Faculty Scholar Award

Pathway to Independent Research

About the Award

The Faculty Scholar Award was developed by the Women’s Faculty Committee and the Women’s Leadership Work Group under the oversight of the Office of Faculty Affairs. The award is open to all qualified faculty (men and women).

The award is currently funded by UMMS, UMMHC, and the UMMS Clinical and Translational Science Center. These funds have enabled faculty on less traditional career paths to continue or initiate research as they work towards becoming independent scientists.

The award is an important element of our efforts to increase the diversity of faculty.

The Goal of the Award

The goal of the award is to assist faculty during a finite period of increased family care responsibilities and by providing assistance to continue research and scholarly efforts while family responsibilities are addressed.


Funding up to $30,000 can be used to support personnel, services, supplies, or ‘buy out’ of clinical time to provide time for academic / scholarly work.


All UMass faculty can apply provided they meet the eligibility requirements:

  • Non-tenure track or tenure track, but not yet tenured

  • Academically or professionally salaried

  • MD, PhD or equivalent advanced degree

  • Academic rank of Assistant or Associate Professor

  • UMMS faculty appointment for at least one year

  • Responsible for care of children, partner, parent or other family member(s)

Evaluation Criteria

A review committee evaluates each applicant based on:

  • How effectively the award will address the applicant’s needs and benefit their progress

  • The quality of the applicant’s academic achievements and potential for future productivity

  • The probability of the project leading to receipt of external funding

  • Commitment of support by the Department Chair or Division Chief

  • The strength of the letters of support

Professional Development & Mentoring

The scholar award is part of a larger picture for the development of junior faculty, including:

  • Professional support for grant writing through grant writing workshops and peer mentoring

  • Professional support through leadership development workshops and peer mentoring

  • Professional support for promotion through the Preparing for Promotion Series and other resources

  • Professional advancement through the Junior Faculty Development Program

Application Example

Example of winning application (used by permission minus reference letters): FSA Winning Application pdficon

Application Components

Formatting - Font: Calibri, Font Size: 12pt., Margins: not less than .5.
Submit the application documents in one pdf, in order (Note: Letters of Support can be submitted separately):

  • Cover page, include only: Title of project, applicant’s name, department, faculty rank, office address, telephone and email address
  • Project plan (not to exceed 2 pages): Specific aims, significance, research or project design, preliminary or supporting data (if appropriate), numbers for any relevant approved IRB or IACUC protocols, references listed on a separate page with a notation of who your primary mentor is for research.
  • Current CV
  • Proposed budget and justification: Include a jusitification for each person listed on your budget, and note any resource contributions that are made toward your project (e.g. department funds or use of a core facility).
  • Personal Statement (not to exceed 1 page): that describes how the award would benefit the applicant’s academic progress and assist with current family responsibilities.
  • Letters of support (one from each category): Department Chair or Division Chief – letter should include statement of the department’s or division’s commitment to the applicant. If your Chair or Chief is not your mentor, only then is an additional letter needed from a research mentor or colleague who works with you in your field of research - letter should specify how he/she will mentor you on the project.

Award Amount and Notification

All applicants will be notified of the results of the review process by e-mail. Awards are effective upon notification by the Office of Faculty Affairs and can be up to $30,000 for one year.

Follow Up Report and Survey

Award recipients must submit a written report within the month after completion of funding that includes the following:

What the funds enabled you to do while addressing family issues, what the funds enabled you to purchase (e.g. support personnel, services, supplies, or ‘buy out’ of clinical responsibilities to provide time for academic/scholarly work), and how this award program enabled or will enable you to advance to a higher academic level, given increased scholarship.

Testimonials, Frequently Asked Questions, List of Recipients

Testimonials and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
List of Past and Present Recipients
View Outcomes - Poster presented at the 2012 AAMC Annual Meeting (Ppt - takes time to download)


Please visit the FAQ page, other questions can be addressed to:
Dr. Luanne Thorndyke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (luanne.thorndyke@umassmed.edu)
Dr. Judith Ockene (judith.ockene@umassmed.edu), Associate Vice Provost for Gender & Equity


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