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Wabash College
Wabash Center programs are funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.
2016-17 & 2017-18
Peer Mentoring Clusters

Funds for mid-career faculty of color who have been participants in a past Wabash Center workshops or colloquies

Application Deadline: March 15, 2017

Required Initial Meeting of Cluster Leaders:
May 8-10, 2017

Up to $7,500 to support small groups for peer-to-peer mentoring.
  • Start a structured series of gatherings for conversation
  • Build networks of professional growth
  • Support the exploration of academic vocation and the teaching life
  • Catalyze development of multi-year relationships with a small group of colleagues
  • Gather annually with other cluster leaders
  • Applications limited to participants in a previous Wabash Center workshop or colloquy, but the selected group of conversation partners is open
  • Not intended for disciplinary research or publication

Up to 15 grants available for 2017-18

Materials for current Mentor Clusters

 Grant Reporting Guidelines (pdf)
Communications Design for Mentoring Clusters (pdf)
Bibliography (pdf)

 2016-17 Peer Mentoring Clusters
 2017-18 Peer Mentoring Clusters

Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center programming and want to gather a small group for further networking and vocational growth.

Minoritized faculty of color face particular challenges and pressures, and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs, and can provide faculty of color with strategies to not only discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well.

We hope that these peer-to-peer mentoring clusters will develop and deepen the sorts of conversations that are the mark of Wabash Center workshops and colloquies.

The form and focus of these conversations is open for the applicants to design, aligned (broadly speaking) with the teaching focus of the Wabash Center.

Institutional indirect costs are not permitted for Peer Mentoring Cluster grants.

How to Apply
Application Deadline: March 15, 2017

 Click to Apply
Please login to "mywabash." Select > Mentoring Cluster

You will be prompted to enter contact information for the following individuals:

  • The Project Director (the person responsible for over-seeing the administration of the grant and for writing the Final Report)
  • The Financial Contact (the person responsible for receiving the grant funds and for providing financial reports of expenditures for the institution. This needs to be a different person than the project director)
  • The Authorization Contact (the person authorized to sign grant contracts for the institution)
  • Each of the participants in the Peer Mentoring Cluster

Attach Documents
1. Proposal Narrative (1000-1250 words)

  • State the central goal for the peer mentoring cluster work
  • Describe who will be involved in the cluster and what they will contribute to the articulated goal
  • Describe the relevant context for this work and why it is necessary for you at this time
  • Narrate the structure and timing of the conversations and gatherings, including details about the strategies and objectives for each stage
  • State how you will know, after a year of meetings, that this set of conversations has met your expectations

2. Line Item Budget

  • Provide a one-page line item budget with a narrative explanation that indicates the main expense categories for the project and how the costs for each item were determined
  • Institutional indirect costs are not permitted for this size of grants

3. CVs
Attach a 1-page CV for each of the participants in the Peer Mentoring Cluster

4. SIGNATURE REQUIRED. Print the completed Contact Information Form. Have it signed by the Project Director and the Authorization Contact. Scan the signed Contact Information Form, attach it to the online application, and submit.


The funding for this program will be sent to the applicant’s business office, 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.

Final Reports 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.

 Grant Reporting Guidelines (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide some examples of the sorts of projects this program is intended to fund?
No. We have intentionally chosen to not provide illustrations of exemplary projects in order to not limit the imagination and creativity of applicants’ ideas.

Who is eligible to apply?
The applicant (Cluster Leader) must be a past or current participant in a Wabash Center workshop or colloquy – by which we mean one of the year-long workshops or colloquies at the Wabash Center that meet for successive winters or summers.

Must every participant in the Cluster have been a participant in a Wabash Center workshop or colloquy?
No. But the applicant (Cluster Leader) must be.

What counts as “mid-career”?
We intend these Peer Mentoring Clusters for faculty who have been teaching in higher education for at least eight years and not nearing retirement.

Does everyone in the Cluster have to be mid-career?
No. A Cluster may include faculty members in earlier or later career stages, but since our intention is to support faculty at mid-career, we would expect the majority of the Cluster participants to fit this label and that others’ participation be explained (briefly) in the cover letter.

Must every participant in the Cluster be teaching theological or religious studies in higher education?
No.  A Cluster may include others, but since our intention is to support faculty in the fields of theological and religious studies, we would expect the majority of the Cluster participants to fit this label and that others’ participation be explained (briefly) in the cover letter.

How small or how large can Clusters be?
There is no absolute cut-off point. The amount of funding is one limiting factor. Also consider how small or how large a group can be and still have effective conversation. Our assumption is that Clusters of between 3 to 8 participants would be a good range.

How often should clusters meet, and for how many years?
The number and format of the meetings will depend upon the proposal itself. Costs for travel and hospitality will limit the number of meetings.  There is no specific number of meetings or length of time. Our hope is that the grant will be the catalyst to begin this peer work and that other professional development money could be used to continue the meetings once the Wabash Center funding is gone.

Can Clusters meet “virtually” (online)?
Yes. But we would expect at least one face-to-face meeting between cluster participants and an explanation in the cover letter as to why this seems to be the best way to carry out the conversations.
Can funds be used as stipends or honoraria in compensation for work and time?
Answer: Yes. But stipends shouldn’t be for the participants in the Cluster, but rather only if there is an outside expert who is used in some way. We assume that all members of the Cluster will be gaining from the meetings and conversations and will not need a stipend to be involved.

How rigid is the distinction between research and teaching?
This is not a research grant but talk about research and scholarship is not restricted or prohibited. Bemay 18cause the Wabash Center’s mission is to strengthen and encourage faculty member’s reflection on teaching, the funding is for that purpose. Research and scholarship might result from these Clusters, but this should not be the primary focus of conversation.

Can I participate in more than one Cluster?

Additional questions, please contact:
Dr. Tim Lake
Associate Director, Wabash Center

Wabash Center 301 W. Wabash Avenue Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933 wabashcenter@wabash.edu
(765)361-6047 phone (800) 655-7117 toll-free (765)361-6051 fax

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