Social Justice Fund

Important Information

Eligibility: Eligibility: The team leader must be a full-time VCU undergraduate or graduate student with at least 1 full academic year left to complete before graduation. All other team members must be current VCU undergraduate or graduate students, and the mentor must be a current VCU employee.

Questions: Please email the Division at with the subject "IE Social Justice Fund."

Deadline: One student team member must complete the application, submitting all necessary documents, by Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Awards will be announced the week of May 8th. 

To apply, click here.

The VCU Division for Inclusive Excellence invites student teams, with the support of a faculty or staff mentor, to submit proposals conceptualizing innovative solutions to social justice challenges facing our university, local, national or international communities. Up to four proposals will receive awards of $2,500 each to execute their creative ideas.

Teams can be comprised of undergraduate and/or graduate students. Each award includes $2,000 in funding for each student team and $500 for each faculty/staff mentor.

Proposals must demonstrate how the innovative solution will address and tackle structural, political, economic or social injustice through the lens of diversity, including race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, disability status, political affiliation, veteran status and/or socio-economic background.

Student teams should establish a partnership with their mentor before applying, as the Division will not match students with mentors. Mentors will oversee the student teams’ proposal creation and implementation, and budget. Please note: funds will be transferred to the mentor’s departmental account for disbursement to the student team.

The teams with the top proposals must implement their projects during summer and fall 2017, and formally present results in spring 2018.

Application Requirements:


The student team and mentor together must write a maximum five single-spaced-page proposal, detailing:

  • Background information - Describe the social justice issue and cite sources when appropriate. How did the team become aware or informed about this issue? Why is this a social justice issue?
  • Proposed innovative solution - What is the innovative solution? How will the solution address and tackle the problem? What are the specific aims and objectives of the solution?
  • The methods to be employed - How will the proposed solution be implemented? What methods will be used?
  • Results expected - What outcomes do you expect from implementing the innovative solution? How will the team assess if the proposed solution is working? If the solution does not work, how will the team adapt?
  • A timeline of the team’s activities through summer and fall 2017
  • A brief statement wherein the student pledges to submit a project report by December 15 and to participate in a poster symposium where they present their results in Spring 2018

Proposal Budget

The student team and mentor together must create a proposal budget detailing anticipated expenditures. Salaries may be included.

Please click on the following link to download the Sample Budget.

Personal Statement

The student team must write a personal statement answering the following questions:

  • A brief statement on the student team’s commitment to social justice.
  • What experience or qualifications has prepared the student team for the work they are proposing in the innovative solution?
  • How will the Student Social Justice Fund help the student team achieve their career goals?

Mentor Letter of Support

The mentor must write a letter of support, answering the following questions:

  • How long and in what capacity has the mentor known the student team?
  • What experience, knowledge, skills or capacities does the mentor believe the student team possess that qualify them to conduct the proposed work?
  • A brief statement wherein the mentor commits to overseeing the student team’s proposed project creation and implementation, and budget.