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 program 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.

All Recipients

Connect Grant Recipients by Year

2018-2019 Recipients

In AY 2018, eight projects and their PIs were awarded Connect Grants:

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

PI - Ambarien Alqadar, Assistant Professor of Film and Animation, CAD

Co-PI - Cathleen Ashworth, Professor of Film and Animation, CAD

 

Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Newsrooms: A Comparative Analysis

PI – Ammina Kothari, Associate Professor of Communication, CLA

 

Saunders Women Faculty Support Group

PI – Emi Moriuchi, Assistant Professor of MIS, Marketing, and Digital Business, SCB

Co-PIs – Sorim Chung, Assistant Professor of MIS, Marketing, and Digital Business, SCB; Archana Jain, Assistant Professor of Finance and Accounting, 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, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Technology/Environmental Management and Safety, CET; Lisa Greenwood, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Technology/Environmental Management and Safety, CET; Nana-Yaw Andoh, Assistant Professor of Architecture, GIS; Minh Pham, Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, COS

 

Developing Spatialized and Volumetric Audio in Virtual-Reality Storytelling

PI – Mari Jaye Blanchard, Assistant Professor of Film and Animation, CAD

 

Building & Diversifying Color Science Research & Recruiting Networks

PI – Michael Murdoch, Assistant Professor of Color Science, COS

Co-PIs – Susan Farnand, Assistant Professor of Color Science, COS; Mark Fairchild, Head of the Integrated Sciences Academy, COS

 

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

PI – Myrtle Jones, Assistant Professor of Media Sciences, CAD

 

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

PI – Poornima Padmanabhan, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, KGCOE

Co-PI – Patricia Taboada-Serrano, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, KGCOE

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) 2019

The AY 2018 Connect Grant round has ended. Please stay tuned for information regarding the AY 2019 round.

Eligibility

All current tenured and pre-tenure RIT faculty are eligible to apply for a Connect Grant. The AY 2018-2019 Connect Grant Awardees have been chosen, and the schedule for the AY 2019-2020 Connect Grants process will be posted in the future. 

Download the 2018 Connect Grants Rationale.

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.