Faculty/External Mentor Program

External Mentor Program for Early Career and Underrepresented Faculty


New Application Available Soon

In an effort to facilitate the work of researchers who are under-represented on campus or whose research focuses on diversity-related issues, the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion is piloting a program that seeks to support the research and professional development of its tenure-track faculty who wish to be connected professionally with mentors at other peer institutions. Competitive funding is available through the External Mentoring Program to at least 10 tenure-track faculty members to establish and/or advance a mentoring relationship with a scholar outside the college. All tenure-track faculty members who have completed their first year at the University of Oregon are eligible to participate in this program.  During the period after the first year at the University of Oregon and prior to the academic year in which the tenure review takes place, funding for up to three years, is available to provide stipends to a mentor of the faculty member’s choice.

Mentors and collaborators will provide assistance, facilitate research efforts, and, where appropriate, be themselves examples of accomplished faculty. Selected mentors/collaborators should be those who can extend, enhance, or enrich the awardee’s knowledge or ability with in a particular research domain, or enhance the awardee’s prominence and reputation within their shared discipline.

The External Mentor Program supports the following activities:

  • Tenure-track faculty members may have college-supported external mentors any time after the faculty member’s first year of teaching at UO and prior to the academic year in which they are considered for tenure.
  • External mentors should be experts in the field(s) of scholarship that is being pursued by the tenure-track faculty member.
  • Faculty members seeking an external mentor are responsible for identifying appropriate colleagues to serve in that capacity. The expectation is that the mentor will offer advice and support, with a focus on the faculty member’s scholarship and professional development.
  • The Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion will provide a stipend of $1,500 annually to the external mentor for a period of up to three years.
  • An additional $1,500 will be made available during the three-year period to support meetings, travel, and/or other activities associated with the mentoring relationship. 
  • Identify goals for engaging someone outside the university. For example, the relationship might enhance a faculty member’s understanding of a particular research technique.
  • A plan that outlines what the scholar might contribute (e.g., visit labs, review data, work on a manuscript or grant proposal).
  • A topic for a research seminar by the external colleague to the individual’s department (or broader if desired).
  • A detailed engagement plan to engage with the awardee over the course of one year. Plans should specify both a frequency and a method of communication (e.g., training in instrumentation or laboratory technique, campus networking).


The proposed use of funds must demonstrate a significant intention of providing career advancement opportunities for the UO faculty member who receives the award. Within three months of completion of the proposed activities, recipients must provide a brief report on their experience with the External Mentor Program, including information about progress toward the original stated goal, insights gained by engaging in both in-person and at-a-distance consultation, and impact on the overall career.

Note: The external mentor/collaborator cannot have been the graduate advisor or the postdoctoral advisor of the applicant.


Typical awards range from $3,000-$5,000 depending on the location of the mentor and length of proposed visits. Appropriate items to include in the overall budget include: 1) travel expenses (flight, hotel, ground transportation, meals, etc.); 2) honorarium for the collaborator; 3) cost of proposed activities (for example, should the proposed scope of work benefit from engaging a writing consultant, one can be compensated travel to a research center or mutually beneficial conference). The amount allocated for the last two items (writing support and project costs) cannot exceed $1000.

Required Deliverables and Expectations:

All recipients will be asked to provide a report on their experience and asked to attend an annual meeting to update progress.


Applications will be accepted until program funds are exhausted. If you plan to submit, please contact DEI, to assure funds are still available and to discuss your proposal.

Proposal Format: 

To be considered, applicants need to submit an application which includes the following information:

  • Cover sheet:
    • Applicant’s name, title, department.
    • Proposed mentor’s name, title, department.
    • Time frame for completion of the activities (e.g. when the “year” starts and ends).
  • Proposal: The description should not exceed one page (12-point font). Include a specified timeline (e.g. travel date approximations).
  • Budget: (clearly distinguish between travel, honorarium, and other incidental costs).
  • Other: The request must be accompanied by a letter of support/commitment form the proposed mentor/collaborator and a letter of support from your department head.

Review Process:

A committee will review applications and select recipients. Funding or proposals depends heavily on:

  • The potential for the proposed initiative to further the professional development of the faculty;
  • The potential for the project to enhance the research productivity, success, and advancement of the SU awardee;
  • Relevance to advancing the work of underrepresented faculty and/or faculty whose work focuses on issues of diversity.

Yvette Alex-Assensoh, VP
Division of Equity and Inclusion
1 Oregon Hall


Active Recruitment for Tenure-Track Faculty Searches