York announces new funds to promote Black scholarship 

Black student arboretum York campus laptop study

York University has launched three new funding initiatives in support of Black researchers and their scholarly pursuits.  

Carl James
Carl James

Established by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) in consultation with Carl James, senior advisor on equity and representation in the Office of the Vice-President Equity, People & Culture, the funds are intended to help address systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy within academia, as well as to help the University rise to the challenges laid out in the Action Plan on Black Inclusion and Framework on Black Inclusion.  

“The values of equity, diversity and inclusion underpin York University’s research enterprise, and Black scholarship is vital to its growth and expansion,” said Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “These new funds aim to address historical disparities and empower Black researchers, fostering their talents and impactful work that reflects the diversity of our community of changemakers.”  

VPRI also recently made $25,000 per year available to two Black-focused organized research units, the Harriet Tubman Institute and the Centre of Excellence for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC), to support equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.  

“These initiatives show our commitment to removing systematic barriers and combatting anti-Black racism in our spaces,” said Alice Pitt, vice-president equity, people and culture. “Through the allocation of funds and resources, we ensure that Black excellence in research is recognized in the curriculum and collections in all disciplines.” 

The three new funds, currently seeking applicants, are:  

1. York Black Research Seed Fund 

The York Black Research Seed Fund was established in 2022 to provide mentorship and funding in support of the research activities of Black academics, with priority given to emerging and early-career researchers. The primary intent is to promote equitable and inclusive funding to help set roots for research projects and support future growth. The pilot round of the York Black Research Seed Fund launched a call for applications in February 2022, with a total of $150,000 of funding awarded to six scholars in June 2022.  

Currently, the call for applications for the second round of funding has been released. There is a total of $225,000 available for a maximum of nine projects. The applications are due on Jan. 22, 2024 by 4:30 p.m. EST. The call for applications can be found here

2. York Incentive Grant for Black Scholars and Black Scholarship  

The York Black Scholarly Incentive Grant provides support for the development of research grant applications related to Black scholarship to external sources as articulated in York’s Strategic Research Plan 2023-2028. The main purpose of the fund is to defray costs associated with standard programs of research, such as: Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grants; Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection Grants; SSHRC Insight and Insight Development Grants; and SSHRC Partnership Development Grants. While the scale of initiatives supported may vary according to discipline, all proposals must clearly demonstrate the intended external source of support.  

The deadline is rolling – applications can be submitted at any time. There is a maximum of $3,000 available per applicant; however, the award is not to be used to conduct research. The application can be found here

3. Funding for Black Scholars and Black Scholarship: Events and Outreach Activities 

The Funding for Black Scholars and Black Scholarship: Events and Outreach Activities is intended for scholarly events or outreach activities that support Black scholarship and inclusion, build the profile and reputation of Black-focused and Black-led research, and strengthen the research culture of Black scholarship and inclusion at York University. Successful applicants can normally expect funding in the range of $500 to $1,500, depending on the level of demand across the University and the scope of the activity. 

VPRI is also accepting applications for outreach and engagement activities that connect academic researchers and students with non-academic audiences (industry, governments, community and non-profit organizations, schools, the public). These funds will be capped at $1,000, with 20 awards available in each year evenly spread over four competitions per year.    

The application deadlines in 2024 are Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 and Sept. 1. The application form can be found here