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Awards to USA, Canada, and International Individuals to Recognize
Outstanding and Creative Work in Social Justice and Change

Grinnell Prize

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Grinnell College

Deadline Date:

10/31/21 11:59 PM Central Time


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Awards to USA, Canada, and International individuals to recognize outstanding and creative work in social justice and change. Awards are intended for innovators who have identified a particular need, created a systemic solution for it, and have made a significant impact in the field.

The nominee can be associated with a for-profit organization or a governmental entity, and, in fact, need not be associated with any organization. While it is often the case that a nominee’s innovative work is done with the support and within the framework of an organization (often founded by the nominee), the Grinnell Prize is intended to recognize an outstanding individual, not an organization. For example, a visual artist, independent of any organization, can be a social justice innovator by exposing a societal problem in a creative way, thereby affecting the perception or opinion of other individuals and resulting in societal change.

The innovation aspect of the Prize is an important criterion. The College seeks individuals who are creative problem solvers. The innovation can be a product; it can be a process; it can be a novel use of old or new technology; it can create new opportunities; it can be a market-based solution; it can lead to a more sustainable or just solution to an existing problem. The Prize Selection Committee will examine whether a contribution is innovative in the context of the individual’s approach, chosen field, and geographical location.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174178

Number of Grants:

Grinnell College reserves the right to modify the number of prizes awarded annually based on, but not limited to, the quality of nominations and financial considerations.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each prize carries an award of $50,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their related, nominated organization.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nomination Criteria:

- Nominees must be nominated by a third party.
- Nominees may be a single individual or a team of two people who are working together and have a pivotal role in their project’s innovative design and implementation.
- Nominees should be forces for equity and social justice. The nominator should be able to demonstrate that the nominees, through their education, co-creative work, and dedication, have played an instrumental role in:
identifying a concrete social or environmental justice need;
designing and implementing an equitable and creative solution related to that need;
beginning to address the need’s root causes and transform the systems that undergird them; and
demonstrating a substantive and sustainable community or environmental impact now and in the
- Nominees must consent to their nomination. This consent will be given in the form of a letter that nominators upload in PDF format. (If you are nominating two individuals for collaborative work, nominees should write this letter together.) The letter must include:
- A statement indicating their willingness to be nominated for this prize;
- A brief (3-4 paragraph) personal biography detailing:
the development of their interest and involvement with the social justice need;
their definition of social justice and how that connects to their work.
a 4-5 paragraph description of their social innovation that includes a summary of:
a description of their role in designing and implementing an equitable and creative solution
related to that need;
the context in which they are working and the concrete social or environmental justice need they
are addressing;
how they are addressing the need’s root causes and transforming the systems that undergird
them; and
How their project demonstrates substantive and sustainable community or environmental impact
both now and in the future.
- Nominees should demonstrate practices that are consistent with Grinnell College's education in the liberal arts through serving the common good and demonstrating expertise in the areas of critical thinking; innovative, equitable, and systemic problem solving; and demonstrated change-making.
- Nominees may be from anywhere in the world.
- Nominees do not need to be affiliated with Grinnell College.
- Nominees must have sufficient English fluency to engage with the Grinnell College community.
- Nominees selected as semifinalists will be interviewed by student researchers and may be asked to provide more details about their work. Nominees selected as finalists will be contacted by Grinnell Prize staff and asked for additional supplemental information. This information must be provided in English and may include items such as:
annual reports
nominee resumes or CVs
three letters of reference
any news articles and videos that tell the story of the work
organizational and policy documents (IRS 990 forms or audited financial statements)

Members of the selection committee and the Grinnell Prize program staff may not submit a nomination. Also, individuals may not nominate themselves (no self-nominations). There are no other restrictions. This means the nominator can be a relative, a board member of the individual’s organization, or affiliated with the College (e.g., a student). Ideally, the nominator should be someone who is well acquainted with the nominee’s work and can attest to the nominee’s qualifications. Nominators should be available for possible follow-up questions throughout the selection process.

Pre-Application Information:

Nomination form due by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on October 31, 2021. All nominations must be submitted online.

Nominees will be notified if they have won in late spring of 2022 and a formal announcement of winners will be released in July.

The winner must be able to attend the award ceremony and symposium events on campus

The nominees will be asked to explore additional opportunities for engagement with the Grinnell College community. (Additional engagement activities could include, but are not limited to, internships, teaching short courses, research projects, etc.)

More information:


Nomination Criteria:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Please direct any questions to or to 1-641-269-4940.

Grinnell College
1115 8th Avenue
Grinnell, IA 50112

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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