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Diversity Incentive Fund

The Office of Multicultural Student Life encourages students to create new opportunities that increase the understanding of, appreciation for, and advocacy of diversity issues. The Office of Multicultural Student Life’s Diversity Incentive Fund is a pilot program specifically designed to provide support for new, innovative and creative approaches to raise awareness, engage learners, and change behaviors about diversity and inclusion within the university community. Examples of programs that may be supported include lectures, symposia, workshops, conferences, performances, and other innovative approaches for addressing diversity as conceived in the University‘s Principles of Civility and Community. The annual Diversity Incentive Fund amount is $2,000.00.

Eligibility (Who can apply)

University of Tennessee students and registered student organizations may apply. Applicants must be students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of the University, at the time of the nomination and for the period of the funded activity.

Selection Criteria (How recipients will be chosen)

A Diversity Incentive Fund Review Committee will review the applications and make the award selections. The committee will be looking for those opportunities that are innovative, meet a documented need, well-planned, have a good chance for impact, and will engage a significant number of students. If in the opinion of the Diversity Incentive Fund Review Committee, there are no applications that effectively meet the Fund criteria, the Committee reserves the right to not select a recipient.


Requests may be made for up to $500.00. The Office of Multicultural Student Life’s Incentive Fund Review Committee can fund multiple awards totaling up to $2,000.00.
The Diversity Incentive Fund may be used for initiatives such as the following

  • Guest speakers on a diversity topic
  • Special program(s) intended to increase respect for diversity and individual differences
  • Events that expand the inclusion of issues related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethnical values system, national origin, and political beliefs

Funding Restrictions

Awards may not be used to fund:

  • Conference registration or travel expenses
  • Food
  • Entertainment expenses that do not have a clearly defined educational component
  • Travel expenses, except for presenters brought in for a specific activity
  • Stipends to university employees

Final Report

A final report is required and may appear on the Office of Multicultural Student Life’s website. The report is due no later than two months after the funded activity is complete. The final report should include:

  • A self‐evaluation including description of program/event impact
  • Results of the event assessment
  • Attendance figures
  • Final budget
  • Event photos

Submission Details (Where, how and to whom)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Contact the office at or (865) 974-6861 if you have any questions or need assistance

Diversity Incentive Fund Application Requirements 
The Diversity Incentive Fund application is available online ( and will require the following components:

I. Applicant(s)

  • Name of Applicant
  • Applicant’s phone number
  • Applicant’s email address
  • Additional collaborators/Registered Student Organization/University Department (if applicable)
  • University Funding Account Name & Number

II. Event/Program Title

III. Specific University Principle of Civility or Community (, strategic initiative, or goal related to diversity that the event/program will address.

IV. Event/Program Focus. If the application is approved the proposal may be posted on the Office of Multicultural Student Life’s website.

V. Proposal Narrative
a. Explain how the event/program will enhance the University’s long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion
b. The specific need that is being addressed
c. The goals and anticipated outcome(s) of the event/program
d. Event planning timeline
e. Description of the target audience, including the estimated number of participants
f. The expected impact that the event/program will have on the University Community
g. A specific plan to assess the impact of the event/program on the University Community

VI. Budget
a. Anticipated expenses (itemize and briefly explain)
b. Funds anticipated from other sources (please list)
c. Total amount requested from the Office of Multicultural Student Life’s Diversity Incentive Fund and how funds will be used

Review of applications will begin upon receipt. All applicants will be notified of the Diversity Incentive Fund Review Committee’s decisions within 30 days of receipt of the completed application. Contact the office at or (865) 974-6861 if you have any questions or need assistance.