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Think Act Tanks


Current application cycle has closed. Look for announcements for new cycle.

“Think-Act Tanks” is an innovative initiative that brings together diversity scholars to address some of the most pressing social issues in our society.

Drawing from scholarship and processes that have effectively engaged diverse teams, these faculty-driven groups engage experts from a variety of disciplinary lenses and methodologies in order to develop cutting-edge ideas and products and mobilize collective scholarly communities.

Think-Act Tanks were conceptualized to provide the resources and supports that are critical for effective and sustained faculty-led research team projects.

Think-Act Tanks mobilize multi- disciplinary, institutional, and generational collaborative research teams to advance diversity scholarship that has a public impact.

Groups could be made up of University of Michigan (U-M) faculty, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and/or external scholars, tapping into local and global expertise.

Each group will submit a proposal outlining a set of focused goals/outcomes/products that will be carried out during the grant period, which may include developing a collective research agenda or publications. A designated faculty lead will coordinate the group and work closely with NCID staff to ensure progression on the project. Think-Act Tanks aim to expand and explicitly engage scholars with social science, humanistic, and humanistic social science expertise.

Each Think-Act Tank is allotted $15,000 that can go toward research/scholarship related costs determined by the faculty within each group (e.g. working group meetings, outside speakers, pilot data collection planning, etc.).  

We also encourage the inclusion of graduate students, and Think-Act Tank funds can also used toward graduate student support (up to $5,000 of Think/Act Tanks award). If graduate student support is included, proposals should speak to how the student role will help support the goals and infrastructure of the group, and how the student will receive mentoring and relevant professional exposures and socialization (based on an articulated mentoring plan) around the group's topic. As such, the graduate students participating in the Think/Act Tanks would have a high quality professional/scholarly experience.

In line with NCID’s public scholarship efforts, the NCID will provide an infrastructure for communication and dissemination strategies, for instance, through social media, newsletters, blog platform, Insight Papers production, and individual outreach to national partners.


  • Project proposal topics should align with the diversity scholarship framework.
  • Project teams should be made up of at least 5 members and at most 15 members and come from at least two different disciplinary fields. Teams who have pre-existing collaboration experience as well as those who have not collaborated before are encouraged to apply.
  • Faculty leads must be a faculty member at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Priority will be given to members of the Diversity Scholars Network and projects that engage students through a meaningful mentorship and training opportunity.

Project Timeline

Teams are to submit a timeline of activities within the 18-month grant period cycle. Project timelines may vary based on whether the team has worked together before or the project specific activities.


A summary of project activities and products, as well as future plans should be included in the report. Any publicly digestible products should be included and disseminated in partnership with NCID.