COGS Diversity Equity and Inclusion Award

MSU Council of Graduate Students (COGS) established this endowment in 2021 to recognize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts by graduate and professional students in or through their program, unit, or department at MSU.

The recipients are selected during Spring Semester 2023 to be awarded the following Fall Semester 2023. Recipients need to be enrolled for the Fall Semester.

Eligibility: 

Graduate and professional students regularly (not provisional or lifelong) enrolled in a graduate or grad-professional program (not a certificate program only) at MSU and who are in good standing in their programs may apply. Faculty or others are encouraged to nominate a graduate student (Please email fellowshipapps@grd.msu.edu to submit a nomination). Nominators should be those who directly worked with the applicant/nominee, can demonstrate and explain the applicant/nominees impact on their program, unit, or department at MSU and/or on their campus community, or who are otherwise knowledgeable about how the applicant/nominee embodies DEI philosophy through their DEI actions. Students must be enrolled for the minimum credits to be in full-time status or provide a justification for less than full-time status. A graduate or professional student can receive a DEI Award once during their time at MSU.

Consideration will be given to graduate and professional students who 1) clearly embody and clearly demonstrate DEI work through addressing, challenging, or dismantling forms of discrimination, sexism, racism, and prejudice in or through their program, unit, or department at MSU; or by creating a more equitable environment in or through their program, unit, or department at MSU; and 2) who clearly demonstrate what work they did and the extent of that work, demonstrate the outcomes of that work, and display their commitment to furthering DEI in or through their program, unit, or department at MSU.

Examples include:

  • Creating DEI panels, workshops, or other DEI activities/events that create a more equitable environment or addresses/challenges/dismantles discrimination, sexism, racism, and prejudice within or through a program, unit, or department on campus.
  • Creating DEI focused forums, programs, or a series that creates a more equitable environment or addresses/challenges/dismantles discrimination, sexism, racism, and prejudice within or through a program, unit, or department on campus.
  • Instituting a DEI program, series, or activities/events that creates a more equitable environment or dismantles addresses/challenges/dismantles discrimination, sexism, racism, and prejudice through a Registered Student Organization (RSO) or Graduate Student Organization (GSO) on campus that affects the campus community.
  • DEI related volunteerism on campus with DEI impacts on campus.
  • Service on DEI committees and boards within a program, unit, or department with DEI impacts on campus.

Nominators/recommendations should be from those who directly worked with the applicant/nominee, can demonstrate and explain the applicant/nominees impact on their program, unit, or department at MSU and/or to their campus community, or who are otherwise knowledgeable about how the applicant/nominee embodies DEI philosophy through their advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

NOTE: This award is not for research on other related “-isms,” or DEI related work completed through a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, or any paid positions. This award is not for DEI work done in the applicant’s respective disciplines and/or professional societies at the local, state, regional, national, or international levels while a student at MSU. The DEI award is specific to DEI work affecting MSU students, staff, or faculty on campus in their respective or through their respective program, unit, or department.

NOTE: For those doing research on other related “isms” and societal “isms” more broadly or their research has impact on “isms,” please refer to the Barbara Stewart Thomas and Jim Thomas Graduate Fellowship (https://grad.msu.edu/fellowships/thomas).

NOTE: For those doing DEI work in their respective disciplines and/or professional societies at the local, state, regional, national, or international levels, this “DEI leadership” is considered Leadership under the Disciplinary Leadership Award (https://grad.msu.edu/fellowships/cogs). Do not apply for a DEI Award if your DEI work is NOT occurring on MSU campus or within a program, unit, or department on campus with effects on campus communities.

The DEI Award is awarded to up to five students at $1,000.00 each in recognition of their DEI work. COGS prefers that the awardee plans to continue advancing Diversity Equity and Inclusion at MSU or within their program, unit, department, or campus community. Recipients need to be enrolled for the semester in which they receive their funding. MSU must follow federal awarding rules.

NOTE: If you have federal loans or other needs-based loans/aid, the amount of your fellowship award may cause a reduction of your loan(s) or other financial aid. You may still wish to consider the fellowship as this will most likely reduce your total loan debt at graduation. Please seek advice from your Office of Financial Aid Counselor before you turn down a fellowship.

A committee consisting of representative(s) from the Graduate School, 3 members of the COGS membership at large, and 2 graduate program directors will review applications. The committee will select 3-5 candidates and forward to the Dean of the Graduate School who will make the final decision. The Dean may also consider any remaining candidates in the pool.

See full funding guidelines here (PDF)

To apply, fill out this form (PDF)

Due Date: 
Monday, November 14, 2022
Funding Amount: 
$1000
Semester Due: 
Fall Semester