AC EDI Initiate Grants support faculty members and trainees in projects, programming, or events that address EDI barriers and challenges in the AC’s focus areas


AC EDI Initiate Grants support faculty members and trainees in projects, programming, or events that address EDI barriers and challenges in the AC’s focus areas

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are fundamental to research and innovation at the University of Toronto and core values of the AC. The University is committed to removing systemic barriers that prevent members of under-represented groups from participating in research.

EDI Initiate Grants will provide dedicated funding to support faculty members and trainees in launching new projects, programming, or events that address EDI barriers and challenges in the AC’s focus areas. The grants will support members of the University community in becoming EDI champions and developing new initiatives that lead to positive culture change in the research ecosystem by advancing EDI, accessibility, anti-racism work, and pathways to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Initiatives may include (but are not limited to) workshops or symposia, presentations by invited speakers, the development of resources, community outreach events, and knowledge mobilization initiatives not typically addressed by traditional funding programs.

All applicants to EDI Initiate Grants will therefore be required to complete a brief self-identification survey to be considered for funding; a survey invitation will be sent to you directly.


Applicants may request up to $20,000.

There is a total of $70,000 available for this inaugural round of grants. The number of grants awarded will depend on the total amount requested.  

Eligibility Requirements

Applications are open to individuals or teams of individuals who hold an eligible academic appointment or who are currently trainees (undergraduate students, graduate students, or post-doctoral fellows) at the University of Toronto.  

Trainee-led projects must identify at least one faculty member who will champion the initiative and will be the administering Principal Investigator on the awarded funds.  

In cases where faculty member has not been identified at the time of the application, the AC and the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, will provide support, when possible, in matching the project team with an appropriate faculty member.

Eligible initiatives must advance EDI and address barriers to participation for current and future researchers and/or community members in one of the AC’s research areas:  

  • the accelerated development of self-driving labs, integrating chemistry, materials science, AI, robotics, and advanced computing
  • the application of self-driving labs to the development of sustainable products in areas such as renewable energy, recyclable plastics, drug discovery, medical technologies, electronics, building materials, and transportation
  • the economic, social, and ethical implications of self-driving labs, including technology and materials adoption, organizational change, and ethical uses of AI
  • co-creation with Indigenous communities and the meaningful integration of Indigenous knowledges in substance creation and chemical management

Important Dates

  • Applications open: March 10, 2024
  • Application deadline: May 13, 2024
  • Successful applicants notified: June 2024
  • Funds Available: July 1, 2024

Application Requirements

Applications must be aligned with the AC’s research objectives and goals, and will be assessed based on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Quality of the proposed initiative or project, including clarity of the objectives and deliverables, a demonstrated understanding of the systemic barriers that will be addressed, and appropriate engagement with members of under-represented communities;  
  • Feasibility of the proposed initiative or project, including consideration of the size or scope of the project, the timelines, the size or capacity of the team, and the justification of the budget; and
  • Potential impact of the initiative or project in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environment

Application form

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be adjudicated by the AC’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee, using the selection criteria outlined above. Applications will be assessed solely on the basis of the information provided in the application form.  

The Committee will make recommendations for funding to the AC’s Board of Directors, which makes final decisions on all AC grants.  

Grant results will be released by June 2024.

Apply now

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