The online application is currently closed. The competition will re-open in late 2023, and the next deadline to submit an application will be in February 2024.

Selected Resources

See all resources for applicants

Program Overview

The mentoring grants program is designed to support Black or African American, Indigenous, Latinx, and/or Asian or Pacific Islander American junior researchers, both doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, in their career trajectories and to help faculty strengthen their mentoring support. The program provides grant support, advice, consultation, and a community focused on mentoring and career development.

The program was started in 2005 when the Foundation initiated a pilot project to support William T. Grant Scholars’ mentoring relationships with junior researchers of color. The grants were made an ongoing part of the Scholars Program in 2007, reflecting the Foundation’s commitment to increasing the number of people of color in research careers while also fostering the Scholars’ professional development as mentors. Building on this effort, in 2018 we expanded eligibility for mentoring grants to include principal investigators of major research grants.

The Foundation’s goals for the program are two-fold. First, we seek to strengthen the mentoring received by junior researchers of color and to position them for professional success. Second, we want to support our grantees in developing a stronger understanding of the career development issues facing their junior colleagues of color and to strengthen their mentoring relationships with them. In the longer term, we hope to increase the number of strong, well-networked researchers of color doing research on the Foundation’s interests and to foster more diverse, equitable, and inclusive academic environments.


Awards cover up to $60,000 for mentoring doctoral students and $110,000 for mentoring postdoctoral fellows (inclusive of a maximum of 7.5 percent in indirect costs).

  • Grants will begin on July 1 of the award year and June 30 two years later.
  • All mentors and mentees convene during annual meetings designed to support the mentoring relationships, mentors’ learning, and junior researchers’ development as researchers. Do not budget for travel to these meetings in the application; the Foundation will cover associated expenses.
  • Mentors and junior researchers will each submit separate, confidential interim program reports six and twelve months after the initiation of the grant, and final reports at the end of the award period.


  • All current William T. Grant Scholars and major research grantees with an active grant at time of application who are up to date on their annual reporting are eligible to apply.
  • Junior researchers of color may be Asian or Pacific Islander American, Black or African American, Indigenous, and/or Latinx. Junior researchers may be full-time doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows. At minimum, students must be in their second year of doctoral studies at the onset of the award.
  • The Scholar/principal investigator and junior researcher must be housed in the same institution. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by case basis, for example for mentor-mentee pairs with an existing relationship history that will facilitate the grant’s success.
  • Eligible Scholars/principal investigators may receive the award only once during a grant.

Selection Criteria

The mentoring grant is a developmental grant. By the end of the award, we expect mentees to make progress toward their career development goals, mentors to build their capacity to mentor across difference, and for mentors and mentees together to develop a strong relationship. In evaluating applications, we look for evidence of authenticity, openness, and a desire to learn. We also apply the following criteria to each component of the application:

  • Mentor demonstrates strong commitment to mentoring junior colleagues of color.
  • Mentor demonstrates a record of mentoring junior colleagues, commensurate with their career stage and prior opportunities.
  • Mentor has identified compelling goals for improving their mentoring for junior researchers of color. The goals stem from a strong, candid assessment of their current strengths and limitations as a mentor and fit their career stage and prior experience.
  • Junior researcher demonstrates potential for a successful career in research, with promising research skills and achievements given prior training, career stage, and opportunities.
  • Junior researcher’s interests are consistent with the Foundation’s focus on reducing inequality or improving the use of research evidence.
  • Junior researcher and mentor have identified compelling goals for the mentee’s development to become a successful researcher. The goals stem from a strong, candid assessment of the mentees’ current strengths and limitations, and fit their career stage and prior experience.
  • The plan includes detailed activities and a workplan that will enable the mentee and mentor to achieve their goals.
  • The plan demonstrates a strong understanding of the challenges faced by junior researchers of color and includes strategies for addressing them.
  • The activities are appropriate for the junior researcher’s stage of development and would significantly enhance their potential for a successful research career. They will expand the mentee’s research skills, assets, and CV in convincing ways.
  • The plan is feasible.
  • The plan supports activities that would not occur without the award.
  • The research area is consistent with the Foundation’s focus on reducing inequality or improving the use of research evidence.
  • The plan demonstrates that the mentee will be an integral part of a research project.
  • The research would lead to high-quality products (e.g., publications, dissertation, etc.) that address important research questions or hypotheses, reflect methodological and analytical rigor, and would contribute to the literature in significant ways.
  • The budget is consistent with the intent of these awards, which is to support the mentee and the mentoring relationship.
  • The budget allocation provides the mentee with adequate protected time for research and to fulfill the other developmental goals of the grant.

Application Review Process

Applications are reviewed internally by senior staff. Some applicants may be invited to strengthen sections of the application. The Foundation estimates making 4-6 mentoring grant awards per year.

Resources for Applicants

Applicant Guidance

Application Forms

What We’re Reading

Mentoring Resources

Recommended Reading

  • In 2019, The National Academies published a consensus study on the Science of Effective Mentoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM). In spite of this disciplinary focus, the report and its associated website are relevant across disciplines because at its core, mentoring is comprised of a set of dispositions and skills that can be applied across fields.
  • Another comprehensive website that includes curricular resources and from which mentors and mentees can receive training is the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for the Improvement of Mentoring in Research (CIMER). Like the National Academies report, CIMER was originally developed with a STEMM focus, but its lessons, and its training workshops are available for mentors of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or junior faculty across disciplines.
  • Brown University’s Resources on Mentoring for Advisees and Mentees include a variety of useful links to guides, templates, and articles that can help mentors and mentees think about how to develop and maintain mentoring relationships.
  • The Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan has published two guides related to mentoring for graduate students. The first, How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students, provides graduate students with smart tips for how to seek out, develop, and maintain strong and productive mentoring relationships. The second, How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty, focuses on the role of mentors, outlining important guidelines for being a good mentor.
  • The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is an organization dedicated to the professional development and mentorship of academics at every stage of their careers. Through virtual and in-person workshops, programs, and consultations, the NCFDD is a rich resource by which members receive and learn about tools and support related to mentoring in its many forms. One of the resources they provide is a Mentoring Map that outlines the various needs scholars have, from substantive feedback to emotional support, and helps scholars to think through and identify the people in their professional network who can and do provide the different types of support they need.
  • As noted above, the majority of academics and researchers are White, but of course faculty of color, Indigenous faculty, and faculty members from other underrepresented groups mentor junior scholars as well. In “The Unseen Labor of Mentoring,” Manya Whitaker discusses the invisible emotional labor faculty of color and other marginalized faculty perform. This resource can be useful to share with department chairs or other administrators who may need further understanding of the circumstances under which their underrepresented faculty members operate.

Previously Awarded Mentoring Grants


Daniel Crowley, Pennsylvania State University (Antoine Lovell)

Bernadette Sanchez, University of Illinois Chicago (So Jung Lee)

Sarah Walker, University of Washington (Juan Gudino)


Kimberly Becker, University of South Carolina (Wendy Chu)

Noah Painter-Davis, University of New Mexico (Davyd Setter)

Deborah Rivas-Drake, University of Michigan (Bernadette Pinetta)

David Yeager, University of Texas at Austin (Kyle Dobson)


Caitlin Farrell, University of Colorado Boulder (Robbin Riedy)

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, New York University (Lance Keene)

Daniel Schneider, Harvard University (Allison Logan)

Adela Soliz, Vanderbilt University (Hidahis Mesa)


Jessika Bottiani, University of Virginia (Lora Henderson)

Rachel Farr, University of Kentucky (Kyle Simon)

Seth Holmes, University of California, Berkeley (Fabián Fernández and Carlos Martinez)

Simone Ispa-Landa, Northwestern University (Christopher Leatherwood)

Alicia Modestino, Northeastern University (Urbashee Paul)

Robert Smith, Baruch College, The City University of New York (Andrés Besserer)

Pamela Wisniewski, University of Central Florida (Karla Badillo-Urquiola)


Elizabeth Cauffman, University of California, Irvine (Emily Kan)

Mesmin Destin, Northwestern University (Regine Debrosse, Ph.D.)

Leah Doane, Arizona State University (Hye Jung Park)

Daphne Hernandez, University of Houston (Nipa Kamdar, Ph.D.)

Jacob Hibel, University of California, Davis (Asia Ivey; Jeremy Prim)

Matthew Kraft, Brown University (Benjamin West)


Laura Hamilton, University of California, Merced (Veronica Lerma)

Eve Tuck, University of Toronto (Sandi Wemigwase)

Kristin Turney, University of California, Irvine (Janet Muñiz)

David Yeager, University of Texas, Austin (Melanie Netter)


Michael MacKenzie, University of Michigan (Adrian Gale)

Laura Tach, Cornell University (Mariana Fernades da Cunha Loureiro Amorim)


Aprile Benner, Boston College (Kelly Minor)

Noelle Hurd, University of Virginia (Aisha Griffith)


Donald Chi, University of Washington (Stephanie Cruz)

Adriana Galva, University of California at Los Angeles (Diane Goldenberg)

Tamara Leech, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (Amy Irby-Shasanmi)


Jason Fletcher (Norma Padron)

Amanda Guyer (Roberta Schriber)


Candice Odgers, Duke University (Lin Victor Wang)

Micere Keels, University of Chicago ( Elan Hope and Myles Durkee)

Bic Ngo, University of Minnesota, (Brian Lozenski)


Elizabeth Ananat, Duke University ( Dania Francis)

Sara Goldrick-Rab, University of Wisconsin (Jesus Renteria)


Guanglei Hong, University of Chicago (Yihua Hong and Bing Yu)


Nikki Jones, UC, Santa Barbara (Alexis McCurn)

Nonie Lesaux, Harvard University (Perla Gamex)

Kevin Roy, University of Maryland (Jocelyn Smith Lee)


Dina Okamoto, University of California, Davis (Melanie Jones Gast)

Emily Ozer, University of California at Berkeley (Dana Wright)

Sandi Simpkins, Arizona State University (Melissa Delgado)


Clark McKown, University of Illinois at Chicago (Michael Strambler)

Laura Romo, University of California, Santa Barbara (Rebecca Mireles)

Renee Spencer, Boston University, (Antoinette Basualdo-Delmonico)


Tamera Coyne-Beasley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Adrea Theodore)

Lisa Diamond, University of Utah (Angela Hicks)

Elizabeth Goodman, Brandeis University (Benita Jackson)

Kathryn Grant, DePaul University (Patricia Esparaza)

Kristen Harrison, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (Trina J. Wright)

Gabriel Kuperminc, Georgia State University (Anabel Alvarez)

Cybele Raver, University of Chicago (Ta-Tanisha Young)

Sean Reardon, Stanford University (Collette Cann)

Stephen Russell, University of Arizona (Ada Wilkinson-Lee)

Hiro Yoshikawa, New York University