Recruit Grants

The Graduate College has a grant program to increase efforts at the departmental, unit or interdisciplinary program level to recruit underrepresented graduate students (African American, Hispanic, or Native American in most fields, or men or women in some disciplines).

Grant Amount and Description

There are two tracks for FY2017:

  • Track I: Faculty, program-wide or collaborative grants, up to $2,000 each.
    • The grants support both early efforts to recruit URM students and multi-pronged, systematic recruiting and relationship-building work.
  • Track II: Solve-a-thon grants, up to $4000 each.
    • This is a new track. Many programs know the benefit of bring prospective students to campus. Summer-long, REU experiences are intense, but very expensive. Open-houses might not be long enough to give students a sense of the research they will be engaged in. Hence we are interested in exploring an intermediate-length option. We are accepting proposals for a multi-day experience for underrepresented students to come to ISU and work together in teams with current ISU students on a 2-3 day challenge. This is an intensive, hackathon-type experience, potentially late summer. It is an adaption of MIT’s Solve-a-Thon which is focused on current students.Our solve-a-thon is targeted to prospective students. What project theme would be compelling? What would give recruits an idea of the type of work that students and faculty are involved in at ISU? This should be a viable scope so that teams can accomplish something (could be planning) within an intense few days. As an example, the directions for the MIT competition this year are:
      • “For this Solve-a-thon, your task is to develop a concept and distribution plan for a wearable device that could significantly improve delivery of targeted healthcare to a significant portion of the world’s population. A successful proposal will include a discussion of the data to be collected by the device, engineering feasibility, a simple sketch model, market and distribution benchmarks, and a plan for encouraging long-term usage by diverse population groups.”
    • Solve-a-thon proposals can be submitted by one program or a collaboration across programs.

Neither grant track can be used for investigator salary or faculty incentive pay.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

Faculty from any ISU academic department and/or interdisciplinary program.

Grant Proposal Format

The proposal should be no more than two pages in length and should include the following:


  • Description of the project.
    • Track I, e.g., recruiting travel, faculty retreat, invited speaker, faculty seminar series, research partnership with minority serving institution, etc.
    • Track II. Description of the challenge, what will the teams of students try to accomplish in the few days they are at ISU? How many underrepresented students will you plan to bring to ISU and how will you recruit and select them? How will you form teams of both current and prospective students? Please provide a first draft of the schedule of the event. Please document the staff support for the event, e.g. travel logistics, hotel reservations, food, space, materials and supplies.
  • Expected outcomes of project and how the outcomes will be measured and evaluated. It is acknowledged that the ultimate goal of increasing number of underrepresented students with advanced degrees may not be visible for many years.
  • How the project fits with current departmental or interdisciplinary program recruiting goals.
  • Itemized budget
    • Note, for Track II, if approximately 10-15 prospective underrepresented students come to campus for a few days, the cost per student with airfare etc. could reach $700-800 student. These costs are likely shared by the grant and the program(s).
  • Contact person
  • Signature of the lead faculty member and Department Chair
  • Additional requirements Track II: Solve-a-thon grants guidelines


  • Prior RECRUIT grant winners and new grant applicants are both encouraged to apply for an award.
  • We are likely to host an information event on April 1, 2016.
  • Submit your proposal to Craig Ogilvie, , on or before April 15, 2016.
  • A Graduate College subcommittee will review the proposals and select which projects will be funded.
  • Winners will be asked to join a small Faculty Learning Community to share best practices in recruiting.
  • Funds must be spent by June 30, 2017.
  • A one-page summary of the initiative and its effectiveness must be submitted to the Graduate College by July 15, 2017.


Contact Craig Ogilvie at 515-294-5590 or .