Micro-grants for Mentoring

Funding for Fall 2018 is now closed. Any further funding will be announced via email.

The Office of Faculty Affairs supports faculty in developing robust professional networks that include a variety of mentoring partners within and outside BMCC and CUNY, and at a wide variety of career stages. Micro-grants between $100 – $500 will be awarded in 2018-19 to support faculty in developing their mentoring networks.

Using the concept of “Mutual Mentoring,” developed at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, this project is different from the traditional model (i.e., top-down, one-on-one, senior-to-junior partnership) by:

  • encouraging the development of non-hierarchical, collaborative networks;
  • where each person in the network provides specific areas of knowledge and experience; and
  • the network relationships are formed to benefit the person traditionally known as the “protégé” as well as the person traditionally known as the “mentor.”

Mentoring partners may choose to meet one-on-one, in large groups, in subgroups, in person, online (e.g., email, chat, SKYPE, etc.), or in a combination of these suggested formats.

Priority Mentoring Areas

There are numerous challenges to professional success and well-being in academia, the majority of which fall into six key categories that closely parallel the challenges identified in the literature of faculty development at large. These challenges have been designated as “Priority Mentoring Areas” at BMCC.

  1. Getting to Know the Institution: Understanding the academic culture of departments, the college, and the University; identifying in-house resources to support research and teaching; and creating a trusted network of junior and senior colleagues.
  2. Excelling at Teaching: Finding support for teaching such as developing new courses, pedagogical methods, technologies, interdisciplinary curricula, or supporting student success.
  3. Excelling at Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Developing a research agenda, identifying sources of internal and external funding, finding venues for performances or exhibitions, soliciting feedback on manuscripts and grant proposals, setting up and running a successful laboratory, or identifying outside scholars who could be external reviewers.
  4. Establishing Work-Life Strategies: Prioritizing and/or balancing teaching, research, and service; establishing short-term and long-term goals, finding a time management system that works for you; attending to quality of life issues such as dual careers, childcare, and affordable housing.
  5. Understanding Tenure and Evaluation: Better understanding of the tenure process, learning more about the criteria for evaluating teaching performance, finding support and guidance for documenting your accomplishments, soliciting feedback on the quality and quantity of work through the annual faculty review.
  6. Developing a Support Network: Forging career-enhancing relationships with faculty (at CUNY or outside the institution) who share similar interests, challenges, and/or opportunities. Networks designed to support women and faculty of color are particularly encouraged.

Types of Micro Grant Projects Supported

Examples of Micro Grant projects include (but are not limited to):

  1. Off-campus meetings to visit a mentoring partner to learn or discuss a new research area or teaching method.
  2. Travel expenses to co-present with a mentoring partner(s), and/or meet new or existing mentoring partner(s) at a professional conference.
  3. Modest honoraria to bring a mentoring partner to BMCC for in-person mentoring and/or a public event, such as a departmental workshop or talk.
  4. Editing services from a writing coach or an editor to proofread, fine tune, or edit a scholarly manuscript for submission.

Award Information

The Micro Grant program provides support from $100-500; $2,500 is available for 2018-19 and applications will be accepted until the funding runs out.

Grant Period

Micro Grants will fund activities from September 1, 2018–August 31, 2019.


We welcome proposals from full-time faculty in lecturer or professorial lines. Micro Grants are available to support networks comprised of up to three individuals (the applicant and up to two on- or off-campus mentoring partners).

Micro Grant Proposal

The typical length for a Micro Grant proposal is 2-3 pages in 12-point font (this includes a proposal narrative and budget). Please do not exceed 3 pages. Send proposals as an email attachment (in one document) to Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty (jberg @ bmcc.cuny.edu).

Proposals should include responses to the following items:

  1. What mentoring challenge(s) do you seek to address?
  2. Which Priority Mentoring Area(s) will your project focus on and how?
  3. What are your goals regarding this project? What do you aim to accomplish and why is this important at this point in your career?
  4. Please provide a 75- to 100-word summary (maximum) of the proposed project, which may be used online and in promotional materials if your proposal is awarded funding. Describe specific activities and mentoring partners.


Micro grants are supported by the Joshua L. Smith Faculty Development Fund. Personnel expenses cover only BMCC/CUNY students, staff, or faculty. Non-personnel expenses can include food (on/off campus), travel costs (for faculty member or mentoring partners), honoraria for mentoring partners, conference fees, off-campus editors and coaches, or supplies and materials.

Sample Budget
Please list all of your estimated expenditures (up to $500) using the following table format. Provide reasonable detail when describing your line items.

Item Description Expense
Books and supplies Book Title, by Author $43.95
Honorarium Honorarium for Mentor at X University $200.00
Travel Expense Travel and lodging to City, State to visit Mentor $250.00
TOTAL: $493.95