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Summer 2023 Grants for Students

Applications are now open for the Black Studies Collaboratory’s Summer 2023 Small Grants Program.

Application due: Sunday, April 9th at 12:00 am PT

Application Details

The Black Studies Collaboratory in the Department of African American Studies at UC Berkeley is accepting applications from UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students for financial support for research up to $5,000. We welcome proposals from across campus that center blackness, especially projects that are collaborative and that move beyond what is defined as traditionally “academic.” Some examples might include curatorial projects, poetry chapbooks, oral history projects, and built-environment projects aimed at creating life-affirming spaces.

Crises around ongoing anti-black state violence–including police violence, the precarity of black laborers, in the face of health pandemics, climate change, gentrification and resegregation, the battle over meaningful representation–have long been objects of study and sites of intervention for Black Studies. Our current moment is unprecedented for the quickening, simultaneity and heightened visibility (and repetition via social media) of these crises. Given this, we welcome proposals that explore new ways of telling stories about black life as well as those that offer a new lens through which to understand the current moment.


Applications can be submitted by any student currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at UC Berkeley. While we encourage collaborative projects, we also fund dissertation and thesis research. To encourage sustainable demographic transformation of the institution, we encourage applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.

Application Requirements

  • Project abstract (200 words)
  • Project description (up to 750 words or a 3-minute video), including a description of the collaboration, if applicable
  • Project budget
  • Timeline for project completion
  • Name of faculty sponsor/mentor (who will be required to fill out a brief questionnaire, due April 14, 2023)

Grant Period

Grants will be awarded for the period of May 15 – September 1, 2023. Grand funds must be used by September 1, 2023. Students will receive a stipend payment for the total amount of the award.

Use of Grant Funds

Grants are intended to be used for direct costs related to your project. Here are some examples of how the grant funding can be used include: purchasing books related to your research; purchasing plane tickets to travel to an archive for your project; purchasing supplies to create an art installation for your project; purchasing equipment, with the exception of computers, to conduct research for your project; paying an honorarium or similar payment to a collaborator who contributes to your project.

Grant funding may not be used for: purchases not related to your project, such as personal living expenses; the purchase of computers; and the purchase of furniture.

Grantee Reporting

Grantees will be required to report on their project in the form of a final presentation of their work, to be presented on September 8, 2023 on the UC Berkeley campus. The presentation will be public, recorded, and posted to the Department of African American Studies’ YouTube page. Grantees will also be expected to provide a short report on how they spent their funds.

For questions about the application please email:

Apply on SlideRoom!


Can previous BSC Small Grant Program recipients apply again?

Yes, previous awardees of the BSC Small Grants Program are encouraged to apply for additional funds to expand existing or new projects. However, no previous awardee or team can receive more than a lifetime total of $15,000 in grant funding.

Can visiting scholars at UC Berkeley apply to this program? 

Unfortunately, visiting scholars, including visiting research students at UC Berkeley, do not qualify for our Small Grants Program and are unable to apply. However, the Black Studies Collaboratory has some other funding opportunities for visiting scholars in the Department of African American Studies. Please contact Barbara Montano ( for more information.

Can you apply for a project that includes additional funding beyond the funding from this grant?

Applicants can only request up to $5,000 in funding for this program. However, if you have additional funding from other sources that will support a larger overall project, you may note that in your application. If you are working on a larger overall project, we would prefer to see an application for this program that covers one part of the project, which can be completed in the timeframe and within the $5,000 budget.

Do faculty recommenders have additional time after the deadline to complete their recommendation?

Yes. Please include the name and contact information for your faculty sponsor/mentor/advisor in your application. They will be asked to complete a short form (5 minutes or less) rather than a full letter of recommendation. They will receive a separate email with instructions and the form will be due by April 14, 2023.

Will I be taxed on this funding if I receive it?

The BSC and other UC Berkeley entities will not tax this grant funding and it will be designated as research funding or income from a non-compensatory research award. We are not required to report this funding on IRS Form W-2 or 1099-MISC and will not send grantees an official tax form. Grantees should contact a tax professional or a local IRS office to determine their individual tax liability. The cost of potential taxes that may be applied by the IRS cannot be included in your proposed project budget. 

Does it have to be a new project?

No. We are looking to help you at any stage of your project.

Are there any requirements for the video submission option? 

No, you can design the video however you like. If you have any photos or images, they are welcome but not required.