Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Pre-Proposal Phase

There is a critical need for universities across our nation to prioritize research focused on systemic racial inequities and injustices that exist not only in our communities but in higher education itself. The Chancellor’s Research Program to Address Racism and Social Injustice will provide support for academic research and the expansion of community-based knowledge that advances the understanding of systemic racism and generationally embedded racial disparity, two of the greatest challenges facing our society. The goal of the program is to enhance exceptional cross-disciplinary research strengths and expand collaborations to build cultures of research that address structures of racism and injustice. We seek high quality, high integrity scholarship and creative activity that provides foundations to intervene in institutionalized racial disparities, structures of violence, and over-criminalization to fundamentally address the roots of these issues with generative ideas, imaginative strategies, and open, unexpected collaborations.

The successful project will approach this research with clarity about the complexities, fissures, barriers, and assumptions that structurally perpetuate racism and social injustice, as well as present a strong vision for how we might become a more just and equitable university, state, and nation where all can live in their full humanity. We welcome projects that have the potential to make a deeper connection with students and reciprocal partnerships with communities, in addition to those rooted in the realm of academic research and expertise of our university. Of foremost importance are accountability, transparency, and sustainability. A plan for how the work can be continued, improved, and shared beyond the funding year is an important component of the application.

Application Guidelines

The application process is comprised of two phases: the Pre-Proposal and the Full-Proposal. The purpose of the Pre-Proposal submission is to provide an overview of the research proposal for peer evaluators to determine if it aligns with the Call to Action and if it should advance to the Full-Proposal phase.

Pre-Proposal Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Project Pre-Proposal, a required template, that provides a succinct and accurate description of the proposed work and includes the broad long-term objectives, specific aims, and how the project contributes to the Call to Action goal and focus area(s).
  • Two-page biographies for each member of the project team.
Pre-Proposal Deadline: April 26, 2021, 5 pm Central Time
  • Pre-Proposals may be submitted from March 29, 2021 through April 26, 2021, 5 pm Central Time.
  • No extensions or exceptions will be entertained.
  • The selection committee will only consider complete applications.
Notification of proposal status to advance to Full-Proposal submission will occur the week of May 3, 2021. An email will be sent from the Call to Action RFP email address:

Please see the complete RFP at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION website for information on the research focus areas, funding period, and funding tracks to assist in the Pre-Proposal preparation.


Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs must hold appointments at the University of Illinois at the Urbana-Champaign campus. Participants include, but are not limited, to tenure-stream and specialized faculty (instructors & lecturers) with appointments in any academic college or research unit. University members are encouraged to collaborate with community organizations or PreK-12 educational institutions. Community members are also encouraged to initiate collaborations with University members. Community collaborators may be from non-profit organizations, public agencies, school districts, etc. but cannot serve as PIs or Co-PIs. However, they may be listed as a Co-Project Leader in the proposal.

Applicant Requirements

To the best of the applicant's knowledge, all the information provided in the application is correct.