ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grants Awarded for 2020-21

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The UMass ADVANCE team has announced the selection of four new teams for mutual mentoring grants, funded up to $6000 a year, over the 2020-21 year.

“We were delighted to receive so many superb proposals this year, focused on supporting collaborations among faculty that contribute to equity and inclusion at the University,” said Joya Misra, Principal Investigator for the UMass ADVANCE grant funded program. 
The UMass ADVANCE program is a five-year (2018-23) National Science Foundation (NSF) funded $3 million grant to support gender equity for faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a focus on collaboration. Specifically, the program aims to support collaboration and equity among faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and nationality.

Priority mentoring areas include projects aimed at helping faculty build inclusive communities, engage in research collaboration and participate in shared decision-making. ADVANCE evaluated proposals in collaboration with the Office of Faculty Development, which also offers a mutual mentoring grant program.

The teams being funded by ADVANCE include:

The STEM Women’s Interdisciplinary Group 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. 

The Center for Evolutionary Materials3 Group allows 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. 

A group of College of Natural Science lecturers 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 biology 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 focuses 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 Mafu Sibongile, biochemistry and molecular biology.