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    Illinois Black Men in Medicine Innovation Grant

    Introduction & Purpose

    The Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine (AC), a co-sponsored initiative of the AAMC and the National Medical Association (NMA), and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ (BCBSIL) Institute for Physician Diversity are excited to announce the Illinois Black Men in Medicine Innovation Grant, a program to foster diversity and inclusion in the medical field and address the critical shortage of Black male physicians in the United States. The organizations are fielding proposals for up to five grants at approximately $20,000 each.

    The funding provided by this partnership is being specifically allocated for projects focused on addressing systemic barriers that influence physician diversity and health equity in Illinois. The aim is to examine the root causes, such as institutional structures, policies, and cultural conventions, that impact the distribution of resources and opportunities.

    Project Priorities

    Project endeavors should prioritize understanding the unique challenges and experiences faced by Black men in accessing and navigating medical education and career pathways. Emphasis should be placed on testing system-based solutions to enact meaningful change, rather than solely documenting disparities. By centering real-world priorities, the project outcomes are expected to contribute to the development of targeted interventions, policies, and practices aimed at increasing representation and fostering inclusivity in the medical field within Illinois.

    Priority will be given to proposals that aim to accomplish one or more of the following: 

    1. Develop local support networks for Black men interested in a career in medicine.
    2. Advance changes in policies and procedures that create obstacles to producing a diverse physician workforce in Illinois.
    3. Enhance training and resources for pre-health advisors, higher education professionals, K-12 educators, or medical school leaders focused on increasing diversity in medicine.


    Institutions and organizations within Illinois across disciplines, including faculty (full- and part-time), staff, graduate scholars and practitioners, community program administrators, and leaders, are eligible. Eligible applicants must be able to enter into an agreement with the Action Collaborative for Black Men in Medicine and provide an interim and final report summarizing their progress. The institutions and organizations selected are responsible for the fiscal management and general oversight of the grant. This grant supports only project activities and does not include funding for personnel. 

    Key Dates & Deadlines

    The award period is July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025 (12 months). 

    The application for this grant opportunity opens on March 25, 2024, and remains accessible until April 30, 2024. Notification of awards will be sent out by June 3, 2024.  


    Application requirements include project title, statement of motivation, proposal narrative, budget narrative, and projected use of funds.

    The application must be completed and submitted by April 30, 2024, by 11:59 p.m. CT. Applications that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

    Applications should be submitted within Cadmium. Please read all sections in their entirety before submitting information in Cadmium. A confirmation email will be provided within 24 hours of submission. 

    apply now

    Frequently Asked Question

    1.    How long will the Request for Proposals (RFPs) remain open?
    The RFP will remain open from March 25-April 30 at 11:59 p.m. CT. 

    2.    How will my application be evaluated?
    A review committee representing the co-sponsoring organizations will evaluate the application using a rubric to verify the proposed project will implement systemic solutions with possibility for a long-term impact to address physician diversity and health equity in Illinois. A copy of the rubric is included on Cadmium

    3.    What information is required for the application submission?
    •    Project title
    •    Statement of motivation
    •    Proposal narrative
    •    Budget narrative describing projected use of funds

    4.    What are the allowable expenses for the grant?
    Funding may be used to support reasonable and necessary expenses that are directly tied to the project, such as:
    •    Project Materials
    •    Supplies
    •    Stipends
    •    Contractual and consultant costs
    •    Project-related travel expenses

    Funding may NOT be used to support:
    •    Costs or expenses that are unrelated to the project
    •    Indirect costs (sometimes referred to as overhead or F&A costs)
    •    Alcoholic beverages
    •    Expenses that could be perceived as endorsing or recommending specific commercial products, processes, or services
    •    Advertising or fundraising drives
    •    Partisan, political, or denominational programs
    •    Reimbursement or repayment of any public or private obligation

    5.    When is the grant period to execute the project?
    The award period is July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025 (12 months). 

    6.    What is the projected amount awarded to selected applicants?
    The organizations are fielding proposals for up to five grants at approximately $20,000 each.

    Questions & Inquiries

    Potential applicants are welcome to reach out to discuss a project proposal prior to applying. Send questions to actioncollabforblackmen@aamc.org any time before April 30, 2024.