Faculty Research Mentoring Program

Faculty Research Mentoring Program
Cato College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Application Guidelines


The Cato College of Education is pleased to sponsor the Faculty Research Mentoring Program (FRMP), which supports faculty-to-faculty mentoring by pairing a senior faculty member with a track record of extramural funding, and an Assistant or Associate (with limited grant writing experience) faculty member who wants to be mentored and commits to submitting a competitive funding proposal at the end of the mentoring period. The focus of mentoring activities must be on identifying funding sources and the development and submission of a strong extramural grant proposal.

A FRMP request should center on a large proposal ($100,000+) that is of sufficient scope to warrant a stipend. This program is reserved for faculty members who have a well formulated and meritorious project that can be readily articulated, and which has not been previously funded. The FRMP is not intended to support the development of white papers and/or letters of intent. Applications that involve a proposal resubmission that involves significant revisions may be considered. The program/award must be one for which an application, rather than a nomination, is required, and the applicant must be well-qualified for the program/award. Note that applicants cannot be simultaneously funded for the same work/research by another funding program.

Faculty who intend to apply for a FRMP grant are encouraged to research the funding agency to ensure alignment between the funding agency and proposed grant project goals. Applications will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of Research and members of the Cato College of Education Leadership Team.

ll.PROPOSAL DEADLINE (June 1 & December 1 by 5 p.m.):

To capture funding opportunities that arise throughout the year, FRMP proposals will be accepted at two points. The first funding cycle deadline is June 1, and is intended for proposals to be submitted between July 15 and January 14 (allowing for a 6-week to 7-month mentoring period). The second funding cycle deadline is December 1, and is intended for proposals to be submitted between January 15 and June 14 (allowing for a 6-week to 6-month mentoring period). The dates of the submission windows are intended to fall within the same fiscal year. Submissions that fall during the transition between fiscal years (June 15-July 14) are not eligible for the FRMP.


  1. Estimated Number of Awards: The number of awarded proposals is contingent upon the availability of funding. We hope to fund 1 project per funding cycle (2 total per fiscal year).
  2. Anticipated Amount of Awards:
    1. The Dean’s Office in the Cato College of Education will provide funding to offer a $2,000 stipend (upon proposal submission) to the faculty member to focus on the proposal development. In cases where 2 faculty members involved in the same project are receiving mentor support, the $2,000 stipend will be shared equally ($1,000 each).
    2. For mentoring support, the mentor will receive a $2,000 stipend that will be provided upon submission of the proposal. In cases where 2 faculty members are serving as mentors on the same project, involved in the same project, the $2,000 stipend will be shared equally ($1,000 each).
  3. Mentee Expectations:
    1. The mentee must complete the application form and obtain all signatures and attachments.
    2. The mentee must commit to working with the mentor during the mentoring period (see graphic above). Mentees and mentors should meet regularly.
    3. In addition to working with a mentor, mentees may seek editing support from a Proposal Development Specialist, or if the project meets eligibility requirements, from other university proposal development sources (e.g., CLIPP program).
    4. The mentee must submit a competitive extramural grant application for a minimum of $100,000 (in direct costs over the life of the award) by the next program deadline.
    5. If the proposal is declined, the mentee is expected to resubmit (if possible) during the next funding cycle.
  4. Mentor Expectations:
    1. The mentor must commit to meet with the mentee regularly during the mentoring period (see graphic above).
    2. The mentor is responsible for monitoring that the mentee makes steady progress towards submission of a competitive grant application by the end of the academic year (or the next program deadline), provide monthly updates on the status of progress to the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, and should take the necessary steps to assist with the submission of a high-quality proposal, which include:
      1. A discussion of the mentee’s research interests and how they fit with short and long-term career goals.
      2. A discussion of possible funding sources and collaborators, and an explanation of the funding process at the agency the mentee plans to target as a potential funder, including contact with program officials, if applicable.
      3. Once a funding program is identified, the mentor should ensure the mentee’s past work and planned research are well-matched to the program by reviewing the RFP and available resources with the mentee, and establishing next steps to writing the grant.
      4. The mentor must schedule time to review a draft of the mentee’s grant and provide constructive feedback and additional guidance.
    3. The mentor must be willing to commit time and attention to the mentee to ensure that the end goal is a grant application that is of a substantially higher quality than the mentee would have achieved without the mentoring relationship.


  1. Mentee Eligibility:
    1. Mentees must be assistant or associate professors with limited grant writing experience.
    2. Mentees can only receive this award once.
    3. The mentee must commit to working with the mentor during the mentoring period (see graphic above).
  2. Mentor Eligibility:
    1. The mentee is responsible for finding a senior faculty mentor (internal or external to UNC Charlotte) who is at least an associate professor and has a record of significant extramural funding experience as a Principal Investigator (PI), as appropriate to the discipline. Considerations for successful Mentor-Mentee relationships include:
      1. Similar or complementary research interests
      2. Alignment of the mentor’s expertise with the mentee’s level of experience and needs
      3. Accessibility of the mentor for regular meetings and contact through e-mail/phone calls/Zoom meetings
      4. Willingness of the mentee to ask for assistance when needed
      5. Willingness of the mentee to accept and the mentor to give constructive feedback
      6. Mentor’s track record in pursuing/obtaining external funding from the funding agency to which the mentee seeks to apply.
    2. The pair should share some scholarly and/or research overlap, but need not be in the same department or college.
    3. Mentors can only hold one Faculty Research Mentoring Program award at a time.
    4. While it is expected to be the mentee’s responsibility to identify a potential mentor, the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education/or Department Chair will attempt to find a mentor for faculty members, if they are unable to find one. Faculty members interested in applying to this program are encouraged to contact the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education well before the FRMP deadline if they need assistance locating a mentor.
  3. Co-PI permitted: Yes. The mentee serve as a Co-PI on the proposal, in cases where it may not be approporate (or reviewed favorably by reviewers) for an inexperienced faculty member to serve as PI. In such cases, the mentee would still be expected to play an important role in the project. Additional Co-PIs may serve on the project, and the mentor may be included as one of the Co-PIs.
  4. Limit on Number of Applications per Mentee: One FRMP proposal per academic year.
  5. Additional Eligibility Requirements:
    1. The FRMP awards may not be used to fund research for which an applicant already is or will be receiving funding support.
    2. Funding is contingent on the applicant’s commitment to remain in the Cato College of Education at UNC Charlotte for the foreseeable future. The applicant must notify the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education if this status changes.
    3. Applicants who do not meet the above-mentioned expectations will not be eligible to apply in the future to the FRMP program.


  1. Application Components:
    1. Applications for this program are completed by the faculty member and submitted electronically. A complete application includes the following:
      1. Faculty Research Mentoring Program Application Form.
      2. Narrative.
      3. Project Timeline.
      4. Appendices (optional).
      5. Mentee’s abbreviated curriculum vitae.
      6. Mentor’s abbreviated curriculum vitae.
  2. Narrative:
    1. Language: The proposal must be written so that a layperson or reviewers in unrelated disciplines can understand it. Avoid jargon that may be unfamiliar.
    2. Narrative Format: Double-space, with 1-inch margins; Times New Roman 12-point font.
    3. Proposal Narrative plan: 2-3 pages (maximum) including:
      1. Address why you need a mentor, and provide a plan for a meaningful mentoring relationship, including the time commitment from mentor and the proposed research plan/research interests. Use the Project Timeline form to convey details of the mentoring plan.
      2. Include a statement of commitment to submit a competitive grant proposal
      3. Identify the target funding agency/program and describe the rationale for this choice. The mentee should thoroughly research the potential funder and provide a solid rationale for this choice. The funder’s due date should occur during the mentoring period for the specified funding cycle (see graphic above)
      4. Describe any interactions with the agency to date, either through previously funded projects or discussions about the current project. Contact with the funding agency prior to the FRMP submission is highly encouraged and will be viewed favorably.
      5. Describe how the grant, if funded, will fit with your career goals.
      6. Provide a plan for resubmission should funding not be awarded in the targeted cycle.
  3. Supplementary Documents:
    1. Faculty Research Mentoring Program Application Form.
      Please click on the application form. Please ensure all required signatures are present.
    2. Project Timeline.
      Please click on the project timeline template. It must be completed with projected activities for the mentoring period of the FRMP
    3. Mentee’s abbreviated curriculum vitae (not to exceed 3 pages).
      1. Highlight previous work and publications relevant to this application.
      2. In addition, please include a list of current grants and pending applications and include for both of these the agency, amount requested or awarded, and the project period.
      3. If you have no current or pending grant applications, please clearly state this.
    4. Mentor’s abbreviated curriculum vitae (not to exceed 3 pages).
      Include grants awarded to the mentor as PI or Co-PI that demonstrate experience with grant proposal submission, grant project management, and potentially prior experience with the target funding agency.
  4. Submission Instructions:
    1. Save the components as a single Adobe PDF document, and name the document with the Faculty member’s last name, name of program, semester & year for FRMP preparation, e.g. LastName_FRMP_Spring2025.
    2. Submit via email to spkissau@charlotte.edu.


  1. Proposal Review: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by members of the Cato College of Education Leadership Team for merit and compliance with program requirements.
  2. Proposal Review Information Criteria: The FRMP program seeks to support grant-making activities that (a) substantially contribute to the University’s research profile through the amount of the grant, its prestige, or both; and (b) require a level of effort commensurate with the faculty stipend. Consultation with the Cato College of Education’s Proposal Specialist or the Center for Research Excellence (CRE) prior to application for a FRMP grant can ensure the faculty’s proposed grant-making strategy and likely extramural funding sources satisfy these criteria.
  3. Applications will be evaluated based on the criteria listed below. Please click here to see a copy of the rubric used when scoring FRMP applications.
    1. Research Focus: Does the mentee have a research focus that can be translated into a grant submission?
    2. Funding Alignment: Has the applicant researched appropriate funding opportunities?
    3. Benefits: Does the application articulate the benefit and value of the mentor at this stage in the mentee’s career?
    4. Experience & Compatibility: Does the mentor have the appropriate research interests and background to guide the mentee in their chosen area of research?
    5. Commitment: Does the application show the mentor’s commitment to the relationship and ensure a competitive grant application is submitted at the end? Does the mentee convey that he/she is willing to commit the time and effort to get the most benefit from the relationship and submit a competitive grant application at the end?


  1. Notification of the Award: Notice of FRMP awards will be made within 2 weeks of the application deadline.
  2. Obligations of Award Recipients:
    1. By accepting the award, the faculty member agrees to work with the mentor and submit a competitive extramural grant application.
    2. If the proposal is declined, the recipient is expected to revise and resubmit for the next funding cycle (if possible).
  3. Reporting Requirements:
    1. The mentee is also responsible for reporting to the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education on the outcomes of the mentoring relationship. The report should include the funding decision, reviewer feedback provided, and a general discussion of how the mentee benefited from the mentoring experience.
    2. Faculty members are expected to comply with the FRMP program requirements for submission and reporting to maintain eligibility for future funding opportunities.
    3. Funding is contingent on the applicant’s commitment to remain at UNC Charlotte for the foreseeable future. Applicant will notify the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education if this status changes.
    4. The awardee should inform the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education by e-mail (spkissau@charlotte.edu) when notified of the funding outcome of the external grant.