ORSP Grant Mentorship Incentive Program

Instructions and Form

Form Only

Overview: Recognizing the increased emphasis on research at the University of Mississippi (UM) and the need for more compelling and competitive proposals for external support, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, in coordination with the ORSP Research Development Fellows, and in consultation with the Associate Deans for Research, has developed the ORSP Grant Mentorship Incentive Program. With the approval of their supervisors, UM/Oxford Faculty with expertise and experience to make substantial contributions to the enhancement of competitive funding proposals may receive extra and/or supplemental compensation by serving as Grant Mentors in this program.

Roles: Mentors will be chosen by faculty/staff members (Proposers) who request assistance with the development of proposals for external support.  ORSP can assist, as requested, in matching Proposers with qualified Mentors, based on the best overlap of success in obtaining external funding with the funding agency, program area, or scholarly background. Once matched, Mentors will assist Proposers in improving one (or ideally more) of the following aspects of their proposal—according to the Mentor’s ability and experience: research plan and story; clarity of narrative; responsiveness to program solicitation/sponsor review criteria; broader impacts; implementation scheme; budget and justification; and compliance with sponsor and institutional rules and polices.

Mentor Qualifications: Generally, UM faculty members who have served as the PI on one more competitively won UM sponsored programs in the last 5 years will be considered as ideal candidates to be Mentors in this program. Alternative qualifications may be considered. In some cases, staff members (e.g., research scientists who are not 100% paid on soft money and whose effort will be outside of regular business hours) may be eligible to serve as Mentors. Informed by the input from the Mentor’s supervisor, the decision of whether a potential Mentor is sufficiently qualified for a candidate proposal will be made by the administrator(s) offering the Extra Compensation (the Proposer’s Chair and/or Dean) and the Incentive Award (ORSP Director of Research Development). These inputs and decisions will be documented on the Form.

Finding Qualified Mentors: UM/Oxford faculty/staff with demonstrated experience and expertise in competitive proposal writing or mentorship can request to be listed as potential mentors in the Research Resources Directory at http://research.olemiss.edu/r2d1, accessible and searchable by WebId authenticated UM personnel. ORSP can help verify the UM grant winning experience/expertise of a potential mentor. As experience in, and demand for, the program grow, ORSP may develop a standalone web/database for matching Proposers with experienced Mentors.

Pre-Approval: Once a Proposer/Mentor match has been made for a particular proposal, the Proposer and Mentor should fill out the Mentorship Agreement/Approval Form, documenting their intent to work together on the proposal. This form should be approved by supervisors of both the Proposer and the Mentor, acknowledged by ORSP, and uploaded to the ORSP online transmittal for the proposal.

Compensation: A Preapproved Mentor on a Qualifying, Compliant, On-time Proposal will receive Extra Compensation of up to $500 per proposal submission, payable as extra Pay for Extra Work by the Department and/or Dean (as pre-approved) of the Proposer.  If the proposal results in a Qualifying Funded Award from the granting agency, ORSP will provide an Incentive Award of up to $500 as Supplemental Compensation to the Mentor (or up to $250 for partial F&A generating awards).

Assessment: After the proposal but before any resulting award begins, the Proposer will submit an assessment of the Mentorship to ORSP. Data from these assessments will be used to improve the program and to better match new Proposers with the most appropriate Mentors.

Schools and Departmental Participation: ORSP recognizes that different departments have different expectations for mentoring as part of a faculty’s regular departmental duties, and that some may already have local programs to incentivize intra-university mentoring. It is up to each school/college/department to determine whether and how their faculty may participate in this program, how to integrate it locally, and how to determine the what constitutes a qualifying proposal, and what is reasonable extra compensation for a mentorship. The essential aspect of the ORSP Grant Mentorship Incentive Program is that, when a department/school provides Extra Compensation to a Preapproved Mentor for contributions to a Compliant, On-Time Proposal, and when that proposal results in a Qualifying Funded Award, ORSP will provide an equal Incentive Award as supplemental compensation to the Mentor.[1]

[1] By default, the Proposer’s unit will provide the Extra Compensation and ORSP will provide the Incentive Award of equal amount. School/College-specific implementation details may be negotiated between each Dean and ORSP.


  1. Proposer: Identify a project or activity that you would like to seek external funding for.
  2. Proposer: Identify a sponsor and funding opportunity that you think would be a good fit for your project. (ORSP can provide assistance to your funding search.)
  3. Proposer: Consult with your supervisor to determine whether a proposal to this funding opportunity would be qualifying for an incentivized mentorship, and at what level.
  4. Proposer: Identify a potential Mentor—a UM employee with relevant expertise and experience in writing competitive grant proposals—preferably, one with a track record of competitive grant funding at UM. (If desired, ORSP can provide assistance in finding, or in some cases evaluating the qualifications of, a potential Mentor. ORSP assets for matching proposers to mentors include pre-award Research Administrators, Research Development Fellows, the searchable Research Resources Database, and the Director of Research Development).
  5. Proposer: Approach the potential Mentor with your project idea and target funding opportunity, and ask whether they have the qualifications, interest, and time to mentor/support you in the development of a compelling, competitive proposal.
  6. Proposer and Mentor: If you are a match, download, fill out, and route this Mentorship Agreement/Approval Form.
    1. Proposer: Complete Sections A (Proposer Information) and C (Funding Opportunity).
    2. Mentor: Complete section B (Mentor Information).
    3. Proposer and Mentor: Work together to complete Section D (Mentoring Plan).
    4. Proposer: Sign and date Section E.1.
    5. Mentor: Sign and date Section E.2; then route to Mentor’s Supervisor.
    6. Mentor’s Supervisor: Sign and date Section E.3; then route to Proposer.
    7. Proposer: Route to Proposer’s Supervisor.
    8. Proposer’s Supervisor and/or Dean: Complete, sign, and date sections E.4 and E.5, in either order; then route (or have Proposer route) to ORSP Director of Research Development.
    9. ORSP Director of Research Development: Review, sign and date section E.6 to finalize/execute the Mentorship Agreement.
    10. ORSP Director of Resaerch Development: E-mail copies of executed agreement to all signatories, and to the pre-award Research Administrator.
    11. Proposer: Initiate a transmittal and upload a copy of the executed agreement to the transmittal.
  7. Proposer and Mentor: Develop the proposal, implementing the agreed upon Mentorship Plan.
  8. Proposer: As you are finishing your proposal, but before submitting your transmittal:
    1. If you agree that the Mentor has fulfilled their role as documented in Part D of the Form, sign and date Part E.7 of the Form, and upload it to the transmittal.
    2. If you don’t agree that the Mentor has fulfilled their role, e-mail ORSP, and CC the form signatories, terminating the mentorship agreement.
  9. Proposer: Submit an on-time, complete and accurate transmittal to ORSP, for normal routing.
  10. Proposer: Submit an on-time, compliant proposal to the sponsor/funding opportunity.
  11. ORSP Director of Resaerch Development: Complete section F.1 of the Form, upload updated Form to transmittal, and e-mail copies to all signatories.
  12. Proposer’s Chair and/or Dean: If Section F indicates an On Time transmittal and On-Time, Accepted proposal submitted to the sponsor, then initiate an E-Form 40 to trigger the agreed upon Extra Compensation (see sections E.5 and E.6) to the Mentor.
    1. On the E-Form 40, the "Reason for Compensation" should be "Extra Pay for Extra Work: Mentorship Resulting in Proposal Submission"
    2. On the E-Form 40, under "Description of Duties Performed," enter information about the proposer, mentor, and funding opportunity. For instance, "MENTOR NAME mentored PROPSER NAME's grant proposal, PROPOSAL TITLE, which was submitted to SPONSOR NAME on PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DATE. This work was performed in addition to the MENTOR NAMES's regular job responsibilites."
    3. The E-Form 40 routing should include, among others, the Chair/Supervisor of the Proposer, the Chair/Supervisor of the Mentor (if the Proposer and Mentor are in different departments), and the Dean of the Proposer. ORSP does NOT need to be in the routing chain for this form.
  13. ORSP Director of Research Development: Upon award notification/execution, or 12 months after submission date (whichever comes first), complete section F.2 of the Form; upload to Transmittal; and e-mail copies to all signatories. If Proposal Status = Awarded, initiate an HR Form 40 to pay offered Incentive Award (section E.7) as Supplemental Compensation to the Mentor.
    1. On this E-Form 40, the "Reason for Compensation" should be "Extra Pay and Supplemental Compensation: Award Pay for External Grant Resulting from Proposal Mentorship "
    2. On this E-Form 40, under "Description of Duties Performed," enter information about the proposer, mentor, date, amount, and sponsor 
    3. The E-Form 40 routing should include the Chair/Supervisor of the Mentor who is being paid, but need NOT incude the Chair/Supervisor of the Proposer.
  14. Proposer: No later than the time of the award notification/execution, or 12 months after submission date (whichever comes first), complete an Assessment of the usefulness of the Mentorship and submit to ORSP and your supervisor.

Policies, Rules, Restrictions, & Disclaimers

  1. This program is narrowly focused on incentivizing proposal-based mentorships by providing Extra Compensation to Preapproved Mentors of Qualifying, Compliant, On-time Proposals, and Incentive Awards to Mentors when those proposals result in Qualifying Awards. This program is not intended replace, subsume, or interfere with other mentoring activities on campus.
  2. Having a Mentor in no way guarantees that a Proposal will be successful or even competitive.
  3. Relationships between Mentors and Proposers in this program are voluntary, must be agreed to in advance by both parties, approved by their supervisors, and acknowledged by ORSP.
  4. Mentoring Agreements in this program are made on a per-proposal basis, and automatically expire on the Mentoring End Date listed in Part D (if not terminated earlier).
  5. If for any reason, before the On-time Transmittal Submission Date to ORSP, any party wishes to dissolve a Mentorship Agreement, they may do so by e-mailing ORSP and CCing all signers.
  6. A Mentor on a Compliant, On-Time Proposal is only entitled to the offered Extra Compensation amount (sum of amounts in sections E.5 and E.6) if, and only if:
    1. They fulfill their role as described in part D, as confirmed by the Proposer in the Form.
    2. The agreement is not dissolved before the On-time Transmittal Submission Date.
    3. The proposal is submitted on-time to the sponsor; and
    4. The proposal is accepted by the sponsor for review.
  7. A Mentor on a Compliant, On-Time Proposal is only eligible to be the offered Incentive Award (the Award amount in part E.7 of the Form) if;
    1. They qualified for and received the Extra Compensation (sum of amounts in Parts E.5 and E.6 of the Form), and;
    2. The proposal results in a Qualifying Funding Award, as documented in Form Part F.2.
  8. Employees may NOT receive compensation as a mentor in this program for proposed sponsored programs on which they will be directly benefiting as an investigator or participant.
  9. ORSP Research Development Fellows are eligible to participate as Mentors.[1]
  10. This program has been designed to leverage and comply with the following official University Policies. All would-be Proposers, Mentors, and Supervisors should read and understand these policies before requesting or approving participation in this program. If there is any disagreement between this program and official UM policy, the policy will take precedent.
    1. Policy: Extra and Supplemental Compensation
      Responsible Office: Human Resources
    2. Policy: Extra Pay for Extra Work
      Responsible Office: Human Resources
    3. Policy: Transmittal of External Funding Requests
      Responsible Office: ORSP
    4. Policy: Full Recovery of F&A Costs Required
      Responsible Office: ORSP
    5. Policy: Cost Sharing on Sponsored Projects
      Responsible Office: ORSP
    6. Policy: Authority for External Funding Requests
      Responsible Office: ORSP

Definitions and Links

Extra Compensation: Up to $500 in Extra Pay for Extra Work provided to Mentor by the Proposer’s Chair/Dean for an approved mentorship that would not be part of their regular departmental duties. The mentorship must lead to a Compliant, On-Time Proposal. This will be considered compensation for work performed and will be considered contributory for PERS.

Incentive Award: Up to $500 in Supplemental Compensation paid to the Mentor by ORSP for a Qualifying Funded Award.  The incentive pay is deemed not earned compensation, therefore it is not subject to state retirement and will be a non-contributory payment to be processed in the off-cycle.

On-time Transmittal Submission Date: The sponsor’s due date minus five working days. Transmittals are considered on-time to ORSP if they are submitted at least five working days before the sponsor’s due date, and include at the very least: a mature project narrative, and complete and accurate budget and budget justification. Transmittals submitted missing, incomplete, or inaccurate will be returned to the PI for further development.

ORSP Webpage: Current UM F&A Rates: http://research.olemiss.edu/proposal-development/current-rates

Preapproved Mentor: A UM employee who has been identified as a Mentor in a full approved Mentorship Agreement/Approval Form.

Preapproved Mentorship: A mentoring relationship established by mutual agreement at the outset of a proposal development effort, memorialized in a fully approved Mentorship Agreement/Approval Form.

Qualifying, Compliant On-time Proposal: A proposal that:

  1. Was the of an result of a Preapproved Mentorship;
  2. Was institutionally approved following a complete and accurate transmittal submitted on or before the On-time Transmittal Submission Date.
  3. Was submitted, after institutional approval, to the sponsor by the sponsor’s deadline; and
  4. Was accepted for review by the sponsor (i.e., it was not returned without review).

The judgment about what constitutes a Qualifying opportunity and proposal for an incentivized mentorship is to be made by administrators (e.g., Dean/Chair) in the Proposer’s unit.

Qualifying Funded Award: An F&A generating UM award with no voluntary committed cost share resulting from a Qulifying, Compliant, On-time Proposal for which the Mentor received Extra Compensation.

Research Resources Directory (R2D1): An Web directory of resources related to, or available in support of, research and sponsored programs at UM, including equipment, experts, and potential mentors, among others. See https://research.olemiss.edu/r2d1/index.php/site/login.

Transmittal: The online form used to obtain institutional approval for submitting a proposal to an external sponsor. See http://research.olemiss.edu/proposal-development/transmittal.   


[1] Fellows with time “buyouts” may qualify for the Incentive Award only--not the Extra Compensation.