Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program 2022–23

Pre-Proposal Deadline
December 3, 2021, 5 pm Central

In July 2020, Chancellor Jones announced a $2 million annual commitment by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to focus intellectual and scholarly talent of our university to examine two of the greatest challenges facing our society and seek new solutions. Recognizing the 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 Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program 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.

Research Focus Areas

For 2021, the Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Program will focus on three critical research areas that are currently the most important and complex challenges facing local communities, states, and our nation:

  • Systemic racism and social justice
  • Law enforcement and criminal justice reform
  • Disparities in health and health care

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Research that can lead to the removal of barriers that inhibit access to education, opportunity, support, and resources.
  • The interrogation of structural and institutionalize systems of disparity and disenfranchisement.
  • Strategies for increasing perspective taking and understanding.
  • Strategies for the reduction of violence and harm that can increase racial equity, well-being, safety, and belonging.

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. Three funding tracks are available, up to $100,000, for projects beginning September 1, 2021 through August 31, 2022.

How to Apply

Open to tenure-stream and specialized faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with appointments in any academic college or research unit. Also open to University of Illinois staff and members of Champaign County community in collaboration with a tenure-stream and specialized faculty member who holds an appointment at the Urbana campus.

For the full Request for Proposals and how to apply, please visit Application portal opens November 5, 2021.



Pre-Proposal Deadline: December 3, 2021, 5 pm Central Time
Full-Proposal Deadline: March 4, 2022, 5 pm Central Time

Pre-Proposal Information Session

November 10, 2021, 4 pm Central Time

During this session, you will be able to learn more about the full RFP, the goals of the program, and hear about what a successful application might look like. Please register to receive a link to the Zoom webinar session.

Proposal Development Assistance

To assist applicants in developing project ideas and a Pre-Proposal submission narrative, OVCDEI is partnering with the Center for Social & Behavioral Science, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, and the Office of Research Advising and Project Development within the U of I Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

Please contact Cristiana Alvarez-Mingote, Associate Director of the Center for Social & Behavioral Science, at or Maggie Berg, Research Development Manager, IHSI, at, for assistance with projects related to health disparities. Contact Maria Gillombardo, Research Development Manager in OVCRI, at, for projects in the humanities and the arts. They will work with you to determine the next step to provide assistance.


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 Holly Clingan at or call 217-300-9580.