ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant Program

The ADVANCE Program is pleased to solicit proposals for the ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant Program for projects to begin in academic year 2020-2021.

We are seeking innovative faculty led projects that focus on and promote: research collaboration, inclusive communities, and shared decision-making. Please review the program guidelines, which offer additional details on our priority funding areas as well as details on how to apply.

The ADVANCE Program will fund Team Grants of up to $6,000 per award. Team Grants are faculty-driven, context-sensitive mentoring projects, orchestrated by teams that conceive and carry out their own project plans. We welcome proposals from full-time tenure-track faculty and full-time lecturers who are on continuing appointments. UMass ADVANCE particularly encourages proposals from faculty members in NSF-supported fields (the College of Engineering, College of Information and Computer Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, or College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, or in the departments of Management in the Isenberg School of Management and Linguistics in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts). Team Grants are available to support networks comprised of four or more faculty (minimum) and may include a mix of types and ranks of faculty. The Mutual Mentoring approach supports faculty, in developing robust professional networks that include a variety of mentoring partners within and outside the UMass Amherst campus, and at a wide variety of career stages. 

Please note: the ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant Program is distinct from the Office of Faculty Development Mutual Mentoring Team Grant Program. There will be a separate call for Office of Faculty Development Mutual Mentoring Team Grants. Faculty may apply to both the ADVANCE and OFD Mutual Mentoring programs but are eligible to receive only one award. Proposals that are considered for funding and have applied to both programs, will be reviewed collaboratively and the two offices will coordinate to ensure all faculty are well served.

If you have any questions about the NSF ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring program, please contact the ADVANCE team at

2021 Grant Winners

Aiding Math-Physics Educational and Research Experiences

This team seeks to bridge substantial disciplinary gaps between local faculty in pure mathematics and theoretical physics; enabling better communication, co-mentoring of students and post-docs, and research collaborations. The team is co-led by Ben Heidenreich, David Kastor, and Jennie Traschen in Physics and Owen Gwilliam and Franz Pedit in Physics and includes team members Paul Hacking, Alexi Oblomkov, and Martina Rovelli from Mathematics and Statistics and Tigran Sedrakyan and Romain Vasseur from Physics.

Foundations of Anti-Racism in Mathematics and Statistics

This team seeks to build a solid antiracist foundation within the University of Massachusetts Amherst Mathematics and Statistics department. This project will serve as a starting point towards building a community and culture of anti-racist department practices. The team is led by Adena Calden from Mathematics and Statistics and includes team members Krista Gile, Maryclare Griffin, Mike Hayes, Annie Raymond, and Ted Westling also from Math and Statistics.

Mentoring Up and Down: Meeting the Mentoring Needs of Early Career Faculty of Color

This team seeks to: 1) develop the mentoring networks of junior faculty of color, educate senior faculty on the needs of early career scholars of color, and make recommendations to strengthen departmental supports provided to early career scholars of color. The team is led by Maria Galano from Psychological and Brain Sciences and includes team members David Arnold, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Elizabeth Harvey, Tara Mandalaywala, Evelyn Mercado, and Maureen Perry-Jenkins also from Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Navigating (Mini-)Tenure in the Time of COVID-19

This team seeks to support assistant professors from underrepresented groups in successfully navigating the (mini-)tenure process, especially in light of the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This team is led by Camille Barchers of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning and includes team members, Sade Bonilla of Education Policy, Research and Administration, Maria Galano of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Ximena Gomez of History of Art and Architecture, and Enrique Suarez of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies.

2020 Grant Winners

The Center for Evolutionary Materials3 Group

This team will allow early career scholars, particularly women and underrepresented minorities in STEM disciplines, to build strong networks with program directors for research sponsors. 

This team is led by Reika Katsumata, Polymer Sciences and Engineering, and includes Laura Bradley, Polymer Sciences and Engineering, Alfred Crosby, Polymer Sciences and Engineering, Jennifer Green, Polymer Sciences and Engineering, Duncan Irschick, Biology, and David Waldman, Polymer Sciences and Engineering.

The CNS Lecturers

This team plans to gather information and develop best practices to ensure that lecturers are engaged in departmental governance, decision-making, and leadership opportunities at a level that reflects the impact that they have on student learning and other important department functions.

This team is led by Amy Springer, Biochemistry and Molecular and includes Laura Francis, Biology, Alex Shreyer, Ecological Conservation, and Heath Hatch, Physics

The Publish, Not Perish: Mutual Mentoring for Productive authors in Plant Biology Group

This team will focus on promoting a culture of publishing research findings efficiently and effectively, by sharing knowledge on these issues for plant biologists from the Five Colleges.

This team is led by Dong Wang, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and includes Ana Caicedo, Biology, Alice Cheung, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michelle Facette, Biology, Jeeyon Jeong, Biology (Amherst College), and Sibongile Mafu, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The STEM Women’s Interdisciplinary Group

This team aims to support research collaboration through plans to help develop “high risk-high reward” research proposals by bringing together disparate scientific groups with overlapping research interests in the area of “Particles and Polymers in Biofilms.”

This team is co-led by Manasa Kandula, Physics and Caitlyn Butler, Civil and Environmental Engineering; team members include Anne Gershonen, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sarah Perry, Chemical Engineering, Maria Santore, Polymer Sciences and Engineering, and Jessica Schiffman, Chemical Engineering.

2019 Grant Winners

Women of Color Faculty Group 

Mari Castañeda (Communication), Benita Barnes (EPRA), Miliann Kang (WGSS), and Nefertiti Walker (Sport Management) 

Building Best Practices in Collaborative Award Management

Mark Pachucki (Sociology), Jasmine Kerrissey (Sociology), Don Tomaskovic-Devey (Sociology), Jen Lundquist (Sociology), Kathryne Young (Sociology), Naomi Gerstel (Sociology), Tony Paik (Sociology), Sancha Medwinter (Sociology), Brian Sargent (Sociology) 

Women of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Kara Peterman (CEE), Caitlyn Butler (CEE), Eleni Christopha (CEE), Emily Kumpel (CEE), Song Gao (CEE)