Helpful Hints      Requirements Checklist       Mentor Role      Documents Needed       Sample Application

Helpful Hints

  • Review the PALM Application Rubric (It has all the criteria that will be used to evaluate your application)
  • In addition to CVs of the mentor and Fellow that emphasize their teaching experience, a strong PALM application will include the following information:
    • A clear description of the targeted course(s) to be revised. Including:
      • A description of the course topic, level, size, and the classroom you use
      • A description of current learning approaches used
      • Specific goals for course transformation
      • A description of proposed interactions with the mentor before, during, and after the visit; provide a general outline of how (phone? videoconference? in person if geographically close?) and how often you will interact over the period of the mentorship
    • A description of the mentor’s experience with active learning and STEM education research in the supporting letter from the mentor
    • A brief discussion of plans for formative and summative assessment to determine if students have learned material in the modified class module
      • The plan should acknowledge recording of the before- and after-mentoring teaching videos required by the PALM fellowship
    • A budget that clearly shows expected transportation and housing costs for the Fellow’s visit to the mentor’s institution
    • A dissemination plan for sharing their mentorship experiences and any new teaching materials developed, through seminars, conference presentations, or publications
      • This could be through conference presentations or publications, for example


Requirements Checklist

Please be sure you understand the following requirements:
  1. PALM Fellows and mentors must belong to either a disciplinary-based professional society, a professional society that promotes the advancement of a group underrepresented in STEM (such as SACNAS) or an education-focused professional society like SABER or NABT.
    • However, if you are a community college instructor you may apply without joining a professional society, although many societies have discounted rates for instructors at community colleges.
  2. If you are a postdoc ir advanced graduate student (ABD), you must upload a separate support letter from your current research mentor indicating that this person supports your participation in this program (and the time it requires)
  3. The pre-mentoring video of teaching needs to be submitted before any funds for travel are reimbursed
  4. The $2,000 award is for travel costs to visit your mentor and not classroom supplies, textbooks, technology, etc.
    • Special allowance could be made for the purchase of books on active learning, POGIL, etc. if justified
  5. All work and post-mentoring teaching video typically is to be completed and submitted within nine months of being accepted into the program. Specific projects that require longer time (e.g., because the course to be modified is taught infrequently) need to be justified in the application.
    • The final video will be submitted as soon as the Fellow teaches the material devised with the mentor’s help


Mentor Role in Application Process

Thank you for your interest in mentoring a PALM Fellow. Because the PALM program is for instructors teaching U.S. undergraduate lecture courses, and because each PALM Fellow is required to visit their mentor, we can only accept mentors from the U.S.

  • Mentors must belong to either a disciplinary-based professional society, a professional society that promotes the advancement of a group underrepresented in STEM (such as SACNAS) or an education-focused professional society like SABER or NABT.
  • The mentor works with the applicant to plan the project and its implementation, either in the Fellow’s classroom, or in the case of postdoc who is not currently teaching, in the mentor’s classroom.
  • The mentor works with the applicant to devise a timeline and format of their mentoring interactions, including the Fellow’s visit(s) to the mentor’s institution.
  • The mentor supplies a letter of support that promises to mentor the Fellow throughout the duration of the proposed activities, and that addresses the mentor’s experience in using the active learning approaches the Fellow has proposed to learn.
  • The mentor supplies a two-page teaching-focused CV that includes
    • A few paragraphs on teaching philosophy
    • Courses taught
    • Experience with evidence-based teaching
    • Educational innovations employed
    • Topic of any discipline-based education research
    • Previous experience in mentoring others in teaching


Documents Needed

Please upload the following documents to complete your application:
  1. Proposal (PDF)
    • 1,000-word limit, 12-point font
    • The proposal must include:
      1. A brief description of your proposed project:
        • Type of institution in which you intend to teach the material you develop
        • Characteristics of the course (subject, size) and its students
        • Topic or theme within the course you plan to address
        • Instructional strategies you would like to explore, if known, etc.
      2. A plan for implementation of the proposed project
        • Explain the flow from background reading or other preparation, to devising new active learning material, to using it with students, and identify where these steps take place (i.e., at your mentor’s institution or yours)
      3. Possible plans for formative and summative classroom assessments
      4. Your interest in being mentored in active learning
      5. Your teaching experience
      6. An outline of the specific time frame for your visit to your mentor and the development of the active learning materials
        • Exact dates are not necessary on the application, but you need an idea of the month and duration of the visit(s)
        • Ideally, supply a schedule of proposed meeting times (electronically or in person) with your mentor
      7. Proposed budget: logistical details including approximate dates, location, and anticipated costs
      8. How you plan to disseminate your work relating to the mentorship, for example:
        • Peer-reviewed publications (Life Sciences Education, Journal of College Science Teaching, CourseSource)
        • Seminar at your own or your mentor’s institution
        • Oral presentation or poster at a scientific or teaching and learning meeting (besides the one for which PALM funds your travel)
  1. Mentor letter of support (PDF)
    • Two-page limit
    • Covers two parts:
      1. Promise to mentor the fellow throughout the duration of the proposed activities
      2. Mentor’s experience actively implementing Vision and Change principles in classrooms, especially pertaining to the specific approaches the fellow wants to pursue
  1. Fellow two-page teaching-focused CV (PDF)
    • Includes:
      1. Attendance at any workshops or institutes focusing on pedagogy
      2. Participation in preparing future faculty programs, if applicable
      3. Experience as a TA and/or instructor
  1. Mentor two-page teaching-focused CV (PDF)
    • Emphasizes:
      1. A few paragraphs on teaching philosophy
      2. Courses taught
      3. Experience with evidence-based teaching
      4. Educational innovations employed
      5. Topic of any discipline-based education research
      6. Previous experience in mentoring others in teaching
  1. If you are a postdoc,
    • A letter from your current research PI supporting your participation in the fellowship


Sample Application

The following documents show an example of a successful PALM application as well as the feedback given, which generated through use of the rubric.

Sample Application       Feedback