Grant Funding System (GFS) Active for Academic Year 2016-2017

Please read the info below before applying for the grant. To access the GFS, please log in (very top upper right above the photo banner) to the WIN system using your UW Net ID and Password, then click on "Forms" above to apply.

Overview of the Grant Funding System                                                                                  

The Grant Funding System (GFS) in the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer (OVPCDO) and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) provides small grant allocations to support innovative projects. Such efforts will demonstrate the ability to build our institutional capacity in support of a diverse, inclusive, and respectful environment for all. Examples of capacity-building activities include the development and dissemination of knowledge on race, ethnicity, culture and indigeneity through research, teaching, and performance. Also included are learning opportunities that consist of, but are not limited to, workshops and training sessions; the nurturing of individual creativity through leadership development of multicultural and global competencies; strengthening of institutional processes for equity in student and workforce recruitment and support services; and institutional outreach and connectivity to the diverse communities off-campus. As such, capacity building platforms should continue to build upon the UW–Madison diversity framework, Forward Together, which seeks to help members of our campus and community be more equitable, inclusive, and diverse, both on and beyond the campus.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE:  Any proposal for GFS funds to support attendance at a conference MUST include a detailed plan for the conference participants to share effectively with the broader campus community of students, faculty and staff the information and learning they gained from the conference or professional gathering.  Student attendees must be currently registered students at UW-Madison. 

Additionally, each applicant who receives funding for conference attendance needs to submit a final report about the subsequent "sharing" activities they completed at the UW-Madison campus following their attendance at the conference. This report should include information about outcomes from sharing sessions and activities, including venues, number of attendees, relevant audience feedback, and any other information the recipient deems relevant.



The GFS strategically shares resources with campus and community partners in “start up” or one-time funding grants, up to $5,000. It is important to note that strong proposals will show evidence of a sustainability plan as well as identify campus, community, and/or industry partners. Furthermore, all funds awarded MUST be spent during the fiscal year during which the funds are awarded.

Depending on the nature of the proposal, a commitment may be approved for on-going support for up to three years, not to exceed $5,000 per year. These sponsored projects should detail a longitudinal sustainability plan.  HOWEVER, even if a commitment for on-going support is approved, the recipient must reapply for funding each year referencing the original application. 

 During academic year 2011-2012, GFS supported 57 grants and collaborative projects. These commitments supported student, faculty, and staff partners whose innovative projects had impact on the overall campus diversity framework and institutional mission. A detailed report on innovation and capacity building supported through the OVPCDO GFS can be found in the 2013 UW Madison Strategic Diversity Update (pp. 49 – 59), and includes a broad range of projects in scope and scale.



With the intention to help the university in its outreach to Wisconsin and the World, only applications from UW-Madison departments, units, and divisions will be considered.  Funding proposal from a registered student organization (RSOs) will be considered PROVIDED the RSO has administrative support or sponsorship from a university department or unit with a 101 account, able to serve as the fiscal representative on the RSO's behalf. 

 Before completing the funding proposal the RSO should contact the specific campus department or unit directly, to confirm the availability of a 101 account and the department/unit’s willingness to sponsor the RSO in its funding application. 

RSOs, please note that there is direct funding available from other campus entities, including: the Associated Students of Madison's finance committee,  the Center for Leadership & Involvement (CfLI) Wisconsin Experience Grant, and the Chancellor's Office & the Multicultural Student Center Multicultural Council Grant


The GFS Application Process                                                                                                    

Funding applications must be submitted through the GFS portal.

Submissions from faculty, staff, and administrative units on behalf of RSOs will be considered according to date of receipt. Although applications can be submitted on a rolling basis, they will be reviewed only during the academic year by the GFS Advisory Committee of UW-Madison faculty, staff and students with staff support from the Associate Vice Provost. The GFS calendar below notes the submission timelines and deadlines for academic year 2016-2017.

All recipients of GFS grants are required to submit a final report within 30 days after the sponsored event or project completion based on the timeline indicated in the grant application.  Failure to complete this final report requirement will result in disqualification from applying to GFS for a period no less than 24 months.


Application Format                                                                                                                            

As fully as possible, the application should provide information on the following:

  • A primary point of contact who is a faculty or staff member at UW-Madison belonging to the applying entity, or an administrator acting on behalf of a registered student organization (RSO). (It is recommended that an administrator work directly with a student from the RSO to complete the application.) This primary point of contact will be asked to provide funding information to receive the award allocation if the request is approved. The point of contact will ultimately be responsible for submitting the GFS final report survey no later than 30 days after completion of the sponsored project.
  • Identified or unmet need/s and description of goal/s.
  • The total projected budget, including all funding sources and amounts, confirmed/approved/in hand as well as pending. Please note that the web-based application form provides sample budgets for reference.
  • If the application is for a request for ongoing support, an organizational and leadership structure that provides for effective implementation and sustainability must be provided.
  • A plan for engagement and collaboration with UW-Madison units or divisions, and/or the off-campus community. This plan should include a rationale statement for partnership as well as the amount the collaborator will commit in support of the sponsored activity.
  • Utilization of relevant literature and/or data that grounds the activity or study in evidence of having projected impact related to the GFS goals. It is recommended that this portion of the application identify the project’s intended learning outcomes.
  • Letters of support from other university and/or community-based entities expressing their commitment to the sponsored activity as well as willingness to remain engaged through project completion.
  • An established accountability plan that documents the following: identified outcomes, marketing/outreach plan, timely reporting process, sustainability plan, and the project timeline from start to completion.
  • A proposed sustainability budget if project is anticipated to reoccur.

 Please Note: An important aspect of the GFS process is the required data gathering and reporting of program information, activities and outcomes at the completion of the event or project. The analysis of GFS data serves provide information about successful initiatives as well as show opportunity areas for future funding. This data will also be reflected in the annual diversity reporting process, and will be captured either through the Diversity Inventory or Strategic Diversity Update, based on the type of impact the initiative has on and beyond our campus.


Application Criteria                                                                                                                          

The following criteria will be considered by the GFS Advisory Committee during its review of the submitted proposal. In particular, the committee will evaluate applications based on how succinctly the application:

  • provides a broad definition of diversity at UW-Madison, and includes individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and well as group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) that can be engaged in the service of learning.
  • Shows evidence of promoting the goals of, and puts into action recommendations in, the new campus diversity plan from the diversity framework, Forward Together.
  • Reflects a strong commitment to coalition building and community engagement in an effort to enhance cross-cultural understanding.
  • Is evidence-based and outcomes-driven in an effort to serve underrepresented groups in higher education, including students, faculty and staff, as identified within the broad definition of diverse populations.
  • Demonstrates innovative concepts and/or best practices in higher education, guided by educational policy studies.
  • Addresses an unmet need that has been documented and identified by UW-Madison students, faculty and staff.
  • Embodies a spirit of collaboration and is proposed by a group/organization rather than by an individual.
  • Has buy-in from other campus and/or community constituents as articulated in Letters of Support.



Applications will be accepted and reviewed by the GFS Advisory Committee based on the 2016-2017 GFS Schedule, shown below. The Advisory Committee is composed of UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff who are knowledgeable about the state of diversity and inclusion initiatives at the local and national levels. Appointed annually by the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, with staff support from the Associate Vice Provost, the Advisory Committee serves in a consultative and advisory capacity to the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer. Its recommendations for funding are based on the aforementioned criteria in an effort to identify promising, sustainable campus innovations. The GFS Advisory Committee is not a shared governance committee.

Please consult the GFS Schedule to obtain the submission timeline by which the Advisory Committee accepts and reviews proposal submissions during GFS hearings.

*Please apply by April 7 if you would like to be considered for summer funding.

Submission Received By

GFS Hearing Date

Applicants Notified By

September 9

September 23

October 14

October 7

October 21

November 11

November 4

November 18

December 9

February 3

February 17

March 10

March 3

March 17

April 7

April 7

April 21

May 12

Please allow up to 3 weeks after the hearing date (based on the date of submission) to receive notification of funding status, and up to 6 weeks for the potential transfer of funds. GFS awards are only able to be transferred to UW-Madison departments, units, and divisions that have 101 accounts. Proposal Status Notification                                                                                                         

Applicants will receive electronic notification of the application status according to the schedule posted above. If the proposal submission is approved for funding, the point of contact must commit to completing the GFS Final Report no later than 30 days after the project is completed. After commitment is received, the award transfer process will be initiated through the OVPCDO Business Office.

Thank you for your interest in the OVPCDO Grant Funding System. If you have additional questions, please email Jacqui Scott-Papke at On, Wisconsin!

Posted by Jacqui Scott-Papke on September 4, 2014