Mutual Mentoring: The ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Advancement Program

M2AP Overview
M2AP Goals

The ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Advancement Program (M2AP) Grant

To further enhance existing mentoring initiatives, ADVANCE is pleased to offer a new mutual mentoring opportunity called ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Advancement Program (M2AP).  M2AP focuses on individual faculty designed mutual mentoring initiatives with self-defined goals, offering  faculty members an opportunity to create a mentoring experience tailor-made by them that involves groups of peers, near peers, and senior colleagues from within and/or outside Northeastern.  All faculty are welcome to submit a proposal, but the primary targets for M2AP are associate and assistant professors.

M2AP Goals

1. Provide faculty members creative options for career planning and mentoring.
2. Provide faculty-driven mentoring to meet career and annual goal(s).
3. Build institutional capacity for supporting faculty career advancement.
4. Support chairs’ and deans’ efforts in providing mentoring opportunities for faculty.


All M2AP grants support projects up to $3000 for the purpose of supporting full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty across all ranks.  Grants are awarded through a competitive review process, overseen by the ADVANCE Program in conjunction with the VPAA, and involving a selection committee.   A mutual mentoring group must be composed of at least 4 people, and may not exceed 6 people, with a Northeastern tenured or tenure-track faculty member as lead.  Team members can include anyone the faculty member selects:  senior or junior faculty members, full time faculty not on the tenure track, graduate students, postdocs, staff, research staff, etc.  Projects that are co-led will also be considered.  A successful M2AP proposal will include:

  • specific measureable goal(s) that can be accomplished in a year’s time
  • timeline with steps for accomplishing the goal(s)
  • names, titles, affiliation of off-campus group members
  • letter of support from the lead faculty member’s department chair
  • proposed budget not exceeding $3000 with each budget item directly related to the faculty member’s stated goals in their M2AP proposal. The budget may include:
    • Travel
    • Modest honorarium
    • Publication costs
    • Food, but not more than 15% of the budget
    • Cannot include faculty summer salary or course buy-out
    • Cannot include gifts

The 2015-2016 M2AP application will be posted in fall of 2016. In addition to this online application, the lead faculty member’s department chair must submit a letter of support to Kathleen Kenney at


The M2AP Grant is based on a successful mutual mentoring project at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for seven years.  As the principal investigators state in their  program description:  “Mutual mentoring distinguishes itself from the traditional model by encouraging the development of a broader, more flexible network of support that mirrors the diversity of real-life mentoring in which no single person is required or expected to possess the expertise of many.  Within this model, early-career faculty build robust networks by engaging multiple mentoring partners in non-hierarchical, collaborative partnerships to address specific areas of knowledge and experience, such as research, teaching, tenure, and work-life balance.  These partnerships should be designed to benefit not only the person traditionally known as the ‘protégé’, but also the person traditionally known as the ‘mentor,’ thus building on the idea that all members of an academic community have something to teach and learn from each other.”  Read more here.

Another example of a fruitful mutual mentoring program is the Northeastern Humanities Research Center Collaborative Research Cluster program. This program supports faculty as they develop research clusters to “bring together scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, both within and outside Northeastern, around common issues of humanistic import.  The purpose is to facilitate productive discussions and collaborations among the participants, with a view toward the development of joint projects, conferences, publications, and/or major grant applications.”  Read more here.