RIT helps foster faculty growth through mini grants

Faculty Career Development is now accepting grant applications

Caroline DeLong leads the Psychology Women and Gender Minority Mentoring Group that has received funding from Faculty Career Development and the Office of the Provost the past four years.

To help faculty develop professionally, hone their teaching skills and stay current in their fields, Rochester Institute of Technology’s Faculty Career Development (FCD) and the Office of the Provost are now accepting applications for four annual grant programs. These offerings emphasize the crucial skill of mentoring and the specific activities of lecturers and adjunct faculty. A new Faculty Stretch grant program introduced this year is intended to reach beyond one group or department and impact the broader RIT community.

With deadlines quickly approaching, Senior Faculty Career Development Consultant Cheryl Herdklotz urged faculty to apply. “Our goal is to help faculty grow their skills and foster connections that will help propel their academic careers,” she said. “The funds are available, so faculty shouldn’t hesitate to pursue these opportunities.”

The four grant opportunities currently available include the following:

  • Faculty Mentoring Grants provide a chance to strategically build a constellation of networks that support success in scholarship, publishing, grant writing, career advancement and teaching. Last year, these grants helped 48 faculty members fund six projects, including a program led by Caroline DeLong, associate director and undergraduate program director of RIT’s Department of Psychology, called the Psychology Women and Gender Minority Mentoring Group. The group provides an opportunity for female faculty to discuss relevant issues facing women in academia, social networking and support and has used their funds to host reading clubs, writing clubs and teaching groups.
  • Lecturer Professional Development Grants acknowledge the many contributions of RIT’s lecturers, providing funds for professional development activities that involve teaching development and/or creative endeavors. For grant awardee Eric Kunsman, a lecturer in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s Visual Communications Studies Department, the grant allowed him to reconnect with students in his 2001 Photography I course, in which they collected media from around the world on the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He interviewed alumni about the classroom experience, created an exhibit , and will publish a book about the class.
  • Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Grants provide support to RIT’s adjunct faculty to attend conferences, workshops, meetings and deliver presentations. Guoming Tian, Modern Languages and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts, attended the 2016 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages that will allow her to implement activities and strategies from the conference into her Chinese language class.
  • The fourth program, Faculty Stretch Grants, is designed to support activities closely aligned with the goals and objectives of FCD and the RIT community regarding faculty success, leadership development, mentoring, and promotion and tenure. This type of grant is intended for the larger good of the college or department, encouraging wider institutional impact.

Applications for the mentoring, lecturer and adjunct grants will be accepted online until 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. For the Stretch program, applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. To learn more about eligibility requirements and the application process, go to the Grants and Funding website.


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