The Connect Grants program supports faculty career development and advancement as well as academic unit-level culture change initiatives and faculty recruitment approaches 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. 

Funded projects align with the goals and objectives of the Office of AdvanceRIT.

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.

Grant Schedule for Academic Year 2020

Request for Proposals December 7, 2020
Proposals Due February 15, 2021
Decisions Announces April 1, 2021
Funding End Date March 31, 2021
Final Report Due April 30, 2021

Proposal Submission Details

Funded projects must align with the goals and objectives of the Office of AdvanceRIT.

Special Interest Areas for the 2020AY cycle

AdvanceRIT has 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 
  • Global connections for research activities

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 AY2020ConnectGrants_AdvanceRIT.docx) and submit as a PDF file to

Mentor: All proposals shall identify at least one mentor, either internal or external to RIT, and include a description of their role on the proposed project. 

CV/Biosketch: The Principal Investigator must submit a CV or Biosketch with the proposal to 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 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.

Direct questions to

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all the fields are required. Please be sure to answer everything or unfortunately we will not be able to include your proposal in the pool for review.

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

No, proposals are not required to address one of the special topics areas.  However, proposals that address one or more of these areas will be given additional consideration.

Proposal Examples

You can download the following proposals as samples. All have been provided with permission of the authors. (PDFs available in 04-Funding/Collateral/ProposalExamples

Building the Foundations for a Computational Materials - Research Nucleus at RIT

  • PI: Poornima Padmanabhan, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Chemical Engineering
  • Co-PI: Patricia Taboada-Serrano 

Mentorship for an Interdisciplinary Numerical and Experimental Investigation for Colloidal Transport within Evaporating Droplets under an Electric Field

  • PI: Kara Maki, College of Science, School of Mathematical Sciences
  • Co-PI: Michael Schertzer 

Green Informatics: Development of a Scholarly Collaboration for Robust & Resillent Building Management Systems

  • PI: Jennifer Schneider, Office of the Provost, Senior VP of Academic Affairs
  • Co-PIs: Yewande Abraham, Lisa Greenwood, Nana-Yaw Andoh, and Minh Pham 

Development of a Women in Liberal Arts Group

  • PI: M. Ann Howard, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Science, Technology, and Society
  • Co-PIs: Silvia Benso, Caroline Delong, Jessica Lieberman, and Corinna Schlombs 

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Mentoring Group

  • 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.

(The above is an excerpt from the November 2019 Connect Grant Program Internal Evaluation conducted by Dr. Liz Litzler, Emily Affolter, and Lexie Maister, University of Washington Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity)  

Examples of Past Funded Efforts

  • Strengthen faculty’s professional visibility in national/international networks.
  • Utilize social resources to support the creation and expansion of networks among RIT faculty and within professional disciplines.
  • Support research proposal development or re-submission efforts for external funding.
  • Expand research and/or writing capabilities to enhance competitive proposal development and submissions.
  • Promote interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty internal and external to RIT which could include formal peer-to-peer reciprocal visits to mutual institutions.
  • Sponsor and coordinate a visiting scholar’s colloquium series.
  • Present research at national/regional conferences.
  • Specialized training to support scholarly collaborations.
  • Engage the assistance of an external career/leadership coach.
  • Unit-level efforts focused on recruiting and retaining exceptional faculty from broadly diverse backgrounds. 
  • Efforts designed to support organic efforts, organizational development, research to inform change or other self-identified areas of need.

Recipients by Year

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

  • PI - Joy Olabisi, Saunders College of Business
  • Co-PI - Duygu Akdevelioglu

Training in the Development of a Preventative Intervention for College Students with Trauma Histories who are at Risk for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

  • PI: Lindsay Schenkel, CLA
  • Co-PI: Suzanne Bamonto, CLA

Building a Sustainable Pipeline of Graduate Students for New PhD Programs

  • PI: Patricia Taboada-Serrano, KGCOE
  • Co-PIs: Obioma Uche and Poornima Padmanabhan, KGCOE

Mapping Trust: Examining decision making in a context of double burdens of chronic and communicable disease epidemics

  • PI: Jessica Hardin, CLA

Preliminary Data Generation Related to the Use of Polymeric Threads for Management of Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Patients

  • PI: Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard, KGCOE

Indigenous Industrial Design

  • PI: Mindy Magyar, CAD

Homecoming: A Web Series of Three Short Form Documentaries about Law Enforcement and Community Action in Upstate NY

  • PI: Ambarien Alqadar, CAD
  • Co-PI: Cathleen Ashworth, CAD

Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Newsrooms: A Comparative Analysis

  • PI: Ammina Kothari, CLA

Saunders Women Faculty Support Group

  • PI: Emi Moriuchi, SCB
  • Co-PIs: Sorim Chung, SCB; Archana Jain, SCB

Green Informatics: Development of a Scholarly Collaboration for Robust & Resilient Building Management Systems

  • PI: Jennifer Schneider, Eugene Fram Chair, Academic Affairs
  • Co-PIs: Yewande Abraham, CET; Lisa Greenwood, CET; Nana-Yaw Andoh, GIS; Minh Pham, COS

Developing Spatialized and Volumetric Audio in Virtual-Reality Storytelling

  • PI: Mari Jaye Blanchard, CAD

Building & Diversifying Color Science Research & Recruiting Networks

  • PI: Michael Murdoch, COS
  • Co-PIs: Susan Farnand, COS; Mark Fairchild, COS

Journal Development and Mentorship Project for the Launch for an Afrofuturism Journal Project

  • PI: Myrtle Jones, CAD

Building the Foundations for a Computational-Materials Research Nucleus at RIT

  • PI: Poornima Padmanabhan, KGCOE
  • Co-PI: Patricia Taboada-Serrano, KGCOE

My American Dream; a feature-length documentary film about undocumented immigrant cab drivers chasing the American Dream

  • PI: Ambarien Alqadar, CIAS

An Exploration of Biological and Cultural Paradigms Through the Use of Microbes in Printmaking

  • PI: Eileen Bushnell, CIAS
  • Co-PI: Jennifer Liedkie, CIAS

Development of Early Career Faculty by Taking Advantage of Resources at Collaborative Institution

  • PI: Anju Gupta, KGCOE
  • Co-PI: Geoffrey Bothun, KGCOE

Connecting Women in Emerging Technology Areas and Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaborations

  • PI: Santosh Kurinec, KGCOE

Building a Community of Scholars in the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST)

  • PI: James Lee, CAST
  • Co-PI: Rebecca Sumner, CAST

Formal Evaluation of WISe

  • PI: Lea Vacca Michel, COS
  • Co-PI: Kara Maki, COS

Character Mosiac Project

  • PI: Newman, Atia, CIAS
  • Co-PI: Mark Reisch, CIAS

Writing Research in Teams for Evvectiveness (wRITe) Program

  • PI: ogilvie, dt, SCB
  • Co-PI: Crawford, Kijana, SCB

Establishing a Collaborative, Connected Faculty Network Focused on Engineering Education Best Practices

  • PI: O'Neil, Jennifer, CAST

Integrated & Collaborative Multi-Dimensional Support for Undergraduate Student Success & Wellness: Pilot Project

  • PI: Perry, Elizabeth, CHST

Increase Women Leadership in STEM and Entrepreneurship: Organize International Symposium on Global Women of Light and Present Invited Research Papers at International Conference

  • PI: Qiao, Jie, COS

Development of a New Scholarly Research Capacity Through Collaboration & Mentoring- Disaster Science: Management & Recovery

  • PI: Schneider, Jennifer, CAST
  • Co-PIs: Hirudayaraj, Malar; Kesgin, Muhammet; Lagiewski, Rick; Sparkman, Torrence E., CAST

Training on a School-Based Research Protocol for Substance Abuse Prevention Services for Children with Conduct Disorders

  • PI: Schenkel, Lindsay, CLA
  • Co-PIs: Bamonto, Suzanne, CLA; Houston, Rebecca, CLA

Effectiveness of a booklet-based intervention in enhancing faculty attitudes toward transgender students

  • PI: Smerbeck, A, CLA
  • Co-PI: Hinesley, C. Henry, CLA

Developing from Within: Creating Mindful Leaders and Mentors in the College of Science

  • PI: Wright, Leslie Kate, COS
  • Co-PIs: Tyler, Christy; Das, Moumita;  Franklin, Scott; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan; Sweet, Hyla;  Thomas, Julie, COS

International Collaboration: Understanding Trauma in Culturally Diverse Northern Nigeria

  • PI: Casey, Conerly, CLA

RIT Women's Research Colloquium Series presented by CREW

  • PI: Cass, Robin, CIAS
  • Co-PIs: Babbitt, Callie; Dell, Betsy; Kudithipudi, Dhireehsa; Ludi, Stephanie 

Charting a Course Towards Full Professor

  • PI: Decker, Adrienne, GCCIS

Salivary Testing Training: Extending RIT Faculty Expertise and Mentoring in Behavioral Science

  • PI: Godleski, Stephanie, CLA
  • Co-PI: Baschnagel, Joseph

Supporting Young Investigator's Career Advancement through Mentoring and Collaboration

  • PI: Gupta, Anju, KGCOE

Development of a Woman in Liberal Arts Group

  • PI: Howard, Ann M., CLA
  • Co-PIs: Benso, Silvia; Delong, Caroline; Lieberman, Jessica; Schlombs, Corinna

Health Information Technology Adoption and Usage in the Greater Rochester Area

  • PI: Liu, Manlu, SCB
  • Co-PIs: Bui, Quang; Hansen, Sean

Mentorship for an Interdisciplinary Numerical and Experimental Investigation for Colloidal Transport within Evaporating Droplets under an Electric Field

  • PI: Maki, Kara, COS
  • Co-PI: Schertzer, Michael

Mathematical Sciences Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Group on Advertising Student Researchers

  • PI: Munoz, Laura, COS
  • Co-PIs: Cahill, Nathan; Campanelli, Manuela

Development of Categorical Perception in Sign and Speech: Preliminary Investigations

  • PI: Prud'hommeaux, Emily, CLA
  • Co-PIs: Bochner, Joseph; Huenerfauth, Matt; Samar, Vince

WISe Distinguished Seminar Series

  • PI: Wright, Leslie Kate, COS
  • Co-PIs: Chakrabarti, Sukanya; Michel, Lea

Communication and Outreach through Mentored Media Engagement and Networking Teams

  • PI: Babbitt, Callie, GIS
  • Co-PIs: Hoffman, Matthew; Maki, Kara; Rocha, John-David    

Resilience in Countries in Transition: Connections among Resilience, Ethnic Identity, and Just-World Belief in Young Adults in Croatia and Kosovo

  • PI: Buhin, Larisa, CLA

Exploration of Techniques to Integrate Images and Functionality into Clothing through Classroom Environment

  • PI: Chang, Shu, CIAS
  • Co-PIs: Heusner, Christine; Schweppe, Marla    

Support Successful Research Proposal Development

  • PI: Ghoraani, Behnaz, KGCOE
  • Co-PI: Ptucha, Raymond        

Establishing competitive collaborations between nanotechnology and glaucoma through mentorship

  • PI: Lamkin-Kennard, Kathleen A., KGCOE
  • Co-PI: Michael Schrlau    

From WISE to WISE: Networking for Women in Science and Engineering

  • PI: Lopez-Alarcon, Sonia, KGCOE
  • Co-PIs: Kudithipudi, Dhireesha; Maki, Kara; Michel Lea    

Developing Case Studies to Further Scholarships Pertaining to Business and Design, Prepare Students for Changing Professional Landscape

  • PI: Magyar, Mindy, CIAS    

Promotion and Tenure Strategies for Minority Women Academics at RIT for Transformative Success (P&T SMARTS)

  • PI: ogilvie, dt, SCB
  • Co-PIs: Crawford, Kijana; Cummings, Twyla; Smith, Danielle; Thoms, Charlotte

Attendance at Ultrafast Optics 2015

  • PI: Qiao, Jie, COS                

Supporting Career Advancement through External Leadership Development

  • PI: Wang, Linwei, GCCIS

Empower Leadership of Women in Electrical Engineering

  • PI: Zhang, Jing, KGCOE
  • Co-PI: Kurinec, Santosh

Iroquois Creation Story Film and Animation Project

  • PI: Ashworth, Cathleen, CIAS
  • Co-PI: Quadri, Atia

Gendered Citation Studies in Philosophy of Science

  • PI: Brister, Evelyn, CLA    

Engineering Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Group

  • PI: Ghoraani, Behnaz, KGCOE    

Application of the Appreciative Inquiry Process in the College of Liberal Arts

  • PI: Howard, Ann M, CLA
  • Co-PIs: Blizzard, Deborah; DeLond, Caroline; Hermsen, Lisa; Schlombs, Corinna    

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    

Post-Tenure Mentoring

  • 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

Partnership Grants

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 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.

View application

In 2018, one Partnership Grant -1 Faculty- was awarded for a total of $4,000.

Child feeding guidance for RIT faculty and beyond: Enhancing the work environment and contributing to childhood obesity prevention
Awarded to Barbara Lohse, CHST in support of two campus-wide workshops on “Child Feeding Guidance“.  Co-sponsored with Human Resources.

In 2017, four Partnership Grants -3 Faculty, 1 Administration- were awarded for a total of $16,510.

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

Awarded to Lynn Wild in the amount of $10,350

Promotion & Tenure Strategies for Minority-women Academics at RIT for Transformative Success 

Awarded to dt ogilvie in the amount of $5,000

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Alumni Program

Awarded to Sarah Burns in the amount of $580 for continuation of previous work

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Alumni Program

Awarded to Lauren Hall in the amount of $580 for continuation of previous work

In 2016, seven Partnership Grants -4 Faculty, 3 Administration- were awarded for a total of $16,440.

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
Awarded to Lynn Wild in the amount of $10,350 for continuation of previous work

Diversity Theatre
Awarded to Tina Chapman in the amount of $1,500

Panel on Gendered Identity Practices
Awarded to Christopher Hinesley & Laura Shackelford in amounts of $300 and $350

Institutionalizing Multiple Gender Perspectives Project
Awarded to Christopher Hinesley in the amount of $2,500

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Alumni Program
Awarded to Sarah Burns in the amount of $480

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Alumni Program
Awarded to Lauren Hall in the amount of $480

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Alumni Program
Awarded to Joy Olabisi in the amount of $480

In 2015, five Partnership Grants -1 Faculty, 4 Administration- were awarded for a total of $20,643.

Selection Criteria Rating Form (SCRF) Tracking Project/Faculty Hire Data Collection
Awarded to M. Renee Baker for the amount of $1,988.20 for continuation of previous work

Site Visit by American Physical Society to Assess Gender Climate in RIT’s School of Physics & Astronomy
Awarded to Michael Kotlarchyk in the amount of $1,500

Faculty Success Program
Awarded to dt ogilvie in the amount of $1,805

Gender and Voice at RIT
Awarded to Sandra Rothenberg in the amount of $5,000

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
Awarded to Lynn Wild in the amount of $10,350

In 2014, one Partnership Grant was awarded to a Faculty Member for a total of $1,312.

Selection Criteria Rating Form (SCRF) Tracking Project/Faculty Hire Data Collection
Awarded to M. Renee Baker in the amount of $1,312