UT Incentive Fund

The UT Incentive Fund is a funding instrument financed by OPUT and DE&I Team, aimed at promoting diversity, equity and inclusion of students and employees at UT. The budget per employee application is up to € 10,000 and € 5,000 per student application. Your proposal will be assessed by the DE&I Advisory Board in collaboration with the DE&I Team. Funding will be awarded to proposals that best translate ideas into activities, studies or projects with the potential to have a sustainable impact on UT as a whole, or within specific teams, departments or faculties. The aim of the initiatives should always be to help UT become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation. Do you have an impactful idea for how to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion amongst the employees or students in our organisation? The Incentive Fund accepts proposals year-round, we evaluate proposals two times per year and will award them as budget permits.

call incentive fund 2024 is open!

Who can apply?

  • UT employees and UT students.
  • Proposals can be submitted as a group or as an individual
  • The main applicant must have a contract at UT during the duration of the whole project (one year). If the main applicant is a student, this person has to be available for the duration of the project

What can be covered?

  • The maximum amount that can be awarded is € 10.000,- per employee application and € 5.000,- per student application.
  • The budget available is for hours of (externally) hired people and material costs. UT staff do not receive additional payment for their hours from the budget.

Fore more information click here!

Read more about the Projects from 2023

  • 1. Sports day

    In this project, we aim to organize an inclusive and accessible sports day to start the discussion on accessible sports facilities, the role such facilities play in culture-building and social safety, and the diversity of perspectives that come together. In a fun and interactive way, the day will connect a variety of stakeholders, from sport facilitators to students, staff, and policymakers, as well as non-UT organizations that in one way or another bring their perspectives to the table. Note that the sports day will carefully combine (sports) workshops with discussions. Furthermore, the sports-centred format will likely attract parts of the UT population that usually disregard DE&I-related events. 

    Submitted by Leoni Winscherman

  • 2. Beyond boundaries - Accelerating DE&I through Digital Technologies

    With the project, we want to raise DE&I awareness and start a fruitful conversation between the various actors involved by translating technological potential into concrete actions that increase individual and organisational outcomes. We aim to support creating a science-driven community of staff and students that actively share thoughts, ideas, and opportunities about how technologies can increase DE&I within the UT environment. In particular, we plan to organise the following types of activities: (1) podcast recording across UT faculties to break down barriers; (2) networking event for employees and students to create a sense of belonging.

     Submitted by Simon Schafheitle en Pauline Weritz

  • 3. P-NUT Day 2024 "Mind the gap"

    P-NUT is the PhD & EngD network of the University Twentem, it represents, informs, and socializes ± 1600 PhD Candidates and ± 55 EngD Candidates as of May 2023. P-NUT Day (formerly PhD day) was previously almost exclusively visited by doctoral candidates with little connection to students, alumni, industry, support staff, or more senior research staff and has only been loosely around one topic each year. We want to open P-NUT Day 2024 to become an event for the whole UT community to foster interaction beyond the typical career stages as well as having the opportunity to focus on the impact on society and how we view recipients of our research. We want to connect the “HUMAN TOUCH” element of our research, we want to highlight different dimensions of diversity (e.g., age, gender, cultural backgrounds, disabilities, language, and technical skills or education) which differentiate recipients of our research. We will use P-NUT Day 2024 as a forum to start the discussion about for whom we are doing our research, and how we communicate with them.

    Submitted by Bram Kohlen

  • 4. SNOOZE Student Well-being

    SNOOZE is a student-led project that aims to improve the well-being of students and employees and increase their productivity by creating a nap room on the UT campus.

    The pressure on students to meet constant deadlines and the work stress for UT employees often leads to choosing between personal well-being and continuing towards the goal. This builds up exhaustion over time and often leads to the unintended outcome of study- or work-performance decrease. People who are neurodivergent or dealing with different kinds of fatigue or mental difficulty, such as autism, ADHD, grief, etc are the people whose days can be most disrupted. If this group can insulate themselves from stimuli for a few minutes for a nap to refocus, it will have a positive effect on the rest of the day.

    Submitted by Viktoriia Konashchuk

  • 5. A Sport’s Day Initiative: Promoting Muslim Females Participation in Sport Activities within the University of Twente

    Several studies have reported a common pattern of withdrawal of Muslim female students from physical activities within educational institutions in Western countries.

    Those withdrawal patterns were claimed to be partially due to certain situational factors regarding the participating environments, e.g. poor communication, inflexible dress codes (particularly concerning wearing of the hijab (headscarf), gender organization and use of public swimming pools. Opening possibilities and alternatives, acknowledging the complexity of the dynamics of the situation in such a sensitive area might prevent these young women from abandoning indigenous cultural practices and knowledge systems which could enrich their work and university experience.

    The sport day initiative at the UT will be organized in collaboration with UT sport center and potentially with the FC Twente women as part of promoting diversity and inclusion at the UT and the region. The sport day will include several competitions between the students, sporting exhibition in which different sporting activities at the UT are explained and could be tested on a micro scale, a facilitated discussion on potential challenges and solutions that hijab wearing women at the UT face when wanting to take part in sporting activities, and a symposium showcasing exemplary Muslim female athletes and public figure sportswomen from The Netherlands.

    Submitted by Islam Bouzguenda

  • 6. Amnesty International Gender Student Group

    The Amnesty activist group dedicates itself to changing the culture around sex and how genders relate to each other at the UT. We wish to create a safer environment for all students as they explore their sexuality in their university life. Our goal is to make the UT a supportive community educated on healthy sexual relationships and consent. The ultimate goal is to implement the Amnesty Let’s Talk About Yes manifesto and make this effort a sustainable movement to change policy and support services together with UT Students and Administration; but most importantly, change the culture around the realm of sex. Throughout the year there will be multiple events. At the very beginning of the year, we want to organize a symposium on psychosexual development. In the Let’s Talk About Series various taboo topics are discussed, such as allyship, intimacy, the vicious cycle of violence, etc. The aim is to create awareness, be open to hearing different opinions, and break the bias. We are also going to have several different Pop-Ups around campus attract people who have never heard about these topics and increase our impact and awareness substantially. 

    Submitted by Alexandra Mulder

  • 7. Building narrative-dialogical competences for inclusion among UT staff

    Diversity in higher education institutions is a polarizing topic. We notice that many of these polarizing conversations are focused on opinions: for example, whether or not the university is ‘too woke’. However, limited attention is paid to the lived experiences of fellow students and faculty, and their stories on navigating the academic environment - as a person first and a minority second.

    Unlike opinions, stories are a powerful tool for connecting people. Stories have been used for centuries to bring people together, foster understanding, and build empathy. This connection can help break down barriers between people and promote a sense of belonging and inclusion. Therefore, we want to adapt the existing storytelling and listening methods and techniques method called "Roundtable" to fit more closely to the more challenging contexts that characterize the reality of the UT work environment: (1) heterogenous groups; (2) groups of co-workers with continuous work relationships; (3) groups with hierarchical power differences.

    Submitted by Anneke Sools, Yudit Namer, Tessa Dekkers 

  • 8. Ambitious Women UT

    Ambitious Women UT was founded to address the problem of the gender ratio imbalance and offer a chance of gathering with students in similar situations and discuss our experiences with one another. What we want to achieve can be described in two small but significant words: support and awareness. With each other’s support we can get closer to a more equal world, by making changes together, step by step. In addition, by creating awareness we can spread the meaning of equity in society and pursue it, addressing the current problem and making others conscious that we have the power and control for change. By hosting wide-ranging events we create a united community that encourages each other, increases connections and broadens our academic network and skills. Furthermore, we hope to participate in the work towards a more equal and inclusive environment for everyone.

    Submitted by Pelin Akça, Lucia Canora Flores, Erika Mäkelä

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