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IMI Call for Proposals to Community Co-Sponsorship Program

The Illinois Maya Initiative invites proposals to our community co-sponsorship program. Housed within the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the Illinois Maya Initiative serves as a collaborative hub connecting researchers, community social service professionals, and indigenous Latin American (primarily Maya) immigrants and refugees in east-central Illinois. One core mission of the IMI is to establish best practices that will serve as a resource for members of the university community and community service organizations seeking research or engagement connections with the Maya community. The best practice models will be in keeping with ethical guidelines, state-of-the-art examples of collaborative research, and recognized indigenous community rights standards. As part of this initiative, and thanks to CO+RE grant funding from the Vice Chancellor for Research’s Office, IMI will award co-sponsorships of $750-$2000 to community organizations to support their work with the indigenous Maya communities in east-central Illinois. Pending budgetary approval, there may be opportunities to renew awards for a second year. This is a broad call, and projects of all types will be considered. Our primary goal is to support new or ongoing work that advances collaborative engagement models and/or research with the Maya community.

Examples of eligible projects include but is not limited to:

  • Development/implementation of training/education programs
  • Translation of public health or community assistance documents into Q’anjob’al or other Mayan languages
  • Creation of educational or training videos
  • Purchasing supplies/materials (e.g., winter clothes, food, or medical necessities)
  • Rent/utility assistance


  • 501(c)(3) designation or other proof of not-for-profit status.
  • Demonstrated history of work with vulnerable immigrant communities. 
  • While joint proposals from community organizations and UIUC faculty are encouraged and given special consideration, such collaboration is not required.  Joint proposals should be submitted by the community organization.


Please combine the following into one PDF and can be uploaded here.

Files should be named “[Organization]_IMI co-sponsorship_2021.”

  • 2-page project description outlining the community needs that the project will address, how funding will be used to address those needs, and how success will be measured. The description should discuss the initiative’s collaborative nature and include goals for further developing collaborative partnerships with the Maya community. 
  • 1-page organizational profile with specific details about the organization’s history in working with vulnerable immigrant populations
  • Detailed budget with justification
  • CVs of principal participants.

Evaluation Criteria

All applications will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel drawn from a pool of faculty and community outreach specialists from the University of Illinois, members of the Maya community, and members of the CU community at large.  Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Clearly measurable project outcomes
  • Project feasibility
  • A clearly stated plan, with a timeline, to enhance collaborative partnerships with and participation of Maya community members. 
  • Organization’s track record of working with at-risk immigrant populations
  • Reasonableness of proposed expenses

Priority Deadline: 11:59 pm CST, April 30th ,  additional applications may be accepted after this date on a rolling basis as long as funding remains available.

Upload application here.

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