UF Racial Justice Research Fund established to support scholarship on the Black experience

The University of Florida has committed $400,000 toward a Racial Justice Research Fund to support research and scholarship that will inform understanding of the Black experience, racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and beyond. 

UF President Kent Fuchs said in June that the university would use the 2020-2021 academic year to focus on the Black experience, racism and inequity. This funding opportunity – developed jointly by UF Research and the Chief Diversity Officer – is designed to support that effort by encouraging and supporting research and scholarship that underscores and advances racial justice at UF. 

“My hope is that this kind of funding leverages UF’s multidisciplinary research strengths to develop solutions to the many health, education and economic disparities that affect people of color, on our campus, in our country, and around the world,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research.

Faculty from throughout the institution are being invited to submit proposals for grants ranging from $15,000 to $75,000. The proposals are due by September 28 and will be reviewed by a committee of diverse faculty from many disciplines and academic units. Norton and Chief Diversity Officer Antonio Farias will have final approval for all projects.

“The way to create sustainable change that leads to equitable racial outcomes is by valuing and funding scholarship on race and equity in the academy,” Farias said. “It gives me hope when I see the power of research at UF unabashedly take on racial justice. We expect these projects to be catalysts for wider interdisciplinary efforts underway to diversify our STEM faculty, understand implicit bias and remove barriers to success.”

Juan Gilbert, Banks Preeminent Professor and chair of UF’s computer and information science and engineering department and a national leader on race in the academy, said: “Racial injustice, racism and discrimination have haunted our nation for centuries, and we are still dealing with it in 2020. We must support research in this area to address this very difficult problem. What better place than UF to launch this initiative and make progress toward solutions for racial injustice?”

Joe Kays July 23, 2020