groups, offices, or colleges/schools/departments/divisions?   Describe each members’ stance or positioning in relation to the study (participants and/or community) and what efforts are being taken to mitigate potential impact of position on data collection or data interpretation.
  7. Statement of Collaboration and Inclusivity: Describe how the investigative team proposes to integrate their various methodologies, practical experiences, expertise, and insights to promote collaboration within the team. Also, briefly state how the perspectives and material interests of the stakeholders who are vested in the problem under investigation are considered and integrated in the research plan.
  8. CVs/Resumes: Please include an abbreviated, four-page max, CV or resume for each team member (page count not included in 6-page narrative limit).
  9. Detailed Budget (TCU Reimbursement Policy): Budget should follow TCU procedures for university-related business expenses and good faith estimates on project cost. Specify whether the request is for one or two years of funding (page count not included in 6-page narrative limit).

Note: Please consult with the Office of Research if your research project requires Institutional Review Board approval.  Institutional Review Board approval, if applicable, must be obtained before awarded funding will be released.

1. Significance and broad impact

  • Addresses an important problem or critical barrier in advancing DEI and/or Inclusive Excellence at TCU.
  • Has the potential to significantly improve DEI and/or Inclusive Excellence at TCU.
  • Has relevance to priority areas and outcomes.
  • Demonstrates an accurate evaluation of campus need.
  • Potential for external funding.

2. Assessment plan

  • Quality of evaluation tools and plans in place to ensure robust data collection and analysis/assessment of processes and outcomes.

3. Project design and implementation plan

  • Plans for dissemination of project results and future directions (publication of study results, putative plans for campus integration of practices, plans to apply for external support to expand upon study, etc.).
  • Evaluation tools in place to measure effectiveness of process and outcomes, and a definition of what constitutes success for the initiative.
  • Assesses strengths and weaknesses of current research (published and unpublished) that serves as key support for the proposed project/initiative.
  • Demonstrates a well-reasoned approach, methodology, and analyses to accomplish goals.Addresses potential problems or alternative strategies and contains clear benchmarks.

4. Investigative team and campus collaborations

  • Are members of the investigative team well suited for the project (i.e., does the investigative team contain the relevant expertise to successfully complete the project).
  • Have the appropriate experience and training.
  • Have the ability to organize, manage, and implement study and meet milestones and timelines.
  • Have appropriate expertise in data management and assessment.

5. Include cross campus collaborations

  • Project’s commitment to cross-unit collaborations.
  • Inclusion of “stakeholders” and collaborators that are able to bring multiple perspectives/viewpoints to problem being addressed.

An evaluation committee comprising members who have a demonstrated commitment to DEI and/or Inclusive Excellence will review all grant applications.

**Note: The evaluation committee reserves the right to recommend rejection of any or all proposals submitted or to award partial funding. Funded projects must submit a mid-year progress report (or two mid-year reports if funding is approved for two years). Project lead must present their work at a seminar or workshop organized by the university (venue to be determined). Failure to submit the report or lack of appropriate progress may result in cancellation of project activities and funding.  Funding is made at the sole discretion of the Office of the Provost.

Letter of Intent: January 10, 2022
Full Proposal Due: February 11, 2022
Reviewed and Faculty informed by April 4, 2022

For more information, please contact Floyd L. Wormley Jr., Ph.D. at

Download Grant Application Face Page