What is a Graduate SEED Award? 

The Graduate and Professional Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award program honors underrepresented graduate and professional students who are doing outstanding scholarly and/or personal work to advance equity, diversity, and social justice at the University of Minnesota and in the community.

Funding for four of these awards generously comes from the following endowment:

  • Dennis R. Clayton Graduate Fellowship


  • The 2024-25 application window is open now. The application deadline is 11:59 pm CST on Friday, April 12, 2024.


  • Six graduate students and one professional student will each be awarded a $2,000 scholarship for the following fall semester. Award funding will be paid as a scholarship via Financial Aid. 
  • Graduate SEED Awardees will be requested to participate in OED’s SEED Award Winners video and will be presented their awards at the next OED celebration.

Who Is Eligible? 

  • U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents, including those lawfully residing in the U.S. on a non-temporary bases, including refugees and asylees, whose background and/or identities are underrepresented at the University of Minnesota
  • Students currently enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs at the University of Minnesota, and who will continue to be enrolled in the Fall 2024 semester
  • Students who will not have completed all degree requirements before December 2024
  • Students who meet Financial Aid eligibility to receive scholarships for the awarded semester
    • Scholarships can only be awarded to students who are enrolled in graduate credits (including, but not limited to: 8333, 8444, 8666, 8777, and 8888).
    • Students will NOT be able to receive this funding during a semester in which they are not enrolled in any credits or if they are enrolled in Grad 999.

It is the student’s responsibility to check with One Stop Student Services to make sure that receiving this scholarship funding will not have a negative impact on their financial aid.

Further Information

If you have any questions related to this award, contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office.

Expand all



  • A 500-1000 word narrative statement discussing how your academic and personal experiences at the University of Minnesota have contributed to your thinking about issues of equity, diversity, and social justice. Give examples of your experiences or involvement with equity, diversity, and or social justice.
  • An abstract (500 words max) of your current scholarly, research, thesis or capstone experience..
  • A current curriculum vitae.


Graduate and professional students who have demonstrated impressive understanding and commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and social justice through their research and/or service to the community. Applications are rated on:

  • Experiences relating to hardships or obstacles overcome to excel academically (e.g., coming from a low-income background, being a first-generation college student, having marginalized social identities).
  • Contribution to the UMN community related to equity, diversity, and/or social justice.
  • Extensive volunteer or community activism experiences that required a long-term commitment (e.g., personal experiences, field study experiences, volunteer experiences).
  • Experiences that demonstrate leadership.
  • Potential of research or scholarly interests to impact areas related to equity, diversity, and/or social justice.

Note: The field of study does not need to be in the areas of equity, diversity, ethnic studies, gender studies, etc., but the research or scholarly interests must focus on issues related to equity, diversity, and/or social justice.


If you wish to donate funds to the SEED Scholars program, you may do so online. You can also contact the University of Minnesota Foundation directly at 612-624-3333, or 800-775-2187 (toll-free).