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Diversifying Academia


"Diversifying Academia" focuses on developing research, fellowships, and networks in order to diversify scholars and scholarship in higher education.


Members of our panel on "Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education," a Diversity Scholars Network publication examining how our use of diversity has evolved and will continue to influence higher education.


Colleges and universities have a distinctive mission to produce scholarship that will promote positive change in addressing contemporary issues in our society. Diversity research, conducted by a diverse array of scholars, helps us dissect and understand complex issues such as cultural relations, politics, and economic growth. Diversity research can also attempt to bridge the gap between scholarship and practice and it offers a means to amplify the voices of individuals with marginalized identities inside and outside the academy.

Through this priority we have launched multiple efforts to simultaneously work towards diversifying the academy at the University of Michigan and across the nation. Through these efforts we aim to:

  • Engage in the direct production and promotion of cutting-edge diversity research that will inform effective practices for social change; 
  • Provide fellowships to advance diverse faculty and diversity-related research; and
  • Build strong networks of scholars engaged in diversity-related research in order to develop collaborations and research agendas.

This multifaceted approach is grounded in the core principles that:

  1. Diversity scholarship, including non-traditional methodologies, topics, and practices, must be accepted and valued by academic gatekeepers and peers; and
  2. Efforts to recruit, retain, and advance diverse faculty will bring new perspectives to the academic environment that strengthens education and society.


We believe that diversity research is a critical tool to lead change and it is at the center of everything we do. The NCID supports scholarship by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct research through funding and protected time while providing resources on how to diversify academia and make space for diversity research in the academy. Through our research process we prioritize the ability to "make research work" by translating our findings into multiple formats that can be used to inform effective practices for social change. 


Diversifying scholars and scholarship requires protected opportunities for diversity. The NCID manages both the NCID Postdoctoral Fellowship and the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship, two opportunities to support early-career scholars in their research and professional development. Both of these fellowships are aimed at diverse scholars - in training, identity, or interests - and provide funding, mentorship, and access to the full resources of the University of Michigan. These fellowships help advance the careers of our scholars while helping us shape the mission and research agenda of the NCID.


Performing better diversity research requires spaces for collaboration, dissemination, and connection. The Diversity Scholars Network is a national network that recognizes and supports scholars who perform diversity-related research, providing a public directory of scholars engaged in diversity research and providing them exclusive access to faculty and professional development opportunities.