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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

Many sponsored program grants require or encourage investigators to address explicitly how their proposal will engage issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion through its research, impact, and/or participant composition. Some general information is provided here. More resources are available through the Georgia Southern University Office of Inclusive Excellence. Specific guidance from federal agencies are listed immediately below. 

Guidance from Federal Sponsors

National Institutes Of Health (NIH):

Conference Grant Applications (R13/U13)

NIH encourages conference grant applicants to enhance diversity by increasing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in the planning, implementation, and participation in the proposed conference. Underrepresented groups include individuals from nationally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and women (see NIH Notice of Interest in Diversity, NOT-OD-20-031, for additional details).

Conference grant applicants (R13/U13) must include plans to enhance diversity during the selection of organizing committees, speakers, other invited participants, such as session chairs and panel discussants, and attendees. Plans to enhance diversity will be assessed during the scientific and technical merit review of the application. Though the proposed plans will not be scored individually, they will be considered in the overall impact score.

NIH conference organizers are also expected to take steps to maintain a safe and respectful environment for conference attendees that is free from discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise.

Conference grant awardees will be required to report on the effectiveness of plans to enhance diversity of underrepresented groups in annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) and the Final-RPPR.

In this NIH All About Grants episode (MP3 / Transcript), Dr. Paula Goodwin with the NIH Office of Extramural Research discusses the Diversity Plan, why it is required for conference grant applications, some things to consider when putting a plan together, how reviewers will assess it, and more.

Department Of Energy (DOE)

Applicants are required to submit a DEI Plan that describes the actions the applicant will take to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment, support people from underrepresented groups in STEM, advance equity, and encourage the inclusion of individuals from these groups in the project; and the extent the project activities will be located in or benefit underserved communities.

The DEI Plan should contain the following information:

  • Equity Impacts: the impacts of the proposed project on underserved communities, including social and environmental impacts.
  • Benefits: The overall benefits of the proposed project, if funded, to underserved communities; and
  • How diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives will be incorporated in the project.

Developing Diversity Equity And Inclusion (DEI) Plans in Proposals

When developing the DEI Plan, consider:

  • Participation: For underserved communities being impacted and/or receiving benefits from the project, are they involved in planning and implementing the project? How well are underrepresented groups supported in terms of mentorship, training, and other opportunities?
  • Benefit: Are direct/tangible benefits being conferred to underserved communities? Will the benefits increase quality of life (e.g. health, wealth)? Are they indirect benefits? Are the benefits being adequately measured? How are these benefits being distributed? Are they being communicated?
  • Impact: What are the social and environmental impacts on underserved communities? Are these impacts being adequately monitored and evaluated? What steps are taken to mitigate risks/harms and optimize benefits?

Review criterion involves consideration of the following factors:

  • The quality and way the measures incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in the project; and
  • Extent to which the project benefits underserved communities.

Consider geographic communities which are: 

  • economically distressed communities identified by the Internal Revenue Service as Qualified Opportunity Zones;
  • communities identified as disadvantaged or underserved communities by their respective States;
  • communities identified on the Index of Deep Disadvantage, and
  • communities that otherwise meet the definition of “underserved communities” stated above.
  • Underrepresented groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields that drive the energy sector include women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minority groups—blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives. Source:

Additional External Resources

Institutional Member of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD), a nationally recognized, independent organization providing online career development and mentoring resources as well as a variety of virtual programs and resources for faculty, staff, post-docs and graduate students.

Diversity Program Consortium is a network of institutions, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve training and mentoring and to enhance individuals’ success in biomedical research careers.

Last updated: 8/25/2021