Virginia Tech®home

Mentoring Program for New Faculty Members

Two opportunities to submit your mentoring proposal:

December 1, 2021 and March 1, 2022

The Executive Vice President and Provost and the deans of each college provide funds to support a mentoring program for newly appointed tenure-track assistant professors, clinical assistant professors, assistant professors of practice, collegiate assistant professors, and University Libraries professional assistant professors on the continued-appointment track.

  • Faculty members may each receive up to $1,500 designated for a project that engages at least one mentor external to Virginia Tech in helping the faculty member advance their academic and professional career.
  • The project should represent a career development opportunity that may not otherwise be possible without this funding. 
  • The intent is for the mentoring project to be one aspect of a comprehensive mentoring program that is sustained across the pre-tenure years. 
  • The mentoring project is designed by the new faculty member during the first year in residence and reviewed and approved by the department head prior to submission to the Office of the Provost.

Mentoring Grant Workshops

Mentoring Grant workshops are offered in the fall and spring semesters in-person and virtually via Zoom (as noted below).

Eligible faculty are encouraged to attend one of these workshops to receive valuable information regarding preparation of their mentoring proposals, and to have an opportunity to hear from previous mentoring grant recipients and department heads on ideas and approaches to using this grant.

These sessions will be held on the following dates/times, and will last approximately 1 ½ hours:

  • Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. (in-person)
  • Thursday, November 11, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. (virtual)
  • Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. (virtual)
  • Friday, February 4, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. (in-person)

Reporting on Your Project

During the second year in residence, faculty members who received the mentoring project funding will be asked to submit a brief report on the success of (or lessons learned from) their mentoring project to the Provost’s Office via Qualtrics. In addition, the faculty member may be asked to participate in a workshop or an evaluation activity to improve the program. 

Please submit your mentoring project report through Qualtrics.

Example Projects

Conference Travel

"I plan to use this fund to attend two conferences to meet the potential mentors because I can meet many of them at one location. Here my definition of mentors is not limited to senior researchers in my field; it also includes my peers who may help me on some research topics and teaching methods that I am not familiar with. Using this faculty mentoring fund together with my own funding, I plan to attend two different styles of conferences to meet those potential mentors. One will be a big international (but at a domestic location) conference. The other one is likely to be a small-size conference. The advantage of attending a big conference is that most relevant people in my field will show up so that I have opportunities to listen to their talks and have interactions with them during the meeting. Another advantage is that I will be exposed to many different research topics that are not my current areas of expertise but I am interested in. On the other hand, the advantage of attending a small conference is that all the meeting attendants will stay in the same session so that I have plenty of opportunities to interact with them.

Before each meeting, I will contact potential mentors to schedule meetings with them to discuss research, teaching, and collaboration opportunities. The goal is to establish long-term relation with them through in-depth discussion. The connection built upon such activities will certainly benefit the development of my academic and professional career in the future."

Collaboration

"I would like to create a small seminar to workshop a draft of my book manuscript, the research for which I have already completed. As a new tenure-track faculty member, I would be incredibly fortunate to establish a relationship with just one of the invited scholars-let alone several of their senior rank. For these and other reasons, I am keen to use faculty mentoring funds to create a one-day workshop in [XXX]. These three senior scholars will form the core of the event. Other scholars from the area will also be invited at what will be billed a public seminar. An event of this kind would surely benefit my manuscript as well as boost my professional reputation."

Visting Mentor's Institutions

"My mentoring project would be to have the opportunity to visit and consult with [faculty] in other similar programs in the country. I believe the two individuals identified could provide guidance and mentorship, specifically concerning the challenges of balancing working in academia, including teaching courses, and coordinating and directing a university training clinic, which offers services to the community. I would like to visit each of these individuals at their respective campuses, tour the university clinics and get a sense of their day to day operations and procedures. I would also like to speak with them about their experiences with securing external funding and how this might be accomplished to help with a university training clinic's operating costs.

Being able to consult with two individuals who have essentially been working in a position similar to mine in another university, will give me invaluable guidance that will be helpful as I navigate through and hopefully succeed in my new position."

Bringing Mentors to Virginia Tech

"My faculty mentoring proposal is to foster a research relationship with Dr. [faculty member], at [university]. As a fellow [discipline] researcher, fostering a mentoring relationship with this faculty member would be very helpful in guiding my dissertation through the publication process, developing research projects of mutual interest, and connecting me to his network of co-authors. Specifically, my proposal includes funding to support travel for [faculty member] to Virginia Tech for a research workshop. It will be a tremendous opportunity for my colleagues and I to interact with a colleague with overlapping research interests and thus this grant benefits not only me, but several other new faculty members as well.

This proposal supports my academic and professional career development by expanding my research network, bolstering my disciplinary research agenda, and laying the groundwork to develop my national reputation as a researcher in my discipline."

Book Manuscript Workshop

“It is hard to overstate how important the book workshop was to my intellectual development. I got detailed feedback from leading scholars in my field, which proved invaluable in revising my book manuscript. My book was published earlier this year with Cambridge University Press and two of the workshop participants blurbed the book. One has also become a trusted mentor and written me letters of recommendation for competitive national grants.”

Questions?

Email Rachel Gabriele, Assistant Provost for Faculty Initiatives and Policies