Offered by Faculty Affairs with funding provided by the Executive Vice Chancellor, the External Mentoring Program for New Pre-Tenure Faculty assists new, pre-tenure, tenure-track faculty in establishing a meaningful and lasting mentoring relationship with a senior mentor external to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Being exposed to faculty mentors external to the institution expands awareness of other research-intensive environments and may provide a “reality check” on discipline expectations for productivity. Exposure to successful researchers and scholars will assist faculty to know and understand high standards of personal work patterns leading to productivity. Finally, exposure to the research mentors in their own content area of research increases the likelihood that faculty will receive directed and specific guidance and enhances their networking potential.

Funding for activities could include, for example, travel expenses to visit or host a visit from the mentor to learn or discuss a new research or teaching method; to co-present with the mentor and/or meet them at a professional conference; or to bring the mentor to campus for a departmental or interdisciplinary event, such as a seminar or workshop.

This program is meant to complement, not replace, the mentoring support faculty receive within their department and/or college.

Participation in the program should represent a career development opportunity that may not otherwise be possible without this funding, and the relationship will be expected to be sustained at least throughout the pre-tenure years. It is expected that the mentor and the mentee will meet virtually or in-person at least once per month for a period of at least one academic year.

While it is allowable that the applicant and prospective mentor may have already met, applications where the applicant has not already met the prospective mentor are also encouraged. In any case, the prospective mentor should not be the applicant’s PhD advisor, postdoctoral advisor, or current or former collaborator.


Proposals from tenure-track faculty members at the rank of assistant professor will be considered for awards up to $2,000. Applications must be submitted by the end of the first year of employment as a tenure-track faculty member at UNL for mentoring activities that will occur no later than the end of the second year of employment. Applications are accepted and approved on a rolling basis.

How to Apply

Applications require all documents listed below combined into a single PDF in the order shown.  Email completed applications to facultyaffairs@unl.edu.

  1. Completed cover sheet available at go.unl.edu/externalmentoring.
  2. Detailed proposal of no more than two pages addressing the following:
    1. how activity/project will support the applicant’s academic and professional career development;
    2. the rationale for the choice of mentor;
    3. the expected role of proposed mentor and how this will enhance collaboration opportunities, professional development and productivity of the mentee;
    4. an explanation of how the requested funds will be used;
    5. a timeline for activities/interactions.
  3. Partially complete Mentoring Map available at unl.edu/mentoringmap that shows how the mentor fills a gap in your mentoring network.
  4. Copy of your CV.
  5. Letter or email from your department chair confirming appropriateness of the mentor and feasibility of the proposal given the context of the discipline.

Contact the Director of Faculty Development at facultyaffairs@unl.edu with questions about the program and application process.