Many grants under the Project Fund support activities that are sustained over a set period of time (summer, semester, academic year) and that involve budget requests up to $25,000. The Project Fund application is used for all grant requests with the exception of travel grant requests for student presenters of academic research conducted with a faculty mentor.
What types of activities can be supported by a mentoring project grant?
Mentoring project grants strengthen the mentoring culture at Wilkes by funding activities that support meaningful mentoring relationships. Past grants have supported summer research experiences for undergraduates, interpreted broadly to include research, scholarly, or artistic activities that pair an experienced faculty member with a student for a sustained summer project. We will continue to encourage requests for research, scholarly, and artistic experience grants that connect students with faculty mentors. Proposals that request funding for new approaches to mentoring for faculty, students (graduate and undergraduate) and staff are also encouraged, as are projects that pair Wilkes students with K-12 students.
Requests for smaller projects are also accepted under the project fund. We expect that requests for smaller grants will cover a broader range of activities, such as funding for speakers or educational materials. Project funds can also be requested to cover some of the expense associated with attendance at conferences or meetings by students who are not presenting. Mentoring funds cannot be awarded for projects or trips associated with credit bearing courses.
What budgetary items can be covered by a mentoring project grant?
A project grant can be used to underwrite stipends for mentors, summer salary for student researchers, necessary materials and supplies, and travel expenses if they can be justified as integral to the proposed project. Students working on non-credit bearing scholarly projects during the fall and spring semesters may receive wages. Requests to support expenses for students attending, but not presenting, at a conference or meeting will be considered, but there will be $400 per student cap on awards for these requests. International travel by students will be eligible for funding consideration up to the $400 limit. For any one academic conference/meeting, a limit of $3000 will be awarded, whether the awards support mentoring project grants or student travel grants for conference presentation with faculty mentor. In most cases, faculty and staff travel expenses will not be covered by mentoring funds.
Are there restrictions on items or activities that will be considered for funding under a mentoring project?
Mentoring project grants cannot be used for scholarships or tuition, for costs associated with credit-bearing study tours, for computers and computer peripherals, capital improvements or equipment, or to underwrite activities or responsibilities that fall within the normal or customary responsibilities of a department or office. The mentoring project fund is not open to applications that request funds to supplement a department’s or program’s operating budget or to primarily underwrite food or beverage expenses (the Mentoring Resources Committee has provided unit deans with an allocation to support social activities among faculty, staff and their majors). While some proposed projects may directly or indirectly benefit individuals who are not affiliated with the University, applicants are reminded that members of the Wilkes community should be the primary beneficiaries of grant funding. Requests to fund activity that has already taken place will not be considered.
The Mentoring Resources Committee reserves the right to adjust line item requests.
What are the most common reasons that proposals don’t get funded?
Applicants are encouraged to follow the guidelines carefully and complete each section of the application. The reviewers will not look favorably on proposals and/or budgets that are disorganized, confusing or vague. Applicants should be as detailed as possible in describing the proposed activity and in explaining how the activity outputs and outcomes cultivate a meaningful mentoring relationship. While it is important to develop the context of the activity that a grant would underwrite, proposals should not focus primarily on the details of the research, scholarly or creative project itself, but on the benefits of the activity in supporting learning and helping to meet the developmental needs of the proposed mentee(s).
How do I access funds if I get a mentoring project grant?
Amy Edwards, Coordinator of Grant Compliance in the Office of Sponsored Programs and Grant Support, will assist you in managing the budget, submitting any paperwork that may be required by human resources or payroll for faculty, staff and students, and maintaining required documentation on purchases made with grant funding. She can be reached at ext. 4368 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.