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The Mentor-Connect resource collection provides multiple formats specific to preparing competitive grant proposals for submission to the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) Program. Included are instructions and helpful hints for those who are submitting proposals, navigating the NSF funding process, and implementing funded projects. While these resources have been created and curated to be specifically helpful for the NSF ATE Program, the guidance is applicable to other NSF funding programs.

New to the Collection

  • 2019 Annual Report Tutorial
  • Webinar: Culturally Responsive Instruction at HSIs - Strategies that Work
  • Evaluation Plan Checklist for ATE Proposals
  • 2019 Annual Report Tutorial

    This tutorial will guide you through an important process – submitting your annual report. This is an important (and required) responsibility when you receive a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant.

    As part of the project team's annual report to the NSF, an evaluator's report should be attached. The report consists of seven sections: (1) Cover; (2) Accomplishments; (3) Products; (4) Participants/Organizations; (5) Impacts; (6) Changes/Problems; and (7) Special Requirements. For a new project, most of your time and effort will be spent on the Accomplishments section.

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  • Webinar: Culturally Responsive Instruction at HSIs - Strategies that Work

    In this webinar, Dr. Melissa L. Salazar, CEO of ESCALA Educational Services, talks about culturally responsive instruction in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Dr. Salazar draws on her organization’s work with more than 300 HSI faculty and staff over the past 7 years to show how culturally responsive instruction can close achievement gaps for Latinx students. Dr. Salazar describes the principles that underlie culturally responsive instruction and explains why certain instructional strategies are more important than others in HSIs.

    Dr. Salazar provides faculty with a student survey tool that can help faculty to hone in on what students need and to create a learning environment that is both academically rigorous and culturally balanced. She is joined by two instructors who give concrete examples of culturally responsive instruction they use in their classrooms.

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  • Evaluation Plan Checklist for ATE Proposals

    This three-page document provided by EvaluATE provides information on what should be included in evaluation plans for proposals to the National Science Foundation’s ATE program. This checklist covers the five main elements that should be included in the evaluation section of a project description.

    The document also discusses evaluation in other sections of the proposal and contains a list of resources related to evaluation

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Mentor-Connect’s collection contains print materials, webinars, and links to other helpful sites. Users will find the most current grant proposal guides and updates from the NSF, webinars conducted by Mentor-Connect for all aspects of grant writing, sample documents provided by former and current grantees, and a large supply of informational documents.

Featured Resources

NSF ATE Glossary

View our glossary intended to inform potential grantees about the various acronyms and terminology used around NSF’s work and projects.

NSF ATE Program Solicitation

View the solicitation to find helpful information, such as program requirements, proposal processing and review procedures, award administration, agency contacts, and more.

NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures (PAPPG) Guide

View the PAPPG Guide, a condensed version of the solicitation, to learn information about the NSF, proposal preparation and submission, processing and review, non-award decisions and transactions, and award, administration, and monitoring of grants and cooperative agreements.

Prospective New Awardee Guide

View the new awardee guide intended to provide information about federal requirements, points of contact, and frequently asked questions as well as grantee standards, indirect costs, and an awardee checklist.

Resource Library

View Mentor-Connect’s vast collection of print resources, webinars, and links to other helpful sites, such as grant proposal guides and updates from the NSF, webinars conducted by Mentor-Connect for all aspects of grant writing, sample documents provided by former and current grantees, and a large supply of informational articles.

Webinars

View Mentor-Connect’s archived technical assistance webinars intended to help prospective grantees fill out various sections of their NSF ATE proposal, such as budget, forms, and evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? We have answers. The Mentor-Connect project has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help address your inquiries. Should you have additional questions, they may be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling the Mentor-Connect help desk at (843) 676-8540.

What is Mentor-Connect?

A cost-free service to help two-year college STEM faculty prepare competitive grant proposals for submission to the NSF ATE Program. In addition, Mentor-Connect provides guidance through the NSF funding process and advice about project start-up.  Mentor-Connect also engages and prepares those who serve as mentors for prospective grantees.

Whom does Mentor-Connect help?

Two-year colleges that have not received an NSF ATE grant in the past seven years (or ever) participating in an annual cohort of prospective grantees receive the most help.  Mentoring and assistance are also available if you are seeking a second ATE project grant or if you are re-working a declined first or second project proposal for re-submission. Mentor-Connect webinars, tutorials, checklists, technical assistance and other resources are freely available to all prospective grantees.

How can a new-to-ATE college apply to participate in the next Mentor-Connect cohort for mentoring and technical assistance?

Applications are available year round. Beginning July 1, Mentor-Connect personnel will start reviewing applications to begin the selection process for the following year’s cohort of prospective grantees. The deadline for applying is usually the second Friday of October. For more information, click here.

Why apply for Mentor-Connect cohort mentoring?

The funding success rate of those who participate in a Mentor-Connect cohort far exceeds that of those who don’t.  Participants learn strategies for success as well as how to avoid mistakes.  Participating two-year college faculty and their grant team members benefit from two in-person workshops and nine months of instruction, technical assistance, and one-on-one mentoring to learn the essentials as they prepare their ATE grant proposals.

How do I apply for Second-Chance Mentoring for help in reworking a declined first or second ATE proposal?

Applications for Second-Chance Mentoring may be submitted after January 1 of each year or at the time the college receives a proposal decline notice from NSF. The deadline for mentoring assistance is May 1 for a proposal to be resubmitted to ATE the following October. To apply, click here.

Why apply for Second-Chance Mentoring?

Working with a highly experienced Mentor from the ATE Program brings a valuable outside perspective and “insider” knowledge to the process of re-working a proposal that was not initially funded. Your Mentor-Connect Mentor will also help you avoid mistakes and missteps that may have contributed to lower ratings for your proposal the first time.

How do I apply for Moving-Up Mentoring for help in crafting an ATE project proposal when my new-to-ATE small grant is completed or nearing completion?

Applications for Moving-Up Mentoring may be submitted after January 1 of each year. The deadline for mentoring assistance is May 1 for proposal resubmission the following October. To apply, click here.

Why apply for Moving-Up Mentoring?

Reviewer expectations are different for ATE Moving-Up Projects than for small grants and the competition for funding is much greater.  A highly experienced Mentor from the ATE Program will bring a valuable outside perspective and “insider” knowledge to help you understand reviewer expectations for a larger project.  Your Mentor will also help you avoid mistakes and missteps that may reduce the chances of receiving a grant award.  

Why apply for Co-Mentoring with an ATE Center?

As a two-year college faculty member who is collaborating with a discipline-focused ATE Center such as MNT-EC (micro nano technologies)InnovATEBIO (biotechnology), or NCAT (autonomous technologies), you are eligible to apply for co-mentoring to help you prepare your first or next NSF ATE grant proposal. Co-mentoring allows a prospective grantee to benefit from the technical and discipline expertise within an ATE Center and grant writing expertise from Mentor-Connect to develop a competitive grant proposal.

How can I become a Mentor-Connect Mentor?

Mentor-Connect offers the Mentor Fellows training program for future Mentors.  Successful applicants for Mentor Fellows have both grant-writing and ATE project implementation experience. Each Mentor Fellow engages in a year-long internship of training with a Mentor-Connect cohort and shadows a current Mentor to become eligible to serve as a Mentor-Connect Mentor.  Mentor Fellows receive a stipend and travel support for their participation as is the case for those who serve as Mentors.

Who leads the Mentor-Connect project?

The Principal Investigator for the Mentor-Connect project is Elaine Craft. Co-PIs are Ellen Hause, Dennis Faber, Emery DeWitt, and Rick Roberts.  Osa Brand serves as Senior Personnel for the Mentor-Connect project.  Mentor-Connect Mentors are integral to the work of the project and serve as project advisors.