Launch Awards Program (LAP)

The application deadline is Friday, September 30, 2022. 

Click here to apply!

The Diversity Research Network (DRN) invites applications for competitive awards under the auspices of the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. The DRN-LAP is intended for faculty of color and diversity scholars at MSU. The award is intended to aid scholars in launching new research through pilot study, creative projects of scholarly merit or the enhancement of a measure or technique. Work that benefits diverse scholars or populations will be prioritized. Collaborations across departments or colleges are also of high priority. 

Aim: Consistent with the goals of the DRN, the DRN-LAP supports and promotes productivity among diverse scholars at MSU. This award is meant to provide support for new research programs or efforts as scholars to build toward external granting success. In this program we recognize the difficulty of working with underrepresented populations and the challenges associated with early career success among scholars of color.  We are interested in applications that emphasize programmatic research, innovation, community engagement, etc. Applications having the greatest potential for external funding are particularly supported.  

Award: Grants will be awarded in amounts of up to $5000.

Instructions: Application materials must be blinded. Previous awardees should wait at least 1 academic year before submitting new proposals. Only 1 proposal per scholar should be submitted. 

Proposals are limited to four pages (eleven-point font, one-inch margins; references, professional bio, and detailed budget should be included as appendicies), and must clearly articulate rationale and methods; offer a concise statement of expected outcomes; and justify the use of this funding source. A letter of support from the unit chair or director must accompany each application. Applications must be submitted electronically to the Diversity Research Network.

Follow-up Reporting Required: A brief midterm report (1-2 pages) detailing progress to date and use of funds is required. The final report detailing results or outcomes of the project, final accounting and plans for follow-up grant submission is required within 10 months of the award date.

Click here to apply!

Questions: Please submit any questions to or call 517-353-4563.

Past Recipients  

2021-22 LAP Recipients

Dr. Ashlee Barnes-Lee Dean’s Research Associate in the School of Social Work, received a LAP award for her project titled "A Multi-Stakeholder Understanding of School Discipline and Restorative Practices"


Dr. Amanda Chuan Assistant Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, received a LAP award for her project titled "Improving Social Belonging and Social Network Formation among Women in STEM Fields" 


Dr. Hanzhe Zhang Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, received a LAP award for his project titled "Helping Female, Underrepresented Minorities and International Students via Intelligent Multidisciplinary interventions of Student Project Teams"


Dr. Ranjani Krishnan Ernest W. & Robert W. Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting and Information Systems, received a LAP award for her project titled "Construing the impact of Board Gender Diversity on Firm Innovation Strategies"


Dr. Vicki Johnson-Lawrence Assistant Professor in the College of Human Medicine, received a LAP award for her project titled "The Church Challenge: A Community-Based Multi Level Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve Blood Pressure and Wellness in African American Churches in Flint, Michigan"


Dr. Young Anna Argyris Assistant Professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences, received a LAP award for her project titled "Development of Machine-Learning Algorithm for Identifying Topics of Pro- and Anti-Vaccine Rhetoric on Social Media"