University of Southern California USC

ASHSS Grant Writing Mentorship Program

Guidelines and Application

The Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences (ASHSS) grant writing mentorship program, an initiative of the Office of the Provost, promotes and encourages a culture of grant writing among the faculty in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences. While the program is open to all USC tenure-track and tenured faculty, preference will be given 1) to assistant professors and 2) to senior faculty who are changing or expanding their research and want mentoring in the new field of inquiry.

Faculty who are accepted into the program will be given the opportunity to work one-on-one with a top faculty member with appropriate expertise on their fellowship or grant application to a select list of arts, humanities, and social sciences organizations identified in these guidelines. These grant writing advisors are expected to work closely with the applicants during the proposed period to review, revise, and provide feedback to develop their drafts into strong and polished proposals. Face-to-face contact is strongly encouraged.

The grant writing mentorship program is intended to facilitate introductions between the applicant and an advisor to whom he or she may not otherwise have access. Therefore, while advisors may be faculty at USC, applicants are strongly encouraged to select leading scholars from other institutions. The proposed advisor may not be a close colleague of the applicant, someone who served on the applicant’s dissertation committee, nor someone who previously collaborated with the applicant on scholarly work.

The applicant’s mentor should be consulted to help define and identify an external advisor. Assistant professors are encouraged to consult their mentors and dean of faculty to determine if applying for the proposed fellowship or grant is a good idea and if the timing is appropriate for their careers.

Advisors will be given a $1,000 honorarium for their assistance. In addition, travel funds will be available on a case-by-case basis. Mentees will receive a $2,500 stipend for time to work on the proposal with an advisor. Proof of receipt of the targeted fellowship or award will result in an additional $2,500 research stipend to support the project.

Deadlines

There are two deadlines for submitting applications: September 24, 2013 or February 25, 2014. Applicants are encouraged to choose a deadline that will provide them the greatest opportunity to develop the strongest application for their desired fellowship(s) and/or grant(s).

Applications may be submitted via email to vpfac@usc.edu with the subject line “2013-14 ASHSS Grant Writing Mentorship Program” or mailed or hand-delivered to:

Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
ASHSS Grant Writing Mentorship Program
3551 Trousdale Parkway – ADM 204
Los Angeles, California 90089-4019

Eligibility and Conditions

  • Tenure-track and tenured USC faculty in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences are eligible to apply.
  • Recipients of an ASHSS award or Zumberge award in 2010-2011 or later are ineligible for this year’s competition.
  • Awards are not transferable to other institutions or other people. Recipients must be faculty at USC during the award period.
  • Awards are not transferable to another project.
  • At the end of the grant writing advisor program, the grant must be submitted to the proposed funding agency identified in the proposal and proof of submission provided to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

The Grant Writing Mentorship program supports the submission of proposals to the following organizations:

Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for other particularly prestigious honors and fellowships in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences. Inquiries should be directed to vpfac@usc.edu.

Application Materials

Materials to be included in the proposal include the following:

  • Application Cover Sheet, including identification of the target funding agency or agencies
  • Proposal Narrative (2-page maximum)
  • Advisor Explanation Form for every suggested advisor.
    • External mentors are strongly preferred.
    • More than one may be suggested.
    • The review committee will work with grant awardees to identify an advisor with the appropriate expertise, reputation, and ability to develop the most competitive proposal possible.
  • Condensed Curriculum-Vitae (2-page maximum)
  • Signatures
    • NOTE: Department chair and deans might have an accelerated deadline to meet the Provost Office’s deadline for submission. Applicants are responsible for contacting their department chair and dean for approval signatures.
    • By submitting a signed proposal, applicants indicate their agreement to comply with the terms and conditions of the ASHSS grant writing mentorship program as well as all other applicable USC policies.
    • The applicant’s chair and dean will review the application to ensure that the applicant’s school can support the faculty member upon successful receipt of the target grant or fellowship.
    • Dean’s approval indicates acknowledgement that any overdrafts on the faculty member’s account will be the school’s responsibility.

Proposal Evaluations

Proposals are evaluated by a multidisciplinary faculty panel. Because of limited resources, not all proposals can be funded. To the extent possible, awards will be distributed across academic units.

In reviewing applications, faculty panels consider the fit of the proposal to the initiatives of the target funding agency, likelihood of success, and past accomplishments and future promise of the applicant.

Proposals should clearly express the connection between the applicant’s research or creative work and the priorities of the targeted grant or fellowship. Applicants should also highlight their experience and expertise or previous scholarship or creative endeavors that can contribute to the success of the application. The strongest proposals articulate the work for a broad interdisciplinary audience, and provide the context for the importance and impact of the proposed project.

Notification and Terms of Award

Applicants will be notified of the results of the grant competition within two months of the submission deadline. Grant recipients will be notified of their faculty advisor and copies of the notification of the award will be sent to department chairs and deans.

If the faculty member receives the fellowship or grant and submits proof of the award to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, an additional $2,500 to support the project will be made available to his or her research fund. Similarly, faculty whose ASHSS grant writing mentorship proposals are not funded or who choose not to participate in the grant writing mentorship program competition, but who receive a fellowship or grant from one of the preferred organizations identified above may request $2,500 in project support if proof of award is delivered to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. The $2,500 stipend is in addition to, and should not replace, any top-off funds that are customarily provided by the faculty member’s dean.

Reporting and Acknowledgement of Support

Awardees must submit proof of submission and any correspondence that details acceptance or denial of the application. In addition, recipients may be asked to present their experiences at a workshop or seminar.

Any publication or creative endeavor arising from work supported by the fund should acknowledge the Office of the Provost and Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences grant program at the University of Southern California. For scholarly projects, copies of publications, where feasible, should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. For creative projects, copies of the finished work, where feasible, and any resulting publicity materials, press clippings, or reviews should be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Questions may be directed to

Lydia Lee
Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
ADM 204 MC 4019
Phone: (213) 740-6799

  • For more information:

    Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
    Bovard Administration Building 204
    3551 Trousdale Parkway
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-4019
    Phone: 213-740-6715
    E-mail: vpfac@usc.edu