University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program

Full Proposal Deadline
November 4, 2023, 5 pm Central

The Chancellor’s Call to Action Research Program provides support for academic research and the expansion of community-based knowledge that advances the understanding of systemic bias and structural disparities – some 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 and scholarship that address system bias and social injustice. We seek high quality, high integrity scholarship and creative activity 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 perpetuate systemic biases 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 Illinois’ research strengths. Of foremost importance are accountability, sustainability, and impact. A plan for how the work can be continued, improved, and shared beyond the funding year is a critical component of the application. Please see below for the key evaluation criteria.

Focus Areas

For 2024, the research program will focus on areas that span domestic, international, and transnational spaces.

Projects may include but are not limited to: 

  • Systemic interventions to improve educational outcomes and increase college readiness.
  • Research that tackles the complex drivers of health disparities.
  • The interrogation of systems of disparity, discrimination, and disenfranchisement.
  • Transnational justice (i.e., achieving justice in issues that bridge local, national, and global communities).
  • Systemic bias as it affects LGBTQIA+ people and communities.

This year we are especially interested in projects that support the vision of the university’s Campus/Community Compact to Accelerate Social Justice and that partner with community organizations to solve and/or understand historical and current social injustices as they intersect with race.

Proposals may focus on a single research area or apply an intersectional approach via examining the complex configurations of social determinants and how those social constructs interact to yield outcomes.

Learn more about this year’s Request for Proposals on the Call to Action website.


The Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program is administratively supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. For questions, please contact Amanda McGuire at or call 217-300-8989.