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Public Scholarship

Institutions of higher education are often called upon to engage their scholars beyond the ivory tower and contribute to solve complex issues in our society — locally, nationally, and internationally. One way that scholars can engage outside of the academy is by developing a public scholarship agenda and disseminating knowledge that benefits society — for example, engaging with policy makers, the media, and community groups.

The National Center for Institutional Diversity’s (NCID) efforts align with the University of Michigan’s Public Engagement & Impact initiative. The NCID aims to elevate diversity scholarship by supporting scholars in translating their scholarship around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and disseminating it to the public. In addition, this initiative works towards broadening the view and understanding of public scholarship as a valuable form of scholarship for consideration in faculty hiring and tenure and annual reviews. Engaging diversity scholars in public scholarship is particularly critical in order to:

  • Provide opportunities to translate diversity scholarship into public scholarship
  • Disseminate diversity scholarship to the public
  • Increase the immediate impact of the diversity scholar’s work 
  • Articulate the value and impact of public scholarship by diversity scholars to academia

The NCID team will provide diversity scholars with resources and guidance to effectively engage and disseminate their public scholarship. NCID activities include:

Trainings and Resources

In collaboration with existing U-M resources, the NCID will provide customized trainings and resources relevant to diversity scholars and make these opportunities open to our national Network. Training opportunities may include speaking with the media, using social media, writing for a public audience, and leveraging their research for advocacy.

Public Writing Support

Pop-Up Writing Opportunities are announced throughout the year to work one-on-one with an editor to become a contributor for the NCID Insight Papers or NCID’s Medium publication. The NCID also develops partnerships with public writing platforms such as the American Council on Education’s Higher Education Today and The Conversation

Funding for Public Writing

Pop-Up Grants provide opportunities for scholars to actively engage in diversity scholarship around emerging or re-emerging social issues and disseminate findings quickly to the public. Scholars may apply for up to $2,000 in funding for a 6-month grant period.

Writing stipends are available for members of the Diversity Scholars Network. Contributors to the NCID Medium publication receive a modest stipend of $200 or $300 if they collaborate with another member of the Network during a Pop-Up Writing Opportunity.

Fostering a Community of Diversity Public Scholars

More and more institutions of higher education have developed support structures and resources for their faculty to engage and/or connect with the public. The NCID complements these resources and specifically creates a space for diversity scholars to explore challenges and opportunities to disseminate their work around diversity, equity, and inclusion to the public.