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Faculty Mentoring Grant | Faculty Mentoring

Faculty Mentoring - Grant Funding

Grant applications for the 2013-2014 academic year are now being accepted.
Deadline to Submit:  Friday, December 6, 2013

Each peer-mentoring or other faculty mentoring group at RIT may request funding for one project or activity each academic year. Requests of $500 to $2,000 will be considered.

The mentoring projects or activities for which you are requesting grant funds must be related to teaching excellence, dissemination of scholarly works, or grant proposal development. The goal is for you to participate in activities or projects that will help your mentoring group be successful. Activities related to general professional development activities/projects will not be considered.

Projects or activities may include:

  • Guest speakers
  • Site visits to a corporate or government entity
  • Conference attendance
  • Launch of an e-journal
  • Webinar participation
  • Workshops

Upon completion of the activity or project, the mentoring group must submit a report on its findings and may be asked to present at a future mentoring event.


Faculty mentors and their protégés and other RIT peer mentoring groups may apply. “Mentoring groups” are defined as groups (two or more members) that meet on a regular basis for mutual support and development. On the application you will be asked for your mentoring group's name, topic area, and meeting schedule. You may be asked to provide meeting minutes. If you are submitting a proposal for an interdisciplinary project or activity, one person should be selected as the group's leader. Self-nominations are not allowed. Full-time, tenure track teaching faculty are eligible to apply. Projects involving staff and/or part-time faculty will be considered only if the lead applicant is a full-time faculty member.

Application Process

  • Once the program launches, applications will be due via the online application by Friday, December 6, 2013, by 5:00PM.
  • A Review Committee selected by the Provost will determine if the applicant and the project or activity meets eligibility requirements and determine the amount awarded.
  • Grant Recipients for Academic Year 2013-2014 will be announced the week of January 14, 2014.
  • If you are awarded a grant, you will receive instructions for accessing funds and reporting on the use of your grant.
  • All grant-funded projects and activities must be completed by July 1, 2014, with reports submitted no later than August 1, 2014 (extensions may be granted upon request).

Grants Awarded to Mentoring Groups, Academic Year 2012-2013

Bringing Assessment to the Classroom: Pre-tenure Faculty Development on Test-writing and Classroom Assessment

College of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Faculty: Paul Craig, Scott Franklin, Tom Kim, Aaron McGowan, Dina Newman, Bob Teese, Eric West, Leslie Kate Wright

External speakers were invited to campus to give presentations, conduct group discussions, and meet one-on-one with faculty to discuss several aspects of classroom pedagogy. The sessions included research-based curriculum development and assessment, novel pedagogical strategies (particularly activity-based methods), and use of undergraduate classroom assistants in laboratory and guided-inquiry settings.

Software Engineering Faculty Mentoring Group

GCCIS: Software Engineering

Faculty: Stephanie Ludi, Andy Meneely, Emad Shihab

The grant provided funds for attendance at the two-day National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants Conference—a must for new faculty, researchers, educators, and administrators who want to gain key insight into a wide range of current issues at NSF. Conference highlights included: new programs and initiatives; future directions and strategies for national science policy; proposal preparation; NSF’s merit review process; cross-disciplinary and special interest programs; conflict of interest policies; and breakout sessions by discipline. The grant allowed this group to have up-to-date insight on NSF's roadmap that has helped direct their conversations and planning regarding scholarship.

Gosnell School of Life Sciences (GSOLS) Writing Group

College of Science

Faculty: Greg Babbitt, Margaret Bailey, Dawn Carter, Michael Coleman, Feng Cui, Elizabeth DeBartolo, Elizabeth Dicesare, Mark Fairchild, Maureen Ferran, Elizabeth Hane, Anne Houtman, Karl Korfmacher, Carol Marchetti, Lea Michel, Dina L Newman, Jacob Noel-Storr, Hans Schmitthenner, Paul Shipman, Gary Skuse, Hyla Sweet, Christy Tyler, Leslie Kate Wright

This mentoring project provided an opportunity for faculty to share best practices on writing. An informal workshop was held to initiate the expansion of the writing groups with most faculty from GSOLS attending. After identifying barriers to writing, strategies that work for them, and writing projects, potential writing groups were assembled.  The highlight of the project came at the concluding retreat with an invited speaker who offered practical resources for writing and a new motivation for faculty.  Project members shared, “The external source of energy and enthusiasm was uplifting.”

Mechanical, Chemical, and Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series


Faculty:  Thomas Gaborski, Edward Hensel, Jr., Christiaan Richter, Patricia L. Taboada-Serrano, Wayne W. Walter, Steven Weinstein

The goal of this project was to expand the scope of junior faculty mentoring to include both internal and external networking, thus promoting the national visibility and reputation of RIT.  Funding was used to cover costs for three external speakers in the 2013-2014 academic year.  Support for this group has enabled faculty to stay current on cutting-edge research, network with internal and external colleagues, form new national and international collaborations to pursue pioneering research, and ultimately, provide our students with the best education possible. 

Research in the Rough

Saunders College of Business

Faculty: Ashok Robin, Hao Zhang, James Baroody, John Ettlie, John Tu, Joy Oguntebi, Michael Palanski, Mithu Dey, Sandra Rothenberg, Sean Hansen, Zhi Tang, Archana Jain, Hao Zhang, Rong Yang, Chian Song

Funding was sought and approved to support this series, aimed at creating a community of scholars that can support each other toward scholarly excellence.  Specifically, tenure-track faculty members present their on-going research projects in order to seek feedback and input on a variety of research-related issues.  In addition, portions of their sessions were devoted to the discussion of general research-related topics such as the journal review process and challenges of data collection in organizations. In response to this series, they have created a "research group" comprised of tenure-track faculty members who get together periodically to discuss ways to generate awareness about on-going research in the college.

Grants Awarded to Mentoring Groups, Academic Year 2011-2012

Technology Rich Learning Environment Education Research Team

  • Michael Stinson, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
  • Rhiannon Hart, College of Liberal arts
  • Betsy Dell and Larry Villasmil, College of Applied Science & Technology
  • Nancy Ares, Warner School of Education, University of Rochester

The group's NSF FIRE proposal received very positive feedback but was not funded due to the need for improvements in the education research methodology and evaluation plan. This grant was utilized to contract with an objective external evaluator team to enhance the research methodology section for submission to the NSF-RDE and NSF-TSL Project.

Integrated Mathematical Models to Combat Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Kara Maki and David Ross, College of Science
  • Steve Weinstein, Kate Gleason College of Engineering

The mentoring group worked on developing a mathematical model of the mechanical interactions between a contact lens suspended in a tear film and the viscous liquid in which it is suspended. Dr. Richard Braun, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Delaware, one of the leading experts in modeling the tear film dynamics, was invited as a guest speaker on "Modeling the Tear Film" for their group. In addition, one of the members presented in a mini-symposium and will speak about the mentoring group’s recent efforts, in collaboration with Bausch & Lomb, to understand the settling dynamics of contact lenses.

Molecular Imaging Group

  • Hans Schmitthenner and Joseph Hornak, College of Science

Membership to World Molecular Imaging Society (WMIS) and Registration for the World Molecular Imaging Conference (WMIC), the most important conference in the new field this group is starting at RIT.

Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series

  • Wayne Walter, Edward Hensel, Michael Schrlau, Mario Gomes, Jason Kolodziej, Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard, Benjamin Varela, Kate Gleason College of Engineering

The group currently mentors junior faculty how to recruit graduate students and disseminate their research. Funds provided by the grant allowed us to host speakers from off-campus that increased the academic networks between RIT and the home institutions of these speakers, and increased the likelihood of future collaborations including the dissemination of scholarly works, writing joint grant proposals, and sharing research help and ideas.

Junior Faculty External Funding Success Club

  • Chris Collison, Loraine Tan, Lea Michel, Michael Coleman, Jeremy Cody, College of Science

Funding was requested to discuss successes and opportunities in grant application, proposal writing, persuasive writing and networking and was used to pay for visits to funding agency program managers since this approach has led to success for the team mentor.

SMERC (Science and Mathematics Education Research Collaborative)

  • Dina L. Newman, L. Kate Wright, Thomas Kim, Scott Franklin, Robert Teese, College of Science

Funds requested for two new mentoring activities: monthly workshops on best practice pedagogy and assessment, and a spring quarter seminar speaker/workshop leader. Through the workshops, faculty can expand their knowledge of best-teaching practices, review and discuss evidence-based teaching methodologies, and promote a culture committed to student learning.


Susan DeWoody
Program Coordinator
Office of the Associate Provost
The Wallace Center