Research Lab Seed Grant Program

The Race & Justice Research Labs are led by Stanford Faculty and in collaboration with a community partner, to develop research-based innovations for racial justice. In 2021, CCSRE awarded a total of $250K to support nine new research projects, including faculty from five different schools.

This initiative is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Raikes Family Fund.

Call for Proposals - Closed

Call for Proposals - Closed

The Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity is pleased to announce a call for proposals for up to $50K to support projects designed to both understand and intervene in pressing issues related to racial equity, racial justice, anti-racism, and diversity. Projects will be part of a new initiative at CCSRE to develop collaborative, action-oriented research, grounded in partnership. The initiative will support “action labs” to develop projects that meaningfully advance research on racial justice.

Proposals may fall into one of two tracks: Race and the Humanities Labs OR Racial Equity Action Labs. For both tracks we are interested in proposals that:

  • Engage an interdisciplinary team of researchers
  • Demonstrate collaboration with one or more entities outside of academia (e.g., nonprofit, community organization, government agency, cultural, arts or media organization, foundation)
  • Will produce deliverables designed to engage a broader audience or community
  • Have a strategy for ensuring that the research project meaningfully impacts racial justice

We expect to fund 2-3 Labs in 2021. The grant period will be from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. We plan to fund additional labs in subsequent years.

Race and the Humanities Labs

Part of a four-year collaborative grant from the Mellon Foundation, Race and the Humanities Labs should be grounded in the humanities and humanistic modes of inquiry. We are particularly interested in projects that will develop innovative and effective ways for the humanities to contribute to a more racial just society. We are open to proposals from all fields in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, as well as for interdisciplinary projects that link these fields with arts, engineering, business, law, medicine, and environment sciences.

As part of the larger Mellon-sponsored grant, Race and the Humanities Labs will have opportunities to connect with grant partners and labs at other institutions to share research and foster collaborations. With CCSRE, these partners form the Centering Race Consortium:

  • Center for Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration (Yale University)
  • Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (Brown University)
  • Center for Race, Politics and Culture (University of Chicago)

We intend to fund new Race and the Humanities Labs annually for the four-year duration of the grant. Labs that are awarded funding in the first year will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding in subsequent years.

Racial Equity Action Labs

Racial Equity Action Labs should be designed to integrate research and practice in ways that both produce new knowledges and impact institutions, organizations, systems, or policies. We are open to proposals from all fields, and are particularly interested in interdisciplinary projects that link social sciences with engineering, business, law, medicine, arts and/or the environment. We are open to a diverse range of activities including research studies, media production, and the development of programs/interventions that engage researchers and students in innovative ways. Whatever the method, Racial Equity Action Lab proposals should articulate clearly the ways in which the project will impact racial equity or racial justice.

Submission Guidelines

For both tracks, proposals are due on October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PST. Submit proposals to Daniel Murray (ddmurray [at] Proposals will go through a review committee. Award recipients will be notified by late November.

Proposals should be submitted as a PDF file in 11pt font with 1-inch margins. Proposals should include:

  • Project Title
  • Indicate either Race and the Humanities OR Racial Equity Action Lab
  • Elevator Pitch: a 2-3 sentence description of your project
  • Problem Statement (max. 300 words)
  • Project Summary (max. 500 words)
  • Impacts (max. 300 words)
  • Deliverables (max. 300 words)
  • Team involved (faculty, postdocs, staff, and/or students as appropriate)
  • Detailed budget up to $50K. We encourage proposals for smaller amounts of funding. 
  • Community Partner/Collaborator role (max. 300 words)
  • References


Racial Equity Action Labs will be expected to communicate regularly with the staff and leadership at CCSRE to share learnings and impact. These will include:

  • a mid-year update and final report on the project, its impact, successes and failures
  • attendance at annual convenings with CCSRE Labs
  • participation in media opportunities featuring your lab’s work on our website, in promotional videos, at public events and for key stakeholders.

Race & Justice Research Initiative Questions

Application Eligibility

  • All PI-eligible Stanford faculty and researchers

Project Scope

We will prioritize projects that:

  • demonstrate a clear focus on racial equity, racial justice, anti-racism, and/or diversity
  • demonstrate both a collaboration with an entity outside of academia (e.g., nonprofit, community organization, government agency, cultural or media organization, foundation) and clear deliverables that will impact broader audiences
  • For Centering Race in the Humanities Labs: demonstrate the unique values and contributions of artistic and/or humanistic research to advancing racial equity

The Definition of  “Lab”

By a Lab we mean:

  • an "action-oriented" research endeavor designed to make tangible (and sometimes measurable)  impacts on racial equity
  • a collaborative team that engages multiple faculty and students
  • an approach to research grounded in partnership with entities outside of higher education who will both participate in the research process and benefit from its results


Award amounts will depend on evaluation of the proposals and will be limited to the following:

  • research and administrative support (including graduate or undergraduate students)
  • technical support (e.g., website development, archival collections)
  • communications and design support
  • community partner needs or honoraria
  • course buy-outs (subject to Dean and Department approval)

If you have additional questions, email CCSRE Executive Director, Daniel Murray (ddmurray [at]

Meet the People

Associate Professor of Education
Alfredo J. Artiles
Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education
Ralph Richard Banks
Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law
Antero Garcia
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Jackelyn Hwang
Assistant Professor, Sociology
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Ramón Antonio Martínez
Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education
Jisha  Menon
Associate Professor, Postcolonial Theory and Performance Studies | Fisher Family Director, Stanford Global Studies
Steven O. Roberts
Assistant Professor, Psychology
David Sklansky
Stanley Morrison Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Stanford Criminal Justice Center