Seed Grant: Transgender Health and Empowerment

Funding cycle closed.


These grants are aimed at developing interdisciplinary researchers with the capacity to engage and collaborate with gender minority populations to develop innovative tools, useful research infrastructure, or to promote equitable and meaningful research with transgender and non-binary people in empowered ways. Funded researchers will form a working group to build a transgender advisory group for future collaborations with University of Michigan researchers. The working group will be supported in its work by additional IRWG funds and staff.

Research proposals should describe the research and explain how the methodology, recruitment, or partnership empowers transgender and non-binary citizens and draws on their expertise. We will prioritize projects that conceptualize health in an interdisciplinary way, draw on intersectional approaches, and bridge the health sciences and other fields. Researchers should demonstrate familiarity with ethical guidelines for working with trans and non-binary people (research article link here). Applicants must be PI-eligible for federal grants.

Offered in partnership with The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR)

The deadline has now passed. Currently we are reviewing proposals. Applicants should receive news of their proposal's status by mid-March.

How to Apply: 

Please visit our InfoReady application to submit your proposal and apply online (Login with your U-M credentials)

Award Amounts:

Funds may be requested from $500 to $10,000, depending on the scope of the project. Please make budget amounts as exact as possible. We encourage applications from those seeking matching funds for grants from other sources, up to our limit. IRWG does not require matching funds.


At least one person in the applicant group must be a University of Michigan faculty member and PI-eligible for federal grants. Applicants are encouraged to include students and community partners in project plans.

Application Procedure:

Applications will be accepted through our online submissions portal. You will need the following items for your proposal:

1) Project Abstract - 100 word summary 

2) Project Narrative - In no more than three (3) single-spaced pages, describe:

  • Goals of the project, including how it contributes to transgender studies

  • Plan for conducting the project, including attention to intersectionality and ethical guidelines for research with transgender populations

  • Roles of any collaborators on the project, including community partners or organizations

3) Project Budget - Please upload one file with your project budget of one page.

  • Outline budget expenses, including their justification. This funding includes budgets to make full participation for trans community members possible including transportation, food, incentive payments, consultant fees, etc.

  • Specify contingent budgets or matching funds you’re seeking.

  • Any UM salary expenses must include appropriate calculation of benefits. Please note that faculty salary will not be funded.

4) Curriculum vitae (5-page max) for all collaborators

Selection Criteria:

Reviewers will score the applications based on EACH of these four criteria: 1) quality and significance of the scholarly or creative activity proposed, including its potential for future extramural funding; 2) potential to contribute to transgender empowerment, including through ethical conduct of research and the faculty member’s participation in the working group; 3) inclusion of appropriate attention to issues of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, nationality, social class, or other differences among women and men; and 4) value of the project to the career development of faculty and/or students.

Human Subjects Review:

Compliance with all appropriate regulations governing conduct of research will be required. Research proposals involving the use of human subjects will be subject to project review and approval by the appropriate IRB. It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain IRB approval in a timely manner so that research is not delayed.

Post Award Expectations:

  • Participate in the working group to build a transgender research advisory board

  • Attend a meeting for future grant development (with MICHR and IRWG)

  • Acknowledge IRWG and MICHR support in presentations and publications resulting from the funded project

  • Inform IRWG staff of resulting funding, presentations and publications for publicity purposes

  • Provide a written report a year from the date of the award (email is fine) that outlines your project activities, any extramural grant submitted and award status, as well as a financial report

Contact Person:

Jocelyn Stitt, Program Director for Faculty Research Development (, 734.764.9537)