Diversity Research Grant

The Diversity Research Grant (formerly Diversity Fellows) calls upon the expertise of the Kennesaw State University community to produce a positive impact on campus diversity, equity, and inclusion. The grant’s goal is to support scholarly work and creative activities that intersect with the mission of the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence (DDIE) as well as further individual scholarship goals. Several grants are awarded each year, and each recipient can apply for seed funding to use for their proposed project. See previous recipients and funded projects below. 

The Division supports projects that will produce a clearly defined impact on campus diversity, equity, and inclusion. Potential outcomes include but are not limited to an actionable plan that can be implemented by the grant’s end; qualitative or quantitative research that deepens our understanding of specific groups at KSU and can be used to drive change; public programs that contribute to KSU’s cultural transformation; or other transformative or actionable outcomes. Applicants must make clear how the KSU community at large or target groups within will benefit from the work they do and take appropriate steps to achieve that expressed outcome. These projects should also intersect with the work of the three Advisory Councils and/or contribute to the university's strategic priorities. 

Funding Use

Applicants can apply for up to $6000 to support research activities, and recipients will have one fiscal year to use the funding. "Research activities" include but are not limited to scholarly materials (book, journals, subscriptions, and other resources), equipment, specialized services, conference travel, research travel, research assistants, and other resources necessary for completing the project. Applicants must provide a budget detailing these expenditures. Once budgets are approved, recipients will work with their departments and DDIE for reimbursement. All receipts for expenditures must be submitted by May 1 of the award cycle.


Tenured and tenure-track faculty as well as staff and instructors with defined research duties are eligible to apply. All applicants must have expressed approval from their chair or supervisor for this work. Applications lacking that approval will not be considered.

Application Submission

The application portal for the 2024-2025 award cycle will open on February 5, 2024, and will close on March 8, 2024. Check back during that time to access the application. 

DDIE will host virtual information sessions on January 25 and January 31, 2024. Use the following links to register for a session (the same information will be covered in each session). 

Application Information Session Recording

January 25, 2024, 1 to 2 pm information session recording
 January 31, 2024, 10 to 11 am information session recording

More Information


Questions about the grant or the application should be directed to the Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Sonia Toson (stoson@kennesaw.edu) or the Strategic Business Data Analyst, Dr. Jennifer Hoyt (jhoyt4@kennesaw.edu)

Current Recipients

  • elue“A Critical Examination of the Impact of Grief and Loss on the Attrition Rates of BIPOC Graduate Students”

    Graduate student attrition is a perennial issue in higher education. Despite deemed levels of student excellence, promise, and efforts made by programs to counter student departure, attrition rates remain high, especially since the offset of the COVID-19 pandemic (Donohue et.al, 2021). To better understand the types of resources needed to support graduate students' enrollment and eventual completion, this research project will examine ways to best support graduate students, and more specifically, BIPOC graduate students, who may be disproportionally experiencing grief and loss during these unprecedented times.

  • gruss“Recruitment of Women and Minorities into Engineering”

    According to Fall 2020 data, females make up only 13.8% of undergraduate students within the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at KSU. This research will initiate academic outreach events where engineering undergraduate students will engage high school students through student-driven recruitment to attract underrepresented minorities into the engineering field and overcome pre-existing beliefs and pressures. Activities will use interactive EnviroScape models.

  • guerrarodriguez“A Model for Possibility: Engaging Latinx Undergraduate Students”

    Our study seeks to understand the tensions and challenges that Latinx students face as they enroll and progress in higher education, particularly teacher education programs. We will recruit Latinx students who are education majors or have education interests. They will meet as a group to engage in pláticas, a Chicana/Latina method of inquiry where relationship building, trust, and informal conversations are part of the construction of knowledge. We aim to serve as an exemplar for those that seek to support similar student groups in other disciplines.

  • ali“A Decision Support Tool for DEI Assessment of KSU Buildings: It is beyond accessibility”

    The by-pass product of the recent world-shaking Covid-19 crisis has caused a considerable increase in the student population on both KSU campuses. As diversity increases, KSU needs to modify and improve the learning environment to effectively and positively reflect this growing diversity. To shape a diversity-responsive, equitable, and culturally driven university campus, we need an assessment index model that enables us to audit the needs of raising identities in the diverse campus society.

  • spinks“The Impact of Diverse Population Exposure in Baccalaureate Nursing Healthcare Simulation on Levels of Cultural Humility: A Mixed Methods Study”

    This study seeks to understand the impact of diverse patient representation in a baccalaureate nursing simulation program on cultural humility. The view that diversity in education has a positive effect on students is clearly established. Previous studies have found that active learning experiences using a social model approach, such as multi-person simulations, are statistically effective in supporting student perceptions of cultural humility. 

Past Recipients

  • “Stop Asian Hate Through Asian American History, Virtual Lecture Series”

  • “Acculturation Strategies used by Students of Color attending a Predominately White Institution (PWI)"

  • “Crafting a Course Together: Helping Students Contribute to Accessible Online Course Environments”

  • “Parents, Professors, and the Pandemic: Implications for Faculty Success and Representation in the Academy”

  • “Advancing the Academy: The Promotion and Tenure Edition” 

  • “Accessible Maps for both Kennesaw Campuses”