Seed Grant Funding

W+GRA Announces 2023-2024 Seed Grant Recipients

The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) is excited to announce the 2023-2024 Seed Grants recipients. Each of the grants emphasizes community partnerships and community-engaged research activities that address the critical areas of mental health and wellness, economic security/mobility, and equity in the Charlotte metropolitan area. W+GRA has awarded each grantee, or team $5000 each toward their research project.

The 2023-2024 Seed Grant Awardees are:

Sharon Watson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Jennifer Langhrinrichsen-Rohling, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences & Health Psychology at UNC Charlotte, for their research proposal on Integrating Staff Perspectives into Economic Mobility Program Planning and Evaluation.

Stephanie Potochnick, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Sociology, Laura Armstrong, Ph.D., assistant professor and Andrew Gadaire, Ph.D., assistant professor, both in the Department of Psychological Science at UNC Charlotte,  for their research proposal on Advancing the Labor Force Participation of Charlotte’s Latina Mothers: Examining Intersecting, Employment & Child Care Sector Opportunities and Barriers.

Debarati Dutta, Ph.D., senior lecturer, and Janaka B. Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor of English and interim Chair, both at the Department of Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies, and Daniela Recabarren, Ph.D., associate director for health equity and direct care services in the Center for Integrated Care in the Division of Student Affairs at UNC Charlotte, for their research proposal on Gather and Connect: Instilling Institutional and Organizational Care in Academic and Community Spaces. 

Beth Murray, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre education in the Department of Theatre, Charlene Whitaker-Brown, DNP, MSN, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, CHFN, associate professor, Katherine Shue-McGuffin, DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, doctor of nursing practice coordinator and clinical associate professor, Corey Sheeler, DNP, FNP-BC, ENP, clinical assistant professor, all from the School of Nursing, and Irania Macias Reymann, MA, playwright and certified applied poetry therapy facilitator at the College of Arts and Architecture for their research proposal on Tatas Tales Act III, Scene I: Breast Cancer Survivor Voices in Nursing Education with Theatre. 

The scope of the research proposals centers on one, or more of the following areas and supports key areas of research focus and distinction identified in the Shaping What’s Next Strategic Plan 2021-31:

  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Economic Security/Mobility
  • Equity

W+GRA is looking forward to working together with each of the Seed grant recipients to advance our understanding of mental health, economic security, and equity within the Charlotte metropolitan area. “Together, through creative and innovative research, we can drive positive change and create more equitable and resilient communities,” said Dr. Michelle Meggs, executive director of W+GRA. For more information please get in touch with Dr. Michelle Meggs at

2023-2024 Seed Grant Funding Request for Proposals

2023- 2024 Seed Grant Funding Request for Proposals

Community-Engaged Focused Projects on Mental Health, Economic Security, and Equity

The Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) is excited to announce a call for proposals for projects that emphasize community partnerships and community-engaged research activities, that address the critical areas of mental health and wellness, economic security/mobility, and equity in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The W+GRA invites UNC Charlotte faculty to submit proposals from September 11, 2023 – October 23, 2023, contributing to a deeper understanding of these vital issues and promoting positive change within communities.

Scope of Research Proposals should center on one or more of the following areas:

  • Mental Health and Wellness:
  • Economic Security/Mobility
  • Equity

Click here for RPF details/requirements and instructions for submission

  • Please submit proposals to Ally Bitgood at by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 23, 2023.
  • Subject line should read “W+GRA Seed Grant RFP”

2021 Seed Grant Funding

Gender and race-based challenges and discrimination are ubiquitous in the workplace and Women + Girls Research Alliance’s multi-faceted initiatives are geared toward addressing and eliminating these biases. The Alliance’s competitive grant program, for example, represents W + GRA’s efforts to support new and ongoing research initiatives to highlight issues that women and girls face in the workforce, particularly those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 seed grant program emerged from the 2021 Women’s Summit and was predicated on a Recovery and Discovery theme and how women and girls emerged from challenges in a dual pandemic. Held in March 2021 in partnership with Ally Financial and Bank of America, six Seed grants of $5000 each were awarded to researchers during the 2021-2022 academic year to support new, or ongoing research efforts that were aligned with the Alliance’s research efforts.


  • Healing and Housing During Covid: Formerly Incarcerated Women Share their Stories
  • Fostering Early STEM Exploration with Gifted/High Ability Black Girls and their Elementary Teachers
  • Identifying Mechanisms of Employment Socialization in Mother-Child Dyads
  • Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on the Economic Growth and Mobility among Women in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area
  • Keepin’ it REEL: Black Girls Film Camp Phase II
  • “We All We Got”: Supporting Home Insecure Black Mothers Summit


Black Girls Film Camp is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides a FREE, national, and virtual 12-week experience (held once a year) where high school Black girls across the country pitch a story idea, and a final ten are selected to have their short film project produced by the program. Over 200 Black girls across the country applied for the 2022 camp and 10 finalists were selected to direct and develop their short films. The camp is an incubator for the 10 girls and each of their films.

Participants receive free technology (iPads, ring lights, wireless mics, tripods, etc.) free software (final draft and adobe premiere), a personal production team of exemplary Black women creatives (editor and creative coach) contracted out by the camp, an all-expense paid weekend retreat in LA, and free workshops from Black women that are award-winning filmmakers and Ph.D. scholars. Films created by the teen girls and their production teams are showcased live during a virtual event over the summer and at film festivals (i.e. 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival) and college events (i.e. Emory University, USC, UNC Charlotte, etc.) in the US throughout the year. Following the 12-week camp, alumni participate in international outreach events throughout the year to share their stories with the world and support other aspiring young Black girl filmmakers.

More information at