Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Enhancement Fund


DEADLINE extended for winter 2024 applications: November 10, 2023

To view a recording of the EDI Enhancnement Fund Information Session, click here



The University of Guelph affirms its commitment to inclusive excellence and a campus that supports the diversity and inimitable valued character of every member within our university community. An inclusive and equitable campus is an institutional and social imperative. Acknowledging the University’s diverse population and ensuring that every member of our community is a valued contributor is a foundational pillar of a successful post-secondary institution.


The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Enhancement Fund reflects the University’s commitment to transform through Indigenization and equity, diversity, and inclusion.  The EDI Enhancement Fund is a $200,000 fund that helps support this transformation and foster inclusive excellence. This includes supporting students, faculty, and staff who are working hard to enhance and promote equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenization, and accessibility at U of G through new initiatives.

The fund provides opportunities for members of our community to submit proposals for projects in line with these Purposes that will have meaningful, positive impact within our University community.  

Based on the priorities of Indigenization and equity, diversity, and inclusion – which includes accessibility – as well as the U of G’s 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, proposals should identify and address barriers to participation for equity-deserving groups and advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in our community through such initiatives as creative activities, educational projects, speaker/lecture series, special events, and more. Equity-deserving groups include, but are not limited to, women and gender diverse people, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, Indigenous, Black, and other racialized groups, persons with disabilities, and religious groups.


Proposals will be accepted from any current member of the University community (faculty, staff, student) as well as from academic departments or administrative units.

Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with departments, colleges, and offices across the university. While not necessary, joint applications are acceptable.


The value of the grants will vary. Grant proposals of over $12,000 will not be considered.

Funds awarded must be spent within the academic year a project is approved. Multi-year projects will not be considered.


Proposals that aim to fulfill all the following factors will be considered:

  • The proposal must align with the Purpose of the fund. Proposals that do not establish a clear connection to advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenization, and/or accessibility within our communities will not be considered.
  • The proposal must demonstrate resource requirements, detailed budget plan (See also Submission requirements below), and financial sustainability.
  • The proposal must include a plan to measure impact.
  • Upon completion of successful projects, applicants must submit a final report outlining their initiative's accomplishments, accounting records, and impact analysis within 4 weeks of the conclusion of their project or March 25, 2024, whichever comes first. 
  • All funded projects must indicate EDI Fund & DHR sponsorship on all promotional material (logos will be provided upon disbursement of funds).
  • Any unspent funds at the end of a project reverts to the EDI Enhancement Fund.

Applicants are also encouraged to explain how the proposal aligns with I-EDI initiatives, such as elements of the 2022-2027 University’s Strategic Plan, the Anti-Racism Action Plan, Indigenous Initiatives Strategy, or the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. This is not an exhaustive list. There may be other examples where applicants can explain how their proposal aligns with I-EDI at the University.


1. Base funding: As this fund is designed to support new initiatives, funding is not provided for budget items of an on-going nature. However, the fund can be accessed to improve or enhance existing programs.

2. Conferences and professional development: Funding is available to support education initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion on our campuses.  Funding for attendance at external conferences would only be considered if there is evidence that the learning that occurs at the conference will be brought back to campus and benefit the UofG community. In addition, conferences and professional development funding requests will only be considered in partnership with department/college funding streams in place. Funding requests to hold conferences or offer training or development programs (not already offered) on campus free of charge, will be considered.

3. Education initiatives: Funding is available to support education initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. Education initiatives, such as training or workshops, will only be considered if the proposal demonstrates or speaks to why existing resources and trainings offered for free at the university (such as those offered by Diversity and Human Rights) are insufficient.

4. Campus Environment: As stated in the Purpose, the aim of the fund is to impact the University of Guelph community, through initiatives and projects that advance Indigenization and inclusion, diversity, and equity on campus. Initiatives that take place off campus, or funding for research, will only be considered if there is a clear explanation of how the initiative will advance the fund’s Purpose. EDI research initiatives will only be considered in partnership with other department/college funding streams also being in place. Funding is available for projects or activities that could help make the campus more welcoming to all members of our community. Space projects include art, benches, welcome banners, etc. Creative activities and lecture/speaker series will also be considered.

5. Funding Allocations: Community impact will be considered when allocating funds. For example, criteria considered could include number of individuals impacted, evidence of effectiveness or ability to leverage other programs. The number of University of Guelph community members who will benefit from the project will be considered when allocating funds.

6. New Initiatives: Since the fund is aimed at new initiatives and given the limited number of funding available and number of applications, there is no guarantee that initiatives that received funding in previous years will be successful in the current year.


7. Honorariums: Honorariums for project volunteers, participants, consultants, or guest speakers are capped at $500 if granted. Larger amounts will only be considered if the proposal demonstrates clear evidence as to why honoraria must be higher.

8. Funding for Salaries: Funding for salaries – what would otherwise be the hiring of an employee – is not eligible.

9. Travel and accommodation: In most instances, significant expenses related to attending conferences and events, or hosting guest speakers will not be funded. 

10. Catering: Funding for catering, except in exceptional circumstances, shall be limited to 20% of the initiative's overall funding ask. Applicants are encouraged to consider utilizing the University's Hospitality Services. 


1. Project Proposal (template application form), including:

  • A description of the initiative, including its purpose and rationale.
  • Objectives: The intended objectives/outcomes of the project, and how they align with the Purpose of the Fund.
  • Intended impacts: Describe who will be impacted. If applicable, the proposal should indicate how the impact can be sustained or scaled beyond the funding year. Also describe how the impacts align with the Purpose of the fund.
  • Assessment of objectives and impact. Explain how the objectives and impact of the project will be assessed. How will you know the initiative was successful?
  • Project work plan and timeline: Provide a timeline of milestones that address the lifecycle of the work, including planning, support for collaboration, reporting, project closure, and dissemination.

2. Budget: Include a clear budget outlining how all requested funds will be used, as well as all funds received from other sources.

3. Two letters of support from U of G community members including any from collaborating partners or departments. Proposals without two support letters will not be considered.


All applications will be adjudicated by a review committee struck by the Office of Diversity and Human Rights.

Note: Projects or initiatives brought to DHR outside of the designated funding window may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

2023-2024 EDI Enhancement Fund Awards (EDIEFA) Timeline & FAQ’s

What is the projected timeline for the Winter 2024 application process?

  • October 6, 2023 - EDIEFA application process commences
  • October 31, 2023 - Deadline for applications - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 7, 2023
  • November 8, 2023 - EDIEF Selection Committee begins application review process
  • Late November to early December 2023 - applicatns are notified of the results of their application
  • December 2023 - Funds are disbursed to successful applicants
  • January - March 2024 - Projects are implemented
  • March 15, 2024 - Last day to implement project. **NOTE: funds are subject to clawback by the Office of Diversity and Human RIghts if not used by this date.
  • March 25, 2024 - Last day to submit project reports

Please Note: The Office of Diversity and Human Rights endeavors to observe the above schedule but timelines may need to be adjusted based on unforseen circumstances. Should fund recipients require accommodations or additional time to complete the report, they must email their request to dhrinfo@uoguelph.ca as early as possible. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How do I submit by application?

  • Completed applications (including the application form, budget sheet, and letters of support) can be sent via email to dhrinfo@uoguelph.ca.

What are the responsibilities of Project Leads or Primary Contacts?

Prior to submitting the application form, it is the responsibility of the Project Lead/Primary Applicant to:

  • Determine the appropriate home department that will be housing their EDI Project’s award funds, if the application is successful
  • Reach out to their home department’s budget contact to confirm the appropriate unit that will be assigning the project code, if the application is successful
  • Ensure that a Secondary Contact is identified in the application who commits to taking the lead on the project in case the Primary Applicant is unable to see the project to completion

 After submitting the application form, it is the responsibility of the Project Lead/Primary Applicant to:

  • Ensure that their EDI Project is launched and delivered as outlined in their application
  • Ensure required documents are completed/submitted on time (i.e. Application Form, Final Report)
  • Act as a general liaison between their unit and the Office of Diversity and Human Rights

How are the EDI Enhancement Funds Disbursed?

  • Applicants are asked to work with their organization/department's budget contact to provide GL coding on their applications.
  • Once projects are approved, DHR will provide direction to the Budget Unit to transfer the funds as directed by the respective budget contact   
  • Project Leads will claim project expenses against the specified GL coding and will be fully responsible for the administration of funds awarded to their initiative.  It is not within DHR’s purview to inform on fund-related issues once the awards are disbursed to the appropriate department.
  • Should you require funds be disbursed in an alternative format (i.e. cheque), please indicate on application form.

Can leftover funds be applied by the same group/individual/organization towards future projects?

  • No. Any unspent award funds after the expiry date of the funds will be subject to clawback. 
  • However, in cases wherein an EDI project is repeated/implemented from one fiscal year to the next, and only if the scope of the project is the same as the original application that was awarded some funding during the previous fiscal year, the applicant(s) may only be required to submit supplementary documentation attached to the original (successful) application explaining the above circumstances and provide proof that the subsequent initiative has the exact same scope as the project that has previously been deliberated on by the EDI Committee.
  • Any change in the scope of an ongoing EDI project will require a new application to be submitted.
  • DHR reserves the right to require a new application form from the same applicant(s) as it sees fit.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the EDIEFA and the application process?

  • Interested persons may contact the DHR office at dhrinfo@uoguelph.ca using the subject line "EDI Enhancement Fund Inquiry" and they will be directed towards the appropriate person.
  • DHR will hold an information session on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 to answer questions and provide tips on how applicants can put together strong applications. The session will be recorded.