Ethics Small Grants for Graduate Students

Are you a graduate or professional student or grad student group with an idea for a program, event, or learning opportunity related to the ethical dimensions of research, career choices, and professional commitments in your department or field?

Apply for an ethics small grant!

Funding amount

Up to $1,000. If you have an idea that requires more than $1,000, please send it our way anyway. We will still consider it and may be able to connect you with other funding opportunities.

How can funds be used?

Possible expenses include but are not limited to travel costs* or fees for guest speakers, food expenses for events, creating marketing materials, or to purchase other materials needed for the program (books, software, printing, etc). 

When are the proposals due?

Inquiries invited anytime. We’ll share details about the short application with you after an initial conversation with us to make sure your idea is a good fit. Please try to submit your grant at least one month in advance of your event/program. For larger events/programs, please allow six weeks or more.

Who can apply?

Stanford graduate and professional students.


Ethics small grants for graduate students are funding opportunities to support the development of programming that increases critical thinking about the ethical and societal consequences of research and professional choices. Cross-disciplinary collaborations are also encouraged. Potential programs could include: the development of a new ethics workshop for grad students, hosting an event about the ethical issues in your field, organizing an ethics working group, among many other possibilities. The grants are intended to support programs or events that will engage the Stanford community and/or other graduate students, not for individual research or projects. 


Please contact the Ethics, Society, & Technology Hub Program Manager, Ashlyn Jaeger (ajaeger [at] (ajaeger[at]stanford[dot]edu)), or the Center for Ethics in Society Research Director, Anne Newman (arnewman [at] (arnewman[at]stanford[dot]edu)), if you’d like to apply or have any questions.

Grant Recipient Projects:

The Caribbean Studies Reading Group (CSRG) 
Recipient: Kengthsagn Louis (Psychology grad student), 2022-23 academic year

The Caribbean Studies Reading Group (CSRG) organized Stanford University's third annual Caribbean Studies Symposium (CSS) from May 17-18, 2023, in honor of Haitian Flag Day (May 18). The theme of the symposium focused on “Caribbean Epistemologies,” to commemorate Stanford's legacy of Caribbean Studies rooted in the scholarship of Sylvia Wynter, who taught at Stanford from 1977 to 1997 and served as chair of the Program in African & African American Studies. The symposium consisted of a virtual keynote address by Tao Leigh Goffe and Eddie Bruce-Jones and three virtual panel discussions featuring an interdisciplinary array of visiting scholars (e.g., Dr. Nathalie Pierre). The speakers covered a variety of topics about the nature and significance of theories, ideas, and philosophies emerging from the Caribbean.

Ethics and Politics of the Clean Energy Transition in Indigenous Communities
Recipients: Sergio Sanchez Lopez, (E-IPER grad student), 2022-23 academic year

The clean energy transition presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity: equitable and inclusive decarbonization. Scaling renewable energy will lower carbon emissions and will be profitable for businesses. But at the same time —if not done correctly— it will exacerbate the complex societal and environmental justice issues created by fossil fuels. Particularly, Indigenous communities across the Americas will have added pressure on their lands during this transition. Little is known about the ethics of renewable energy, specifically in historically and habitually marginalized and disadvantaged communities. If we keep overlooking environmental justice in the clean energy transition, then profit will continue to be the hegemonic voice. 

With the support of the McCoy Family Center, we aim to explore both the political as well as ethical components of the clean energy transition. We are planning a conference for students, staff, and academics that are interested in engaging in a political and ethical conversation at the intersection of justice and the clean energy transition. We believe that an interdisciplinary approach, both in academia and in politics, is needed to help solve critical environmental and sustainability challenges.

Ethics in Authorship
Recipients: Caroline Ferguson, Kristen Green, & Meghan Shea (E-IPER grad students), 2021-22 academic year

Authorship is the currency of academia. Thus, the approach taken to authorship and author order is a crucial ethical problem facing academics across disciplines and at every career stage. Scholars have taken many creative approaches to authorship, including games, outright parody, and circumvention. Others have attempted to “stay with the trouble” of authorship, advancing feminist, decolonizing, and anti-racist approaches. We will explore the ethics of authorship in a 4-week series with guest lectures open to all, paired with more intimate journal club comprised of diverse students to dive deeper.

The Queer Theory Reading Group  
Recipients: Joan O’Bryan & Cesar Valenzuela (Political Science & Philosophy grad students), 2021-22 academic year
The Queer Theory Reading Group meets once a month to read texts that have transformed the field of feminism and gender studies. We explore the texts both within their own context, asking what interventions the texts were making in their own discourses, as well as looking to how these texts might interact with contemporary norms, and the ways that they - sometimes surprisingly - meet or defy our expectations of them. 

The Caribbean Studies Reading Group (CSRG) 
Recipient: Kengthsagn Louis (Psychology grad student), 2021-22 academic year

The Caribbean Studies Reading Group (CSRG) engages students across campus who are passionate about Caribbean Studies. The group fills a void among Stanford student groups for scholarly discourse about the Caribbean by engaging with the history, culture, art, and epistemologies of countries from the region through an interdisciplinary perspective. We are reading and discussing extracts from Frantz Fanon's works that are focused on ethical issues present in studies of the Black psyche and identity. Specifically, we are reading Fanon’s seminal books such as “Black Skins, White Masks” and “The Wretched of the Earth.”