Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grant
Application Opens: January 16, 2024
Application Deadline: April 10, 2024
Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grants explore the habits, principles, and practices of intergenerational mentoring within the context of the academy toward the purpose of fostering collegial relationships. The grants, awarded in the amounts up to $30,000 serve full-time faculty who teach religion or theology at colleges, universities and theological schools in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Facilitated and managed by one to two senior faculty/administrators in their own institutional context, Intergenerational Mentoring Cluster Grants are meant to provide hospitable conversation spaces, support, and networking for early career colleagues and/or colleagues of constituency groups which support theological education (for example, theological librarians, seminary deans, field education administrators, etc.)
The facilitator(s) will design a series of mentoring conversations and plan a retreat that engages topics related to the professional experiences of early career faculty. The Cluster will convene to discuss such topics as: tenure, promotion, hiring, contract negotiation, developing authority in the classroom, learning to read institutional contexts, navigating institutional bureaucracy, finding professional conversation partners, imagining, and reimagining courses, finding the teaching voice, work/life balance, learning to say “no” to overwork and over-extension, health and wholeness, etc. Intergenerational Mentoring Grants strengthen those committed to mutually advancing the professional and personal effectiveness of teaching in higher education and theological education.
The clusters are designed for a minimum of seven gatherings over the arc of a year, and the foci of the clusters should fall within the parameters of the Wabash Center’s mission. At least one additional gathering must be a face-to-face retreat. Each cluster can contain 3-5 early career faculty plus 1 or 2 senior colleagues. The conversational focus of IMC Grant, decided while writing the proposal, must be some aspect, practice, or issue of teaching or the teaching life.
Goals of the Cluster
Each cluster will build itself through or by:
- critical and imaginative reflection about their own teaching/work life.
- identifying opportunities for agency in institutional and personal life.
- naming myths of life in the academy.
- reflecting on whole personhood in and out of institutional spaces.
- identifying pedagogical postures, practices, habits, and tools that build from one’s wholeness.
- considering ways persons might become advocates, accomplices, allies, and conspirators for one another.
- considering the multiple kinds of support, coaching, guidance, training, and continued education needed over the potential long-arch of the teaching life.
- considering ways to read the institutional contexts and contours of individual schools as well as the entire landscape of religion and theological education.
Role of the Facilitator
- The facilitator will consider the focus, group size, needs, and uniqueness of the cluster group then, plan and budget accordingly. No two clusters will have the same plan or allocate the budget in the same way.
- The facilitator will convene a minimum of seven online and/or face-to-face mentoring cluster conversations plus an in-person retreat.
- The facilitator has agency to plan, design and budget based upon their own vision for the cluster group and the conversation. An additional elder facilitator may be added to the group. Should an additional facilitator be planned for – no additional funds will be provided in the budget.
- The facilitator will create a plan, propose a budget, and invite 3 to 5 roundtable participants for the cohort they facilitate.
Eligible Participants in Each Cluster Cohort
- Early career participants are invited by the facilitator to be members of that discrete cluster group. Invited participants to any cluster must be early career colleagues, i.e., colleagues teaching (or in administration) full-time for seven years or fewer. Please consult with the Wabash Center Director concerning exceptions to this description.
- Participants must be employed full-time with teaching and/or administrative responsibilities. We understand that many colleagues are on contract status with their institutions. Contracted colleagues must be full-time status, considered as full-time faculty, and may have other administrative responsibilities.
- Colleagues currently participating in an online or hybrid workshop are not eligible to facilitate or participate in a cluster.
- Participants must be available for full participation of all sessions plus the cluster’s retreat.
The funding for this program will be sent to the business office of the school where the project director is employed to be dispersed according to the approved budget.
Because of the small size of the grant amount, there will be no indirect costs allocated to the hosting institution. Any significant changes occurring in the makeup of the participants or the structure of the gatherings needs to be checked with the Wabash Center.
Meeting of Cluster Leaders:
Each year, Wabash Center convenes cluster leaders (project directors), whose proposals have been accepted, for a required initial meeting. This (online) meeting is June 5, 2024. The aim of this meeting is to help cluster leaders increase capacity for designed conversations, community formation, and processes of mentoring. The meeting conversation includes sharing plans and designs with one another to strengthen and refine all the groups.
All grants require a final report that reviews and analyzes the things learned in the course of the grant project and that accounts for the funds spent. Reports are due 30 days after the close of the grant period. Consult your grant contract for deadlines specific to your grant.
Additional questions, please contact:
Gina Robinson, Ph.D
Associate Director, Wabash Center