Mountaineer Mentoring Innovation Grants

Mountaineer Mentoring Innovation Grants

Co-sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for Student Success (CETLSS) and ADVANCE Appalachian

Providing faculty sponsorship and mentoring support is a critical part of supporting the university’s “priority to invest in our employees” as articulated in the Strategic Plan 2022-2027 focus of “Empowering Human Potential through the Appalachian Experience.” The priority is further defined in the following priority statement of the Strategic Plan:

Investing in Faculty and Staff Excellence

  • Dedicate and ensure ongoing resources to recruit, retain and support exceptionally talented faculty and staff. 
  • Emphasize innovative recruitment and retention strategies.
  • Identify and invest in ongoing and clear paths for career advancement
  • Incentivize employee innovation and collaboration
  • Foster a team-oriented community of employees committed to quality of life and work.

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for Student Success (CETLSS) is now seeking applications for Mountaineer Mentoring Innovation Grants. The purpose of the Mountaineer Mentoring Innovation Grants is to incentivize and recognize innovative approaches to faculty career support and mentorship at Appalachian State University. Funds will be granted to faculty groups and/or units for developing programs that support faculty and help them succeed. Proposals may focus on faculty across the career lifeline, including pre-tenure faculty, mid-career faculty, VITAL faculty, and legacy faculty.

Initiatives that might be awarded include new or significantly revised departmental or cross-departmental mentoring programs; action learning projects co-created by a mentor/mentee pair or a mutual mentoring group; support for sharing innovative mentoring approaches at professional conferences; and new ideas for cultivating a mentoring culture on campus.

Connection to Mountaineer Mentoring

At Appalachian, we believe (based on the research), that mentoring and career support are best provided through a constellation of individuals, communities, and organizations that are both selected and curated for academic professionals. We strive to provide many mentorship-facilitating opportunities for faculty through learning communities, book groups, mentoring circles, and more. Please consider this interconnected approach as you develop your proposal.


Up to $3,000 may be awarded to individual projects. If the scope of the initiative exceeds this amount, please contact Tracy W. Smith ( to discuss options and opportunities.

Allowable expenses include the purchase of books or other materials, travel, conference registration fees, equipment, and stipends for participants (e.g., PI, collaborator, evaluator). Stipends can be allocated to individuals working on the project based on the number of participants and the responsibilities they will assume in the writing and implementation of the project (e.g. Collaborators or evaluators may receive $500, but a PI might receive $1,000 if responsibilities warrant).

Non-allowable expenses include food and alcohol.


Please consult the Request for Proposals for the required grant components and other details.

Proposals can be submitted here .


The project work will need to be completed and a final report due to Tracy Smith no later than May 25, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. Additional details will be provided to awardees.

Rolling review of applications will begin on September 15. Please submit this application by September 30, 2023 for full consideration.  We look forward to working with you as we collectively seek new and meaningful ways to support our faculty.

Mountaineer Mentoring Summit

Once the projects are completed, CETLSS and ADVANCE Appalachian will co-host a Mountaineer Mentoring Summit where grant recipients will share their projects and experiences to an audience of colleagues and university leaders at Appalachian (and perhaps other institutions seeking ways to support faculty in new ways).

If you have questions, please email Tracy Smith, Director for Faculty Mentoring & Career Support, at