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Excellence Through Diversity Fund

General Information

Program Description

Funded by the Provost and administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, the Excellence through Diversity Fund seeks to encourage and support innovative projects by Penn faculty that advance inclusive excellence at Penn. Proposals that seek to improve recruitment, retention, promotion, and leadership development of faculty with diverse perspectives and experiences and/or improve mentorship for junior and/or mid-career faculty will be prioritized.


  • Applicants must be a University of Pennsylvania faculty member with the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor in any track are eligible to apply.
  • Projects may include cross-School research, conferences and events, large-scale faculty development work, and projects that assess the climate for inclusive excellence at Penn.
  • For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project, unless otherwise noted in the LSO. Please see Penn’s PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible.

Award Information

  • Generally, grants are awarded in amounts up to $10,000
  • Proposals must include a one-to-one match between the School and the Provost’s Office

Review Process

Selection Criteria

The Office of the Provost for Faculty Affairs will conduct an internal competition to select winners.

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Recognize and seek to improve recruitment, retention, promotion, and leadership development of faculty with diverse perspectives and experiences and/or improve mentorship and other support for junior and mid-career faculty;
  • Promise to advance inclusive excellence;
  • Promote collaboration across disciplines, departments, and/or Schools, and
  • Foster new understandings of the structures, policies, and programs that advance inclusive excellence among faculty.

Application Requirements

  1. Candidate(s) details, including name, academic rank, department, email address, phone number, and campus address.
  2. Abstract (250 words maximum; written for non-specialists)
  3. CV/BioSketch (Using NIH format, if relevant) (250-word maximum): For each PI/co-PI, as appropriate.
  4. Budget Narrative (500 words maximum) Use the linked Budget form.
  5. School Approval: Electronic approval of project proposal from Department Chair and Dean. For each electronic approval, including an email from the signatory stating that they have consented to the proposed project. 
  6. Letters of Collaboration: (as appropriate/optional) upload it to the “Additional Documents” section.
  7. Explanation of Changes: if this is a resubmission (as appropriate) upload it to the “Additional Documents” section.
  8. Research Proposal (1,000 words max)
    • Goals and objectives of the proposed project
    • Explanation of how program activities and program components will be executed and how program goals will be accomplished
    • Approach to assessing and evaluating the impact of the proposed project
    • Expected contributions of the project to institutional policies and practices for advancing inclusive excellence among the faculty,
  9. Bibliography/Reference list (does not count toward the 1,000-word limit)
  10. Reporting Requirements: For funded projects, an expenditure report and narrative report outlining accomplishments and next steps for the project must be submitted to Kristen Barnes at by June 30, 2025. Funds not expended by June 1, 2025, must be remitted to the University unless an extension is granted by the Provost’s Office.
  11. Documents should be saved as: ETDF_2024_Document name_applicant LAST name_applicant FIRST name.