Mutual Mentoring

Mutual Mentoring

A powerful means for enhancing professional success and personal well-being

HERS event

The Mutual Mentoring program supports faculty at every career stage, in developing robust professional networks that include a variety of mentoring partners.

Mentoring is an effective method for promoting professional socialization, productivity, and satisfaction.  It has been shown to further faculty career development through increased research output, more effective teaching, more dynamic networks, and improved tenure, and promotion prospects.  It also fosters social connections with colleagues who can provide advice, encouragement, and feedback.  

The Mutual Mentoring model distinguishes itself from traditional mentoring relationship by encouraging faculty to cultivate collaborative networks of mentors who offer knowledge and share their experience within specific areas, such as research, teaching, tenure, or work-life balance.

Mutual Mentoring Team and Micro Grant Program

The UMass Amherst Mutual Mentoring program provides funding to individuals or groups of faculty for the purpose of developing mentoring networks.

  • The MM Team Grants support faculty in developing robust professional networks that support their growth as researchers, teachers, and leaders in their fields. 
  • The MM Micro Grants support individual faculty to identify desirable areas for professional growth and to develop the necessary mentoring relationships to make such opportunities possible.

Applications are accepted in February and announced in April for projects which take place from June 1-May 31. Full-time non-tenure track faculty with continuing appointments and tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply.

Grant Guidelines and Application below. Application deadline TBD - 2021.

All applicants are required to attend a Mutual Mentoring Information Session, in order to be eligible to apply. If you have questions please contact Wendy Varner,  

How to Apply

Mutual Mentoring Micro Grants are awarded to help individuals forge mentoring networks.

The Mutual Mentoring program 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.

Examples of previously funded Micro Grant activity

Examples of previously funded Team Grant activity

Mutual Mentoring Resources

Resources to help faculty develop successful Mutual Mentoring networks. 

In 2012, the Supporting Faculty of Color Through Tenure & Beyond Mutual Mentoring Grant Team produced a Faculty of Color Resource Guide to facilitate mentoring connections among faculty at the Five Colleges, share information on setting up academic work groups, and provide guidance on productive mentoring relationships and career development.

To support the development of innovative, faculty-driven Mutual Mentoring partnerships, OFD has created a Mutual Mentoring Guide, which discusses the state of mentoring in academia; explains the benefits of the Mutual Mentoring model; provides suggestions for protégés, mentors, and department chairs; and describes sample mentoring projects.

The institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development (TEFD)'s Mary Deane Sorcinelli and Jung Yun published an article in the National Education Association’s Thriving in Academe, detailing how faculty can design their own flexible Mutual Mentoring networks.