Research Excellence Fund (REF) - Mentoring Grants

Mentoring Grants

Budget Deadline: February 27, 2014
Proposal Deadline: March 6, 2014 – 4:00 p.m.

Program Description

REF Mentoring Grants (REF-MG) are designed to provide newly-hired, untenured tenure-track faculty with resources to work with established, nationally known, off-campus researchers to develop competitive proposals supporting the initiation of an externally recognized and funded research program. A mentoring grant is an opportunity to build an advisory relationship with the mentor—it is not a proposal to fund a research project with a potential mentor. Qualifications of the mentor to serve in this capacity must be clear in the proposal, such as mentor commitment, mentor compatibility, mentor stature, and institutional/mentee benefit. A good mentoring grant should focus on the establishment of a beneficial mentoring relationship. Tenured faculty, research faculty, or research staff are not eligible for REF-MG awards.

Consider the following criteria when submitting REF-MG proposals:

  • Newly hired, untenured tenure-track faculty in any academic unit who are in their first two year appointment are eligible to submit REF-MG, proposals.
  • A PI may only submit one proposal per category (see FAQs). Each proposal must be endorsed by the appropriate Department Chair/School Dean and must include a letter from the off-campus mentor indicating a willingness to participate.
  • A description of the planned interactions with the mentor and expected outcomes should be included.
  • Mentors will typically be identified with the assistance of the Department Chair/School Dean.
  • The selected mentor should not be someone with whom a mentoring relationship already exists, such as a previous advisor or senior research collaborator.
  • REF-MG grants may be up to $10,000, are limited to the award period outlined above, and will not normally be extended.
  • Matching funds are not required.
  • The supporting letter from the Chair/Dean must clearly describe the Department's/School's contribution to the mentoring program and also describe the Chair's/Dean's role in insuring the success of this effort. The qualifications of the mentor may be considered by the review committee during proposal evaluation.
  • The selected mentor needs to be at a US institution.

Evaluation of Proposals

REF-MG proposals will be evaluated on:

    1. Likelihood of developing a strong and successful mentoring relationship leading to the establishment of an externally recognized and funded research program by the recipient.
    2. Contribution to the achievement of the University and unit strategic plans.

Note: all mentor stipends will be reviewed for appropriateness and justification.

Proposal Format

All proposals must include a completed Required Elements Checklist-MG to ensure all necessary documents have been submitted. Please review the checklist prior to writing your proposal as it explains the requirements and page limits. With an expectation of a heavy volume of submissions for this competition, please adhere to all guidelines, including the proposal format.

Budget Information

Budgets must be reviewed and approved by the Sponsored Programs Office one week prior to the proposal deadline. Please submit your Budget and completed Cost Share/Matching Support Authorization Form to Jennifer Bukovich.

Cost Share

All cost share is to be disclosed in the budget justification and shown on the budget worksheet. You must also submit a completed Cost Share Authorization form (which is located on the Banner Self Service Site).

Unallowable Expenditures

  • Faculty salary support (including summer salary) is unallowable on all REF Awards.
  • Faculty, staff, and temporary salary support is unallowable on all REF Awards.
  • Graduate student support (stipend, tuition, hourly, etc.) is unallowable on all REF Awards. Hourly graduate student support is allowed during the summer semester.
  • Faculty release time

Letters of Support and Submission Requirements

Institute/Center/School

  • Obtain letter of support and curriculum vitae (maximum of three pages) from the off-campus mentor. This is a requirement and both need to be included with the final proposal submission.
  • Submit one copy of the final proposal, including the letter of support from the mentor, to the appropriate Dean or Director for review—the Dean or Director will submit their letter of support directly to the VP Research Office, Attn: Cathy Codere.
  • Submit an electronic copy of the final proposal to ref-l@mtu.edu. Please send one file in PDF format.

College

  • Obtain letter of support and curriculum vitae from the off-campus mentor. This is a requirement and both need to be included with the final proposal submission.
  • Obtain letter of support from the appropriate Chair(s) and include with the final proposal.
  • Submit one copy of the final proposal, including the letter of support from the Chair(s) and the letter of support from the mentor, to the appropriate Dean for review—the Dean will submit their letter of support directly to the VP Research Office, Attn: Cathy Codere.
  • Please submit the Required Elements Checklist, Transmittal Form and Proposal as one PDF file to ref-l@mtu.edu.

Dean Requirement:

The Dean will send their letter of support directly to the VP Research Office, Attn: Cathy Codere. Dean letters are due within seven calendar days of the proposal deadline. If faculty members from the same College/School submit multiple proposals, the Dean needs to prioritize the proposals from the College/School based on need and benefit.

Award Modifications

If you need to make a modification to your REF award end date or budget, please send a completed Request for Modification Form (see resources box on this page) via email to refmod-l@mtu.edu. The form should provide a justification for the requested change and be signed by the required individuals. Please send the document as a PDF file.