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National Science Foundation grant will strengthen faculty mentoring in STEM

The program aims to promote more effective faculty mentoring for women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

A student works in a research lab.
Graduate student Manwika Charaschanya works in the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery in Marsico Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A project led by researchers at Carolina will receive nearly $1 million in funding over the next three years from the National Science Foundation to promote more effective faculty mentoring for women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

The UNC ADVANCE-Adaptation grant proposal, Targeting Equity in Access to Mentoring (TEAM ADVANCE) was among the eight grant proposals funded from the 47 proposals submitted, said Erin Malloy, the lead principal investigator for the grant. Co-PIs for the grant are Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Blouin; professor Jaye E. Cable, chair of the environment, ecology and energy program; Kia Caldwell, professor in the department of African, African-American and diaspora studies; and Kihyun “Kelly” Ryoo, an associate professor in the School of Education.

“The University has applied for this grant several times in the past, and we are thrilled to have been funded,” Malloy said. “This is a grant that seeks to promote the success of women, and in particular women of color, in STEM fields across the University.”

Malloy is director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, which will administer the grant in collaboration with the Carolina Women’s Center, the College of Arts & Sciences and the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Library Science and Education.

“This grant gives us an opportunity to develop mentoring strategies that meet the needs of all faculty who turn to the University for deeper understanding and stronger support,” Malloy said.

TEAM ADVANCE will also support a Special Assistant to the Provost, who will work with departments to ensure that effective mentoring programs are implemented and evaluated, she said.