Working Groups

Please note applications for the Spring 2022 Call have closed. Applications for the Spring 2023 Call for Proposals are being accepted through May 10, 2023. Please click here for more information. 

Spring 2022 Call for Proposals for Working Groups on Inequality sponsored by BRIDGE

BRIDGE (Building Research on Inequality and Diversity to Grow Equity) brings together Rice University faculty and students to enrich their understanding of inequality by leveraging our location in Houston, Texas, one of the nation’s most racially and ethnically diverse urban centers. We aim to enhance knowledge of inequality’s patterns, causes, consequences, promote dialogue and action about inequality’s impact, and invest in the training of future scholars of inequality.

To this end, BRIDGE is devoting resources to a series of working group’s that will nurture intellectual clusters examining inequality and identifying solutions. The BRIDGE working groups goal is to develop a cross-disciplinary incubator that will encourage scholarly researchers of different backgrounds, disciplines, and institutions within the Greater Houston region and facilitate rigorous exploration of emerging research areas. Working Group Directors (WGD) will join the leadership of the BRIDGE initiative as members of the steering committee.

Proposed Activities

Working groups may take multiple forms, including spaces to develop specific research projects as well as sites for nurturing intellectual debate (e.g., seminars, panels) or spaces for developing pedagogy and instructional activities around inequality. Proposals are encouraged to engage in a range of activities that may encompass new scholarship, critical conversation, and/or focus on immediate and future challenges for which we seek solutions or strategies to tackle.

Topic Areas

Working groups projects may address any new or enduring scholarly question, debate, or issue focused on the following areas:

  • Urban development and sprawl
  • Health disparities
  • Environmental justice
  • Inequalities in education and access to educational resources (K-12 or university level)
  • Democracy, Voting and Social Justice
  • Employment and Opportunity disparities
  • Mobility and Migration

We encourage projects to address systemic and structural forces that result in inequality, as well as topics that examine how the realities are experienced at the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and gender identity.

Award Details

This award will provide three years of funding (2022-2025) for 4-5 working groups. Projects awards will range from a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum up to $65,000 toward direct costs associated with project-related meetings and similar activities, such as travel, accommodations, and meals. We also encourage student (undergrad and graduate) as well as postdoc involvement in the proposed activities, and budget allocations for research assistance are permitted. Funds are not intended to cover salary replacement for any project participants. The budget must include other current or pending funding sources.

Matching funds provided by the sponsoring colleges or universities are not required, but applications including a commitment to match resources in some manner will be viewed favorably.


Proposed projects must be led by at least two but no more than three working group directors. Priority will be given to working group directors whose partnership spans departments or disciplines. WGD should be comprised of at least two faculty (Tenure Track or Non-Tenure Track) of any rank, one of which must be affiliated with Rice University. WGD may have affiliations with other institutions located in the Greater Houston Metro area (e.g., University of Houston, Texas Southern University). Underrepresented and junior scholars are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

The deadline for applications is Sunday, January 9, 2022. Applications must be emailed to BRIDGE Program Administrator Alana Holmes ( Applicants should prepare a PDF document formatted as single-spaced in Calibri 12-point font and include:

  • Project Description (two pages)
    1. Significance of question/topic. State project topic and its relationship to topic areas. Describe the significance and contribution to what is known about inequality and the ability to address or remedy inequality.
    2. Proposed Activities. Discuss goals for the grant period, including intended activities of the working group and intended participants (e.g., faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, or postdocs) as well as other interested parties within the Houston metro area.
    3. Potential audience and outreach. The application should reference units on and off- campus that are potential audiences or participants in the working group. How will research be paired with outfacing events and inquiry-based learning opportunities?
    4. Training or mentorship activities. Address any opportunities of training and/or mentoring for junior scholars, especially those who are part of underrepresented minority communities. Priority will be given to applications that include capstone-like and/or independent/mentored research projects that involve or are developed by undergraduates.
    5. Outgrowth/Future pathways. Make clear the transformative potential of funding for the long-term impact of the project. Working group funding should be deemed as seed funding that will be built upon with additional resources.
  • Works Cited (one page)
  • Budget (one page): A budget outline of proposed expenses for the three-year period, noting any matching funds or resources provided by the host or partnering institutions.
  • Timeframe (one page): Please outline a timeline for activities over the three-year period.
  • Three-page CVs for each working group director: CVs should highlight scholarly experience as well as leadership experience within Rice University and other academic communities.

Selection Criteria

  • Criteria for selection, apart from the usual standards of rigorous academic inquiry, will emphasize the innovative groupings of scholars and approaches proposed.
  • Applicants should demonstrate knowledge of the field(s) and the project’s potential to meet specific needs or attain goals within that/those field(s). If similar projects or programs currently exist at Rice, applicants should discuss how the proposed project is distinctive and engages these efforts.
  • Proposals will be evaluated with their ability to generate one or more of the following:
    1. The ability to generate new scholarly insight may be in the form of providing space for important dialogue, generating new data, or extending existing data.
    2. Outreach or dissemination of insights to relevant audiences. This includes programming or events targeting a wide variety of audiences in addition to publicly accessible reporting (e.g., op-eds, essays, papers, social media).
    3. Student involvement (research training, advising, and mentorships for future scholars)
    4. Connecting with policy, including conversations with key stakeholders and decision-makers.
    5. Potential for securing additional funding

Selection Process

Steering Committee will review applications in early January, with determinations made by January 30, 2022. Notifications will be delivered by February 7, 2022. Initial meetings will be in mid-February, with activities to start in Spring 2022. REPORTING Funds will be available for a three-year period. A final report will be due two months following the conclusion of the grant period as awardees working group directors will also be members of BRIDGE leadership. They will give a brief update on research activities at monthly steering committee meetings.


Please contact Alana Holmes, BRIDGE Program Administrator (, for further guidance in preparing your application. Application details can be downloaded here.