The Connect Grants Overview

Connect Grants are offered through funding from AdvanceRIT and the Office of the Provost with advisory support from Faculty Career Development, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and Sponsored Research Services to support leadership and career development for all tenured and pre-tenured faculty at RIT.

The Connect Grants drive discovery and learning within an environment that supports the development of project proposals and the process of peer review. These mini-grants encourage leadership and career development, mentoring, networking and research collaboration, while enhancing and advancing the university’s multifaceted initiatives and scholarship infrastructure.

The Connect Grants Program is available to individuals, faculty groups (formal or ad hoc), and academic units. Successful grant proposals must support one or more of the AdvanceRIT project goals and objectives. The Connect Grants are designed to broaden faculty opportunities and enhance plans of work associated with tenure and promotion preparation and overall career advancement. Creative department or unit-level efforts to engage in cultural change, guide and manage faculty through various career stages and project-oriented work to facilitate institutional transformation are encouraged. Approximately $40,000 is available for the overall Connect Grants program with the number of awards depending upon the review and evaluation of the proposals in relation to the selection criteria. Refer to the AdvanceRIT Connect Grants webpage for the FAQ and past Connect Grant awards.

Executive Summary

(Excerpt from the April 2018 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)

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.

From 2014 to 2018, there have been 49 Connect Grants awarded to 43 different faculty members and two departments. Grants have varied in size from $1,000 to 13,500 and the Connect Grant program has disbursed a total of $296,197 since its inception; 57% of all proposals were awarded. All ten RIT colleges have had Connect Grant awardees; 29 grants went to STEM fields, 11 went to SBS fields, and 10 went to other fields. In total, 91 unique faculty members have been involved in these grants and benefited from them, and some faculty have been involved in more than one Connect Grant.

Individual (Human Resources and Symbolic) 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 (Structural) 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.

2017-2018 Recipients

This year, six projects and their PIs were awarded Connect Grants:

Capacity-Building for Broader Impacts Contributions to STEM and Science Policy Research

PI – Evelyn Brister, Associate Professor of Philosophy, CLA

 

Developing Reflective, Instrumental and Transformational Women Leader Area: Leadership Development

PIs - Dr. Kara Maki, Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, COS; dt Ogilvie,

Professor of Urban Entrepreneurship, SCB

Co-PIs – Christy Tyler, Professor of Life Sciences COS; Dr. Leslie Kate Wright,

Associate Professor of Life Sciences, COS

 

Applying 3D Modeling Techniques to Help Understand the Developmental Biology of Echinoderms

PI – Hyla Sweet, Associate Professor of Life Sciences, COS

Co-PIs – Marla Schweppe, Professor of Design, CIAS; Glen Hintz, Department Chair of

School of Art, CIAS

 

Hybrid Documentary Film with Virtual Reality Component- Undocumented Taxi Drivers Chasing the American Dream

PI – Ambarien Alqadar, Assistant Professor of Film and Animation, CIAS

 

Undocumented Voices of Deaf Women Leaders: A Historical Analysis

PI – Deirdre Schlehofer, Assistant Professor of Cultural & Creative Studies, NTID

Co-PI – Octavian Robinson, Professor of Cultural & Creative Studies, NTID

 

Development of a Support Group for RIT's International Faculty

PI – Jerrie Hsieh, Associate Professor of Hospitality & Tourism Management, CAST

Co-PIs – Amanda Bao, Professor of Civil Engineering Technology, CAST; Muhammet

Kesgin, Professor of Hospitality & Tourism Management, CAST

Application Process

The Connect Grants drive discovery and learning within an environment that supports the development of project proposals and the process of peer review. These mini-grants encourage leadership and career development, mentoring, networking and research collaboration, while enhancing and advancing the university's multifaceted initiatives and scholarship infrastructure. The Connect Grants Program is available to individuals, faculty groups (formal or ad hoc) or academic units.

Grant Schedule for Academic Year (AY) 2018

Request for Proposals: Application Process "Opens"
TBD

Proposals Due: Application Process "Closes"
TBD

Decisions Announced
TBD

Funding Available: Spending Can Begin
TBD

Eligibility

All current tenured and pre-tenure RIT faculty are eligible to apply for a Connect Grant. The AdvanceRIT project supports the funding of awards for eligible women faculty within STEM/SBS disciplines. The Office of the Provost has provided support to expand the Request for Proposals to all full-time, tenured and pre-tenured faculty in all disciplines. The AY 2017-2018 Connect Grant Awardees have been chosen. Stay tuned for the next round.

Download the full Connect Grants Request for Proposals with link to submission site.

Download the Connect Grants Rationale.

ONLINE APPLICATION

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all the fields in the application required? What if I don't answer them all?

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.

What is the review process?

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. 

Are examples of successful proposals available?

Yes. You can download the following proposals as samples. All have been provided with permission of the authors.

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

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

PI Laura Munoz, College of Science, School of Mathematical Sciences

Co-PI(s) Manuela Campanelli and Nathan Cahill

Development of a Women in Liberal Arts Group

PI M. Ann Howard, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Science, Technology, and Society

Co-PI(s) Silvia Benso, Caroline Delong, Jessica Lieberman, and Corinna Schlombs

I have a question about my proposal. Is there someone I can ask?

Please email any questions to ADVANCEwomen@rit.edu.

What departments are considered to be STEM and/or SBS?

While all departments are eligible for the Connect Grants due to additional support from the Provost's Office, you can download a list of the STEM/SBS departments here.