Initiatives For Women makes awards on an annual cycle. Generally, applications are accepted early in the calendar year (early to mid-March). Recipients are notified in early May, and the awards ceremony is held during the summer (usually July). Any person or group affiliated with the University at Albany, SUNY, and supporting the advancement of women or women's concerns at the University may apply for an Initiatives For Women award. Applicants must be a current student or employee at the University at Albany both at the time of application (spring) and when the activities occur for which the award will be used (for expenses incurred in spring or the following academic year). In addition, Initiatives For Women coordinates the Avon-IFW Life Impact Scholarship Program.
IFW enables women students, staff and faculty to realize their academic and career potential. The program builds on the University at Albany's tradition of providing equal educational opportunity to women by supporting different categories of awards for women of promise: general, presidential, and endowed awards. Women may apply in every category for which they are eligible.
The IFW awards generally range from $500 to $2,000 depending on need. In 2001 for the first time, two awards of $2,500 each were given. The IFW Awards Selection Committee reviews all requests submitted. Every application is read by at least five members of the Selection Committee. Starting in 2004 all applicants will also be required to submit an Online IFW Award Eligibility Form
- Award recipients from previous rounds include:
- an undergraduate student for books and printmaking material for an art course;
- a University employee for financial support to register for an additional undergraduate course;
- the Institute for Research on Women for a program to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship on women and gender;
- a cluster of faculty and librarians who proposed a project to create a video series entitled, "Seeing Women Transnationally";
- a Ph.D. student to support her research on women in politics, especially women who ran for Congress.
The first round of 10 IFW awards was given in 1994. By 2000, the total amount of money distributed by IFW had surpassed $300,000, and in 2010 the total number of IFW awards pushed over the 500 mark. To date, IFW has raised over $1,000,000 to help support the dreams of women at the University at Albany