The Connect Grants program supports faculty career development and advancement as well as academic unit-level culture change initiatives through awarding mini-grants.
Connect Grants are offered through AdvanceRIT within the Office of Academic Affairs with advisory support from the Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women Faculty, Faculty Career Development, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and Sponsored Research Services. The program’s target audience is all tenured and pre-tenured faculty at RIT, and proposals are accepted from individual faculty and from academic units.
The Connect Grants are designed to broaden faculty opportunities and enhance overall career advancement. Creative unit-level efforts to engage in cultural change, guide and manage faculty through various career stages are encouraged. During this current round, approximately $30,000 is available for the Connect Grants program, with the number of awards depending upon the review and evaluation of the proposals in relation to the posted selection criteria. Preference will be given to proposals from Principal Investigators who have not received funding from AdvanceRIT in the past three academic years (AY: 2018, 2019, 2020).
Note: RIT received the NIH Prize Competition for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity. This award went to institutions that have acted to effect systemic change in gender diversity and equity among faculty members within their biomedical and behavioral science departments, centers, or divisions. AdvanceRIT partnered with PHT180 to enter this competition and received the award in 2021. Personalized Healthcare Technology SIRA (PHT180) has launched a special seed-funding opportunity for promoting diversity in Healthcare Research, supported by the 2021 NIH Award. Proposals that align with the PHT 180 Seed Funding RFP should not be submitted for funding from AdvanceRIT. Please consider the best funding opportunity when submitting your proposal. Proposals submitted to both RFP’s will not be considered. More information for the PHT180 Call for Proposals for Seed Funding for Promoting Diversity in Healthcare Research can be found on the PHT website.
Special Interest Areas for the 2021AY cycle
AdvanceRIT has a particular interest in funding projects that support the following:
To redirect or restart research disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic
Associate Professors for developing a strategy for and/or support for their research portfolio for application to Professor
Peer-support groups focused on faculty career success
Targeted recruitment of women faculty, i.e. building a pipeline by inviting speakers, attending specific conferences, etc...
Proposals that address one or more of these areas will be given additional consideration; however, topics are not restricted to these areas.
Proposal Template: Complete the proposal template (link to Proposal Template) and submit as a PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: Funding for faculty time in the form of course release, summer pay, and/or stipends are not allowable expenses. Please see additional information about allowable and non-allowable expenses in the budget area of the template.
CV/Biosketch: The Principal Investigator must submit a CV or Biosketch with the proposal to email@example.com. While no specific format is required, a condensed version (2-3 page) is recommended, such as an NSF biosketch, which highlights research or activities related to the proposal.
Letter(s) of Endorsement: For proposals submitted by faculty, email to firstname.lastname@example.org a letter from the Department Head of the PI. For unit-level proposals, upload a letter from the college dean and from constituents/department members indicating department support for the proposed effort. Letters should concisely describe the potential impact of the proposed effort on the proposer and on their respective department, college, and the university.
Expectations of funded projects:
Awardees shall be willing to disseminate project outcomes and experiences through participation in university-wide workshops, panel discussions, and presentations.
Awardees will attend a project initiation meeting with grant sponsors and other awardees.
Awardees must complete a final report summarizing activities and impacts. A final report (with unique identifiers removed) may be disseminated more broadly.
A review committee of faculty and administrators reads every proposal and provides feedback to the proposers. It is very common for revisions to be requested before proposals are finally approved. Download Grant Review Criteria
Yes, there is a page limit of four pages. This page limit does not include references or the project logic model. It does include all other required proposal elements, including the budget and budget justification. Please see the Proposal Template for further information.
PI: Carol Romanowski, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, Department of Computer Science
Co-PIs: Sumita Mishra, Yin Pan, and Xumin Liu
Evaluation and Impact
The AdvanceRIT Connect Grant program has resulted in strong impacts for the grantees of the programs as well as the broader RIT community, based on an evaluation of the program.
Individual impacts of the Connect Grants have been related to improving women’s work life, professional development, career advancement, and improving their working environment. In particular, Connect Grantees strengthened internal and external networks which led to career advancement, benefitted from mentoring relationships as mentors and mentees, built skills (including leadership skills) to support their professional development, increased their research autonomy and project visibility, increased their confidence in disseminating and being experts of their work, increased their value and influence, and supported the advancement of women and other underrepresented groups in their field, through their grant projects.
Organizational impacts of the Connect Grants at RIT are related to refining institutional structures and installing practices to promote representation and advancement of women faculty. Some grantees worked to transform their institutional environment by strengthening community and raising internal awareness of their work, and also created new learning and leadership opportunities which helped to modify institutional policies, practices, and procedures.
Clarissa Street Augmented Reality Project; PI: Tamar Carroll, College of Liberal Arts; Co-PI: Susan Lakin, College of Art and Design
Deaf Hub: Empowering Deaf Women and BIPOC in Health Care and Biomedical Science; PI: Jess Cuculick, National Technical Institute for the Deaf; Co-PI's: Tiffany Panko, Mariam Paracha, Wendy Dannels, Jordan Wright, and Jessica Contreras, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Advancing Skin Tone Color Perception Research; PI: Susan Farnand, College of Science; Co-PI: Michael Murdoch, College of Science
Design Imagination: Making Medical and Access Technology from Pedagogy to Profession; PI: Jessica Hardin, College of Liberal Arts
Building the RIT Soft Matter Core: a new arena with significant presence of female researchers; PI: Shima Parsa , College of Science; Co-PI: Lishibanya Mohapatra, College of Science, Poornima Padmanabhan, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, and Moumita Das, College of Science
Amplifying Feedback Loop: Animated Advocacy of the Climate Crisis; PI: Vanessa Sweet, College of Art and Design; Co-PI: Dave Sluberski, College of Art and Design
Sultana’s Dream: A magical journey of a woman in outer space. Advance Production Immersion Live Action, VFX, 3D Animation, 3DDD
PI - Ambarien Alqadar, College of Art & Design
Co-PI - Atia Newman
Gender Studies (that) Matter in the 21st Century: Working Together via Faculty Conversations, Knowledge Integration, and Shared Expertise in View of Co-Imagining the Curriculum for the RIT Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Degree
PI - Silvia Benso, College of Liberal Arts
Co-PI - Sara Armengot, Tamar Carroll, Kijana Crawford, Nickesia Gordon, Chris Hinesley, Ammina Kothari, Laura Shackelford
Pre-tenure Female Peer-support Group in Mathematics
PI - Lucia Carichino, College of Science
Co-PI - Blessing Emerenini, Shahla Nasserasr
Mary Kelly: The Convergence of Activism and Art
PI - Rebecca DeRoo, College of Liberal Arts
Connecting Women Faculty in Energy Area and Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaborations:
PI - Santosh Kurinec, Kate Gleason College of Engineering;
Co-PI - Bing Yan, Katie McConky
Mentoring Faculty to Enhance their Professional Visibility Using Website Design and Social Media
PI - Dina Newman, College of Science
Co-PI - Rita Magalhaes
Virtual Reality at World Child Art Festival
PI - Susan Lakin, College of Art & Design
Advancing research Quantum Computing Architecture and Compilation
PI - Sonia Lopez-Alarcon, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Networking Networks: Building the Foundations of a Social Networks Theory and Analysis Hub at RIT
Women in Science (WISe) Networking and Leadership Initiatives
PI: Michel Vacca, Lea, COS
Co-PI: Maki, Kara
Computing Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Group
PI: Romanowski, Carol, GCCIS
Co-PIs: Liu, Xumin; Mishra, Sumita; Pan, Yin
PI: Scanlon, Patrick, CLA
Effective Mentoring and Leadership Skills for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Women Faculty at NTID/RIT
PI: Schlehofer, Deirdre, NTID
Co-PIs: Beiter, Karen; Ross, Annemarie D.; Kauppenin, Lisa
The AdvanceRIT Partnership Grant provides funding to campus partners to support new activities which are closely aligned with the AdvanceRIT objectives and do not lend themselves to the Connect Grant structure or timing.
Before submitting a full application, you are encouraged to contact the director of AdvanceRIT at email@example.com and describe your project. Please provide a brief description detailing the internal funding needed, a description of how the project meets one or more of the AdvanceRIT goals and the project’s broader institutional impact and an overall outline for the project.