OMSA Research Initiative Grant

If you are thinking of conducting original research, need help with preparing for your BA thesis, or want support to finish that really important chapter, the Research Initiative Grant (RIG) is for you.

RIG is intended to assist undergraduate, graduate, and professional students by providing financial support for scholarly projects that explore the multifaceted nature of race, race relations, ethnicity, and/or culture within the University of Chicago, the larger City of Chicago community, and/or Higher Education.

RIG presentations are given by each recipient at a recognition dinner in the spring quarter the year the grant is awarded.  These presentations highlight the accomplishments each student is able to achieve with the funding of the Research Initiative Grant and submit their full research findings in their final paper.

Please click here to download an application.  Proposals are due Monday, November 3, 2014 and letters of recommendation are requested by Monday, November 10, 2014.

Applications and letters can be sent via email to or can be delievered/sent to the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Attn: Research Initiative Grant, 5710 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • Common budget requests include local (within Chicagoland) transportation costs, subject/interviewee incentives/compensation, focus group and meeting costs, books and other source material, transcription costs, printing costs, and AV equipment costs (e.g. audio recorders, video recorders).
  • Unfortunately the grant cannot be used toward cost of transportation to sites outside of Chicago. This includes international sites.
  • Grant funds applied for now cannot be used toward expenses to be incurred during Summer 2015. 
  • You do not need to have taken a class with your recommender, nor do they need to be at the University.  However, if your preferred recommender is not at the University, an additional letter of support from someone who is at the University is desirable.

For more information, and eligibility requirements, please contact Ravi Randhava.

Past Recipients

  • Maryam Al-Zoubi  “Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community”
  • Lester Ang “Towards Justice: On Islamic Minorities and Legal Approaches to the Multiculturalist Predicament as Seen in the Israeli Supreme Court (Working Paper)
  • Tranece Artis “Healthcare Disparities Among African-American Women With Breast Cancer”
  • Nehaa Haneef “The Effects of Self-Identifying Labels on the Interethnic Attitudes of Muslim Americans”
  • Christopher Hansen “Panera’s Padlocks: A Case Study of Corporate Charity in Chicago “
  • David Lubin “The Rise and Resiliency of Securitization: The Growth of a Novel Market and its Dissimilar Impact on Consumers and Neighborhoods of Color”
  • Alfred G. Pérez “Making Meaning of Permanency Outcomes: The Retrospective Accounts of Young Adults Placed in Adoption, Subsidized Guardianship, and Relative Foster Care”
  • Jamila Celestine Michener "Political understanding and actions of marginalized people"
  • Anjanette Chan Tack "Food deserts in communities of color"
  • Michelle Hartzog "Academic achievement of African American students in post-secondary education"
  • Brittany Little "History of Black women in theater and performance"
  • Toussaint Losier "Prisons, mass incarceration, and African Americans"
  • Abimbola Oladokun "The rise of anti-drug policy and criminalization of people of color and particularly women of color"
  • Elizabeth Todd "Black organizing, activism and political mobilization in Chicago"
  • Adama Wiltshire "Black identity within the Anglo/Hispanic divide"
  • Rogelio Fierro "Flair advantage? Queering the educational (under)achievement of Mexican American men"
  • Kirstin Boswell Ford "A home-place: Self-identity and God in African American culture"
  • Tehama Lopez "Amazing grace: The possibility of a white double consciousness"
  • Jamila Michener "Neighborhood context and the politics of perception"
  • Elizabeth Perez "Women's work, ritual labor: cooking and conversion in Ilé Laroye"
  • Jonathan Rosa "Learning to hear a nation's limits: language ideologies and the fashioning of ethnoracial difference in a U.S. high school"
  • Fallon Wilson "Black women's political attitudes and the gender qualified social scripting of Black women's lives"