Engineering IDEAS Grants

Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Action Seeds

A group of four students spaced apart and working in a Kennedy Library fishbowl

The Cal Poly College of Engineering fosters an environment based in love, empathy, and respect where all are supported, energized, and empowered. Opportunities to contribute exist for all and a broad range of voices and experiences are necessary as we co-create our future.  We are developing an inclusive community where everyone can be their own unique selves.

Student at Kennedy Library working on a model building
Student outdoors on a grassy lawn with mobile device
In order to foster this mission, CENG has developed a call for proposals to apply for this funding named Engineering IDEAS Grants (Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Action Seed Grants). This resource is open to all Faculty, Staff, and Students of CENG who want to make a difference with creative and innovative solutions to foster welcoming initiatives starting Spring 2020 quarter and later. These mini-grants are intended for small projects ranging from $200.00 to $1,000.00. We are also interested in hearing IDEAS to make the online learning environment more inclusive.
  • Spring Quarter Deadline: Sat. April 25, 2020
  • Spring Quarter Awards: To be announced on May 12, 2020.

All approved Engineering IDEAS projects require a short report on the impact your submission had on the Cal Poly CENG community. This could take the form of photos, a video, or a written report. You are welcomed to add any additional information on impact (number in attendance, evaluation results, anecdotal information, etc.) Report results and additional comments will become part of our webpage and/or part of our annual report.

The members of the Engineering IDEAS Committee will review proposals each quarter and notify the contact person listed on the proposal form of the status of the proposal within three weeks of the proposal deadline.

For information about applying for Engineering IDEAS funding, please contact Melinda Keller in Mechanical Engineering at

  • Create a virtual department conversation space – time and importance allotted to issues of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Actions. [IDEAs]
  • Virtual Training and Workshops for Faculty, Staff, Clubs, Students.
  • Digital space for IDEAs news in department and club publications.
  • IDEAs Research ideas (in virtual classrooms, with students clubs, IRA’s, or research groups)
  • Virtual Book Circles
  • Create open and accepting virtual environments.
  • CENG J.E.D.I. Council Priorities for 2019-2020 (PDF) – What are your ideas to further progress in these areas?

1. Can anyone apply?
Applicants must be affiliated with the college of engineering at Cal Poly.  Students, Faculty, and Staff are all encouraged to try out their IDEAS.

2. When do I have to spend the money?
Any time after you receive notification of the award. We would like to distribute these funds to get projects started, but if you can’t start until Fall, that’s OK too. Just let us know.

3. How long does my report have to be?
The reporting is up to you. Please let us know what form your report will be. This intended to not be a burden though, so it could be a paragraph, video, or set of pictures. The idea is to capture and promote what we are doing.
4. I can’t do my IDEA within these budget constraints or I can’t do my IDEA, but I want someone else to do it.
Go ahead and submit your IDEA. The committee will see it and read it and might be able to make it happen at another time. We’re looking for all IDEAs.
5) I have an idea for outreach to another school (elementary, junior high, or high school). Would an activity targeting younger students to consider engineering be a good candidate for this?
Yes, this has great potential to change the climate of the College of Engineering.
6. I have a virtual, University wide event that is poly-cultural and open to everyone. I assure you, it’s a really great event. It will be huge and shift the WORLD! Would this be something IDEAS would want to help out with?
No. While the members of the IDEAS committee will probably go to your event and want you to be successful, this is not the purpose of this seed money. We are trying to make positive changes for CENG, and can only fund small projects. These IDEAS Grants are to make small differences locally to enact a larger shift in attitude.
7. With everything being virtual, what can we even do for IDEAS now?
We are very hopeful that you have a great IDEA to help us reach people who are feeling excluded or trapped in this on-line environment. We are especially looking for you ideas on how to include our students, faculty, or staff that are having an especially difficult challenge with this mode of communicatoin.