Departmental Seed Grants for Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion

The American Economic Association and its Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession (CSMGEP) have established an annual Departmental Seed Grants for Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion.

This one-time award is open to US-based economics departments in an amount up to $5,000 to help establish a new "bridge program" or training program. Departments would use these funds to develop a program for underrepresented minorities (URM), which include persons who identify as American Indian, Alaskan Native, Black (not of Hispanic origin), Hispanic (including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin) or, Pacific Islander. For example, a department might create a mentoring program for URM graduate or undergraduate students, opportunities for URM students to do meaningful research assistant work, or a program that allows URM students who need additional preparation for graduate school to take a lighter class load in the first year or to take core economics courses over two years.


  • An outline of the program which includes a budget and faculty support for efforts to increase URM representation in the department and profession.
  • A clear statement of the goals of this program with respect to increasing diversity in the profession and how success will be measured.
  • A statement of previous efforts to increase URM representation in the department.
  • A “Plan to Degree Completion” which identifies the steps that will ensure URM student integration into the graduate program and graduation time frame.
  • A dedicated faculty member must be identified for mentoring of the URM student(s).
  • The program must not already exist in the department and there must be institutional financial support from the upper administration (Dean, Graduate College, etc.) which would allow the program to continue for at least 5 years post-award.

Application Process and Deadline

Applications meeting the criteria listed above should be submitted to by 5 pm ET of the second Friday of October with the subject line: "Department Seed Grants for Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion."
Deadline Extended to November 15, 2022.


The award winner(s) (up to 4) will be notified by early December.

2021 Award Winners


The recipients of the 2021 awards are The University of Kansas and Middlebury College.

The University of Kansas will also receive partial funding from the institution’s endowment to prepare undergraduates from underrepresented minorities for graduate study in economics.  The program will identify URM students for completing an accelerated 4+1 program leading to joint BA/MA degrees in economics. Participants will receive upper-division tutoring, workshop opportunities, and both faculty and peer mentoring. Faculty members in economics who identify as underrepresented minorities and/or women will serve as mentors, while graduate students in economics will serve as tutors.

Middlebury College will build a Fellows Program targeting first and second year URM students. A total of 10 students will be enrolled and paired with faculty mentors to learn about the literature and acquire related data skills. The students will attend workshops and engage in research, with a symposium at the program’s conclusion where students and faculty mentors will present their joint work.

Previous Award Winners

2020 Georgia State University and Southern Methodist University