Mentoring Fund

As they prepare for their professional academic careers, graduate students can benefit from conversations with experienced faculty which are uniquely focused on the work of teaching. Faculty also find that such discussions with graduate students are rewarding for themselves. Mentoring is not only a practice that enriches teaching and learning in their current classes, it helps faculty to ensure the quality of teaching in future generations.

NEW FOR 2016:  To strengthen the value of our Mentoring Fund in supporting meaningful occasions for faculty to mentor graduate students as teachers, applications for the new McGraw Center Mentoring Fund should include brief descriptions of:

  • specific mentoring events within a course or department (see below), with goals for what graduate students will learn and how the proposed activities will support those lessons;
  • how the success of the plan would be demonstrated or how feedback might be obtained;
  • how the mentoring activities might enhance teaching for the faculty members involved.

Applications must be filled out by a faculty member or graduate student organizers for one of these forms of mentoring activity:

Special Mentoring Activity within a Course

Faculty members can apply to the Mentoring Fund to support substantive mentoring discussions with their AIs that go beyond course specific issues addressed in routine meetings of instructional staff.

Past examples of special mentoring activities within courses have included:

  • involving graduate students in designing the course syllabus or assignments, defining goals for student learning, or creating meaningful criteria for grading;
  • discussions of short readings on specific aspects of teaching and applying them to the design of their class;
  • inviting graduate students to create (and sometimes, to deliver) guest lectures and receive feedback.

Funding is available to help defray the cost of refreshments at these special mentoring meetings.

Deadline: Monday, February 27, 2017

Apply:  Mentoring Fund Application for Special Mentoring Activity within a Course.

Review: Submissions will be reviewed on January 23, February 6, with a final round on February 27.

Approved applications will be notified and can expect to be funded in the following manner: those groups meeting 5 times or fewer in a semester will receive $10/person per meeting. Those groups meeting more than 5 times will receive a total of $50/person for the semester.

Departmental Teaching Conversations

Faculty or Graduate Students can apply for support for department-wide mentoring events related to teaching. Topics could include creating a syllabus and setting goals for learning, planning classroom activities, lecturing, or designing assignments and grading criteria.

Formats for these events might include:

  • discussions with faculty panels or individual faculty members;
  • visits by graduate students to a class with a follow-up discussion with faculty.

Funding is available to help defray the cost of refreshments at these special mentoring meetings. 

Deadline: Open, as long as funds are available.

Apply: Mentoring Fund Application Form for Departmental Teaching Conversations 

Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year and successful proposals are awarded for as long as funds are available. We cannot guarantee that applications will receive the full amount requested. Funded applications for departmental teaching conversations can expect to receive $10 per participant. 

McGraw Center staff are available to help design your mentoring plan or provide readings and other resources. We are also available to join your meetings as facilitators for discussions on specific issues. To consult with us or invite us to one of your meetings, contact the McGraw Center.

As one starting point for designing your Mentoring Plan, we offer this tip-sheet on Working with Graduate Students: Guiding AIs as Students to Future Colleagues.

Please note: The McGraw Center Mentoring Fund is intended to foster mentoring relationships between Princeton faculty and graduate students. While we cannot fund undergraduate course assistants (UCAs) or post-doctoral instructors (post-docs), McGraw Center staff are available to consult with and about UCAs and post-docs.