With support from AdvanceVT and the Office of the Provost, the Mentoring Micro-Grant Program provided grants of up to $1500 for pre-tenure faculty members to implement a mentoring project of their own design. The program was adapted from one developed by Mary Deane Sorcinelli at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mentoring Micro-Grants were awarded in 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012. The following are examples of projects that were funded by Mentoring Micro-Grants:

  • On-campus meetings of faculty organized around a particular subject or issue, e.g., research interests, effective teaching, tenure prep, work-life balance, writing projects;
  • Off-campus meetings to visit a mentoring partner to learn or discuss a new research or teaching method or to develop a new or existing collaboration;
  • Travel expenses to co-present with a mentoring partner (or partners), and/or meet new or existing mentoring partners at a professional conference;
  • Editing services to proofread, fine tune, or edit a scholarly manuscript for submission;
  • Coaching services to improve writing, productivity and/or time management skills;
  • Modest honoraria to bring a recognized scholar and/or teacher in your field to Virginia Tech for a departmental or interdisciplinary event, such as a seminar or workshop.

Additional activities could be approved at the discretion of the selection committee; however, grants could not be used for faculty salary, hardware, software, equipment, and/or capital improvements. All expenditures were in accordance with Virginia Tech policies and procedures.

Proposals were evaluated on the following basis:

  • Are the proposed activities clearly described?
  • Are the goals for the proposed project clearly described?
  • Do the project goals support the faculty member's career development?
  • Do the proposed activities support the described goals?
  • Is the proposal realistic? Can the proposed activities be accomplished within the proposed time frame and budget?

By applying for and accepting a grant, all grant recipients agreed to:

  • Participate in a brief meeting at the beginning of the grant period to discuss their project goals and activities.
  • Provide a brief written report on their project.

Due to the success of this program, Virginia Tech now provides a mentoring micro-grant to all newly hired assistant professors to use during their first two years on the faculty.