up to $2000 mentoring visit expenses per fellow / $500 mentor stipend
$1000 meeting travel each for fellow and mentor

Applications for 2017 will open on January 1 and close on January 15. Please note that some details on this page are in the process of being changed. The second 2017 deadline will be July 15.

Members of other PALM Network societies need to create an account (free) for access to the application site.

Interested in mentoring a PALM Fellow?
Upload your CV here

Mentoring Matters

The Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring (PALM) network was established to spark sustained biology education reform at diverse institutions through one-on-one mentorships for faculty new to approaches based on Vision and Change recommendations. PALM provides faculty and postdoctoral fellows with resources that allow them to gain hands-on experience and mentorship in bringing evidence-based, effective active learning strategies into their own classrooms. The longer term goal is to lead enduring change that will positively influence the teaching culture at each PALM fellow’s institution.



PALM Fellows Will:

  • Identify and secure partnership with experienced mentors who have already reformed their classrooms. A successful application will define how fellows will visit the mentor’s site to observe and participate in teaching redesigned classes. This will allow fellows to experience first-hand and begin to put into practice the full scope of pedagogical and cultural shifts needed to achieve effective change.
  • Submit videos of their teaching before and after their mentoring experiences for analysis.
  • Submit a complete proposal. “Complete” means complying with deadlines, word counts, font, and format parameters as well as addressing all issues delineated by the review rubric.
  • Schedule dates to complete the identified work within 6 months of receiving the award notification.
  • Develop an active learning based module for one of their classes with guidance from their mentors, and implement it, thus demonstrating how they have incorporated active learning approaches.
    • NOTE: Applicants without immediate access to a teaching setting must incorporate a plan for implementation and assessment of the active learning based module/materials in their application; this can include implementation in the mentor’s class.

Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellow Eligibility

  • Applicants must be or become members of organizations that belong to the PALM Network. However, if you are a community college instructor you may apply without joining one of the professional societies.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an abiding/sustainable interest in undergraduate biology education.
  • Applicants must establish a mentor relationship before formally applying.
    • Mentors must be skilled in active learning strategies and evidence-based teaching that align with Vision and Change principles. See http://www.visionandchange.org.
    • Mentors must belong to (or join) one of the PALM Network organizations.
    • Assistance with mentor matching is available (PALM Steering Committee can make recommendations based on geography and specific teaching interests).
  • Applicants without immediate access to their own teaching setting may be considered.


PALM will fund up to $2,000 for fellows to visit, observe, and work with a mentor.

  • Funds will be in the form of reimbursements for submitted receipts for preapproved expenses, which include site visit travel and teaching materials. Funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs, salaries or wages, classroom technology or lab equipment or supplies, or alcoholic beverages. Reimbursement (as opposed to lump-sum payment) relieves the recipient of any tax implications.
  • Reimbursable receipts must be submitted within 6 months of receiving the award notification.

Mentors will receive a $500 stipend when the fellow submits initial travel receipts. This timing reflects a clear milestone in the working relationship. Fellows and mentors will each receive up to $1000 (reimbursed travel receipts) to present their work and its outcomes at a meeting of a professional society or a national group focused on teaching and learning, such as a Lilly Conference. Reimbursable receipts must be submitted within 30 days of travel.

Interested in joining
the PALM Network?

The PALM Network Will:

  • Establish application review committees with members of Network societies as needed per the application cycle and application pressure.
  • Screen applicants with an evaluation rubric to assess the likelihood of success for the identified work. The rubric assesses: mentor selection; learning outcome goals; plans for implementation, assessment, dissemination; and budget.
  • Assess the effectiveness of each awarded active learning mentorship intervention by using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to analyze videos of PALM fellows’ teaching before and after mentorship.
  • Host a year-end gathering of fellows and program managers to provide a supportive community to encourage further development and to solicit suggestions to improve the program.
  • Expand the reach of this program through dissemination activities including societal meetings, media streams, and publication outlets.
  • Seek to expand the network to reach more instructors of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students.
  • Rely on sustained input from a Steering Committee that includes collaborative education leadership from PALM Network professional societies as well as individuals from a diverse array of undergraduate institutions.

Helpful Resources

Applicants can receive support from Academic Technology Support Services at the University of Minnesota to create videos (a standard class period of 45-75 min; basic A/V or phone). This support would include guidelines for video recording procedures that will allow sampling of classroom behavior suitable for analysis. The PALM network can provide a template for student release forms authorizing photography or recording.

Networking Works

The PALM Network, founded by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), and Genetics Society of America (GSA), combines the shared educational interests of scientific organizations working for Vision and Change. We will continue to add new network members, bringing in other organizations working hard to promote the principles of Vision and Change and seeking collaborations based on reform efforts. The PALM Steering Committee’s links to minority- and tribal-serving institutions and community colleges will support this grant’s goals for broadening participation in active learning reform. These organizations educate over half the underrepresented minorities in the U.S., so PALM is primed to bring Vision and Change reforms to populations of faculty and students who have not factored prominently into past educational reform plans.

Questions? Please email Sue Wick at swick@umn.edu.
PALM is funded by NSF Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Biology Education grant #1624200. Project support from Professional Societies Alliance for Life Science Education
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