York University establishes research fund to support Black scholars

Vari Hall

The York Black Research Seed Fund will provide $150,000 in funding and mentorship to support the research activities of Black academics.

The fund aims to promote equitable and inclusive funding to set roots for research projects and support future growth. The fund has two streams:

  • The Open Research Fund provides three awards, at $25,000 each, to support funding for three Black scholars for a duration of 24 months.
  • The Collaborative Research Fund provides three awards, at $25,000 each, to support Black early career researchers who plan to collaborate with a Black scholar on a 24-month research project.

Both funds are open to all Black scholars, but preference is given to emerging and early-career researchers to further their research projects.

Supported by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-President Equity, People and Culture (EP&C), the fund was created to respond to and support the University’s commitment to addressing the systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy that pervades academia.

Amir Asif
Amir Asif

“York University is committed to excellence and inclusiveness in research, scholarship and knowledge creation,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “Black scholars face significant barriers in academic research. The York Black Research Seed Fund signals our ongoing commitment and long-term support in advancing equity and inclusion and removing systemic barriers that have hindered the success of Black scholars.”

The call is an important pilot project and represents York University’s ongoing commitment to funding equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research and scholarship. An annual budget of $750,000 per year over three years will be dedicated to supporting Black, Indigenous, gender and disability research and knowledge mobilization.

Portrait of Sheila Cote-Meek, York University's inaugural VP Equity
Sheila Cote-Meek

“Black scholarship is vital to advancing knowledge and creation that will have a positive impact on the communities we serve,” said Sheila Cote-Meek, vice-president equity, people and culture. “The York Black Research Seed Fund is one step forward in addressing the challenges that Black scholars face in advancing their careers and will set in motion a future that promotes excellence and inclusiveness in research.”

In addition to the York Black Research Seed Fund, the University has committed $100,000 to support the research activities at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas, two organized research units (ORUs) based at York University. This funding is provided in addition to the operational support funds made available to the ORUs from the Office of the VPRI.

CERLAC is a hub for inter- and multidisciplinary research on Latin America and the Caribbean, their diasporas and relationships with Canada and the rest of the world. The Harriet Tubman Institute is the preeminent, interdisciplinary centre for research, both historical and contemporary, on Africa and its global diasporas.

The deadline to submit an application for the Black Research Seed fund is Monday, March 21 by 4:30 p.m. EST. Submit an application and supporting documents here. Information about eligibility and criteria for the Black Scholarship Seed Fund and the University’s commitment to excellence and inclusiveness in research is available here on the Research and Innovation website.

Learn about Black Inclusion at York University including the University’s Framework, Addressing Anti-Black Racism: A Framework on Black Inclusion and The Action Plan on Black Inclusion: A Living Document for Action.