FRED Mentoring Program for Grant Funding Success
The Faculty Research Education Development (FRED) Mentoring Program is designed to promote grant funding success for junior faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and other institutions with a strong commitment to recruiting students from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM to the field of cell biology.
Career Development Workshop July 12-15, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Get individualized, extensive, and expert feedback and guidance on your grant proposal.
- Gain valuable advice and guidance from a group of senior scientists.
- Expand your professional network.
- Facilitate collaboration.
- Obtain other professional development including improved chances of promotion, invitations to present seminars and speak at conferences, manuscript publication.
- Receive travel funds to attend ASCB|EMBO Meeting (up to $1,800).
- Receive travel funds to visit mentor’s institution and give a seminar (up to $1,200).
Nearly all past FRED mentees have submitted formal grant proposals, with over 50% awarded grants (higher than most success rates).
- Provide guidance and expertise to junior faculty and help retain underrepresented minorities in STEM.
- Expand your professional network.
- Receive travel funds to attend the ASCB|EMBO Meeting (up to $1,800).
- Receive travel funds to visit mentee’s institution and give a seminar (up to $1,200).
- Contribute to broader impacts of the scientific community.
- Receive an honorarium.
Past mentors overwhelmingly find the program beneficial and a worthwhile use of time and want to mentor another FRED mentee in the future.
Mentees and mentors accepted into the program will:
- Attend a Career Development Workshop in the summer, July 12-15, 2019 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Prepare a grant to be submitted to the NIH, NSF, or other comparable funding agency. The mentee prepares and submits grant; mentor provides mentorship/guidance during process.
- Communicate with each other at least monthly to receive feedback on their grant proposal.
- Visit each other’s institution to present a seminar and work on the grant proposal.
- Attend the ASCB|EMBO Meeting in December to participate in a mock study section to obtain feedback on the grant proposal.
Who Is Eligible to Apply?
- You must be or become a member of the American Society for Cell Biology if accepted to the program. Not a member? Join here and apply as a member applicant.
- Mentees must be a senior postdoctoral scientist about to begin an independent position or an untenured junior faculty member in the current position for five or fewer years.
- All program participants must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, because FRED is funded by the National Science Foundation of the U.S. Federal Government
- Each mentee who applies needs to have a mentor apply as well (see tips below on finding a mentor).
- Priority is given to underrepresented minority faculty and faculty at MSIs. Faculty at other institutions with high underrepresented minority enrollment or a strong commitment to underrepresented students in the field of cell biology are also encouraged to apply.
- A biosketch in NIH or NSF format
- A specific aims page for the draft grant proposal you wish to develop
- A signed letter (on institutional letterhead) indicating your willingness to participate in all aspects of the program
- A letter from your chair or dean documenting support for your participation in this program, including release time to pursue your research or education program when this grant is funded
- A brief, one-page summary of the anticipated impact of this grant on your career, answering: What are your career plans and how will this grant help you get where you want to go?
- In one paragraph, explain why you meet the criteria for participation in the FRED program
- For postdocs only, include a support letter from your research advisor
- The application for the mentor consists of a biosketch (NSF or NIH format), list of other support, mentee name, and signed letter (on institutional letterhead) indicating willingness to participate in all aspects of the program including summer workshop, ASCB|EMBO Meeting mock study section, monthly communication with mentee, and reciprocal institutional visits.
Help Finding a Mentor
When you ask someone to mentor you, be sure you explain how they will benefit (see Course Objectives for Mentors above)
- Ask a former mentor/advisor (it reflects well on them to continue to mentor)
- Your postdoc mentor
- Your PhD advisor or dissertation committee members
- Former research collaborators
- Ask experts in your field
- Who are the leading experts in your area of study? What papers do you read, consult, or cite? Who presented a talk or a poster at a conference that you were interested in?
- You can contact those scientists, who will be pleased at your interest. Send an introductory email with your biosketch and FRED program information, and invite them to respond to set up a time for a phone call.
- Ask your peers to recommend someone
- Maybe your former colleagues, lab mates, or classmates have suggestions
- A mentor does not need to be in your research area. They just need to be fluent enough in your area of study to provide useful advice.
- Look for a mentor on the National Research Mentoring Network
- The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is a platform to connect biomedical scientists with mentoring relationships. Mentors sign up, meaning they want to mentor someone!
- If you still cannot find a mentor, email firstname.lastname@example.org a short paragraph about you and your research area and we will help try to find someone for you.
Past FRED Recipients
Hadiyah Nicole-Green, FRED 2015 mentee
"It’s one thing to have a grant writing training session but it’s another to face a panel of funded veterans in my field. These were all people who’ve had successful funding careers and they brought me to another level of insight. To have that kind of expertise from people who have sat on panels that decided the fate of so many grants . . . was priceless."
Lalita Shevde-Samant, FRED 2015 mentor
"Everybody should have a mentor at some point in their life"
Nathan Bowen, FRED 2015 mentee
"Coming together face to face with my mentor . . . and with the other mentors, mentees, and the MAC members for a few days of intentional mentoring was a career-affirming experience"
Anita Corbett, FRED 2015 mentor
"Nothing is more critical than dedicated time to discuss attainable goals and plans for the future that is created by the FRED interaction."
Mark Mamula, FRED 2015 mentor
"The FRED program allows new scientist/scholars the opportunity to learn important fundamentals in succeeding in academic research . . . Moreover, the FRED program also cultivates scientific collaborations among junior and senior investigators in ways that may not have otherwise developed"