Dialogue Across Difference Seed Grants Request for Proposals


The Office of the Provost is pleased to issue a request for proposals to support a series of faculty-led programming designed to promote Dialogue Across Difference.

Freedom of expression thrives within a culture of civility and empathy. The Dialogue Across Difference initiative is designed to foster a community of learners among students, faculty, and staff, and to strengthen the critical skills necessary to confront challenging viewpoints and hold difficult conversations with mutual respect. 

This seed grant funding opportunity is designed to support collaborative faculty-led projects consistent with the goals of the Dialogue Across Difference initiative that engage our campus community. 

Funded projects will be led by faculty, or faculty in partnership with staff/administrators, and may engage faculty, staff, students or all of the above. Projects can provide tools and frameworks to promote constructive dialogue or provide forums that model dialogue across divergent perspectives. Subjects could include differing perspectives on pressing topics, from freedom of speech to political polarization to artificial intelligence.

Schools are strongly encouraged to develop a process for determining which faculty proposals will be prioritized and put forward in this round. Proposals must be submitted with the support and sign-off by the School’s Dean. Cross-disciplinary projects are welcome.


The Office of the Provost will accept applications from full-time faculty members from the Morningside, Manhattanville, and Columbia University Irving Medical Center campuses. Faculty from Barnard and Teachers College may co-apply with a full-time Columbia faculty member. 

Students interested in applying for seed grant funding for student-led projects should contact University Life at [email protected]

Scope of Commitments and Budget

The Office of the Provost will provide up to $10,000 per project. Examples of allowed expenditures are room rentals, refreshments, AV, student workers, etc. 

NOTE: Office of the Provost funds cannot be used for capital expenditures. 

How to Apply

Components of a Complete Applications

  • Department/School details and signatures from the relevant Dean(s) (and department chair(s), if applicable)
  • Applicant(s) proposal (not to exceed 3 pages), that includes the following sections (each section denoted with a separate header): 
    • Project goals, objectives, scope and format. Format possibilities include workshops, panel discussions, AI simulations, symposia, artistic events, skill-building opportunities, etc.

    • Anticipated campus impact and target audience (faculty, students and/or staff)

    • Evaluation criteria and planned methodology for evaluation

    • Budget projection and narrative. We recognize that the proposed budget is based on your estimate of costs. The actual budget, and Office of the Provost award, will be based on the final costs.

  • Applicant(s) curricula vitae or biographies.

Submission Details and Timeline

The entire application must be submitted via the online submission form. If you need to share the application-in-progress with others in your academic unit, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the application
  2. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page
  3. Select “Get shareable link”
  4. Paste and email the link to yourself and the corresponding colleague(s)
The submission deadline is Friday, March 1, 2024. Notifications will be made by mid-April.

Review Process 

A committee appointed by the Provost will review the applications and will make recommendations to the Provost. 


If you have any questions during the submission period, please contact our office at [email protected].