Apply now: Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grants

September 21, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

The Michigan Medicine Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grant has been renamed the Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grant, to honor the contributions of former Office for Health Equity and Inclusion director, Phyllis M. Blackman, who retired in December 2020.

The Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grant Program, formerly known as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Mini-Grant Program is funded by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and the Dean of the Medical School.

Grant submissions should align with the strategic priorities of Michigan Medicine to enhance inclusion, increase diversity and promote equity across the institution for our patients, faculty, learners and staff. The Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grant Program provides an opportunity to acknowledge, inform, reinvigorate and refocus departmental and unit efforts on activities that promote respect for and learning about others.

Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grant application link.

Award notifications will be sent via confidential email in October 2021. Public announcement will be at the annual Michigan Medicine DEI Symposium on Oct. 15, 2021.

Who can apply for funding?

Michigan Medicine faculty, staff and learners.

What type of ideas can be funded through the DEI Mini-Grant Program?

Innovative ideas that promote the vision for diversity, equity and inclusion. House officers and students interested in disparities research are also encouraged to apply. Funds may be used to support the recruitment of diverse research subjects that advance knowledge in culturally appropriate research design. Collaboration within units that make up larger departments (e.g. internal medicine, surgery) is strongly encouraged.

How does the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion define “innovative?”

Innovative ideas can be described as those that benefit the academic medical center; use creative, artistic or best practices to promote awareness; and inspire learning about the diverse faculty, staff, patients and learners in our community.

How much can be requested?

A maximum of $5,000 can be requested per proposal.

Can a department submit more than one proposal?

Departments may submit more than one proposal. Only one mini grant per unit will be awarded. For example, Pediatric Surgery and Plastic Surgery may both submit and be awarded, because they are different sections/units under the Department of Surgery. However, the same unit may not have more than one active mini grant at a time.

Can DEI Mini-Grant funds be used to cover salaries and benefits?

No, funds cannot be used to cover salaries and benefits of any Michigan Medicine employee (or non-Michigan Medicine employee). Funds cannot be used to support effort for Michigan Medicine employees.

Can DEI Mini-Grant funds be used to cover consulting or training costs?

Yes, external consulting or training costs can be paid for using DEI Mini-Grant funds. Internal consulting or training costs are ineligible for funding. NOTE: Mini-grant funds may not be used for departmental trainings, such as Crucial Conversations. This is not viewed as “innovative.”

Can DEI Mini-Grant funds be used to pay for lunch or dinner?

No, DEI Mini-Grant funds cannot be used to pay solely for lunch or dinner where the sole purpose of the event is to promote dialogue or conversation within the department or unit. Proposals of this nature will not be reviewed by the committee. However, the cost of food may be included as part of a larger training or project.

What information should be included in the proposal?

All proposals should include the following information:

  • The type of project you are proposing. Briefly explain the problem you are trying to solve, as well as the objectives and goals of the project. Please remember that applicants are encouraged to present projects that are innovative, artistic or creative and support the strategic principles that promote equity and inclusion for our
    faculty, staff, patients and learners.
  • NOTE: If your proposal involves artwork, the mounting of signage and/or photos on any space within the hospital, clinic or medical school, it must be pre-approved in writing by Facilities and the Gifts of Arts Program at the time of your submission. The written approval must be included with your uploaded documents in the application.
  • Why was this project was selected? What evidence did you use (e.g. focus groups, surveys, etc.) to determine that this project is the best strategy to reach your goals?
  • How will you measure the impact of your project?
  • A complete budget for the project, including justification.
  • A letter of support from your Chair, Division Chief or Chief Administrator. Student applicants should include a letter of support from a faculty mentor who is aware of their proposal and will provide guidance through its completion. The faculty mentor will hold the funds in their department, if awarded.
  • How will your project lead to a sustained diversity effort in the long term, and how will you support and run it once the grant funds are depleted? If I am awarded a mini-grant, how much time will I have to complete the project?

Proposals funded are expected to be completed within 18 months of the award notification. However, we recognize that delays may occur. In the event of a project delay, an extension may be requested. The request should include the reason for the delay and how the issue will be resolved and by what date.

Please contact with any additional questions.