New Faculty GPS program

Overview of expectations

Expectations for faculty participating in this program are outlined below.

All applicants:

  • Complete an online survey.

Phase 1 participants:

  • Actively engage with a consultant to create an individual development plan (IDP).
  • Participate community meetings approximately every three weeks during the academic year for a period of two years.

Phase 2 participants:

  • Actively engage with a consultant to develop an application for an early career grant program in Year 1.
  • Actively engage with a consultant and coordinate with OARS staff to submit at least one proposal for external funding through OARS each year in Years 2-5.
  • Participate in community meetings approximately every three weeks during the academic year for a period of two years.
  • Submit a brief report to their dean and OARS annually.

The New Faculty Grant Planning and Support (GPS) program is a professional development program designed to support new tenure-track faculty in developing competitive applications for extramural funding programs. Specifically, the program:

  • Helps new faculty map out a plan for which funding opportunities to target in their first five years at Miami
  • Offers new faculty grantsmanship mentorship and support

Program components

New Faculty GPS consists of an induction period and two phases. In the induction period, new faculty complete a survey about their experience and interests. Based on the results of the survey, faculty are selected to participate in Phase 1, in which they will work with a consultant to create an individual development plan. Select Phase 1 participants will then be nominated by consultants to move on to Phase 2, which includes ongoing mentoring and consultation on a limited number of proposal submissions over a period of five years. Deans will select Phase 2 participants from among nominated faculty.

Individual components of the program are described in more detail below. Phase 1 and Phase 2 participants will form a cohort that – in addition to participating in phase-specific activities outlined below – will have opportunities to participate in other, more general professional development activities.


OARS distributes a survey to eligible early career faculty to assess their current status, interest in the program, and which specific agencies might be appropriate for the applicant. Each dean reviews the survey responses to select participants from their division to participate in Phase 1.

Phase 1

A consultant works with each Phase 1 participant to create an individual development plan (IDP). The IDP lays out the assortment of potential early career award opportunities available to an individual within the next five years. IDPs are shared with OARS to help with submission planning, particularly for limited submission opportunities.

Phase 2

  • Mentoring in Cohort Year 1 – One-on-one sessions are held via phone or videoconferencing, starting approximately 2-3 months prior to the submission deadline for the participant’s selected opportunity. A consultant provides a complete and comprehensive review of the draft application, including:
    • Walking the applicant through important elements of the proposal
    • Providing constructive criticism on the draft proposal
    • Guiding the applicant to explore different options for the research agenda and – especially with NSF applications – other elements (e.g., education, professional development) that need to be integrated into the proposal.
Applicants will have access to a consultant’s assistance up to the eve of the submission deadline.

  • Mentoring in Cohort Years 2-5 – One-on-one mentoring, as described above, is offered to each participant for one application per year for up to four additional years after the first year. Each Phase 2 participant is expected to work with OARS to submit at least one proposal for external funding per year of participation and will submit a brief report to their dean and OARS annually.

Community meetings for Phase 1 and Phase 2 participants

Community meetings will be open to both Phase 1 and Phase 2 participants. All participants are expected to attend these meetings in their first two years of participation. Attendance is optional for those in their third through fifth years of participation. Meetings will be held approximately every three weeks during the academic year.

The overarching goal of these meetings is to build a community of support, so not all meetings will include formal programming. When formal programming is offered, topics will be selected by participants, and may include:

  • Talking to program officers
  • Developing proposal budgets
  • Developing broader impacts plans for NSF proposals
  • Tips/advice from funded researchers
  • Agency-, program-, or opportunity-specific information
  • Research-related intellectual property – publications and patents
  • Research ethics and integrity
  • Research computing support
Programming may be delivered by OARS staff, other Miami faculty or staff, the participating consultants, and other experts.


The following consultants currently participate in New Faculty GPS. Each faculty member is matched to a consultant by OARS staff, based on several factors, including responses provided in the induction survey.

Carl A. Batt

Batt joined the faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University in 1985. He is the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor in the Department of Food Science. Batt also served as the director of the Cornell University/Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Partnership. He is co-founder of Main Street Science and founder of Nanooze, a science magazine for kids ( He is also the co-founder and former co-director of the Nanobiotechnology Center (NBTC), a National Science Foundation-supported Science and Technology Center (STC). Following receipt of his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Food Science Batt did postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Throughout his 30 years at Cornell, Batt has worked on the fusion of the physical and life sciences, developing novel technologies to solve challenges in food and health sciences. He has served as a scientific mentor for more than 40 graduates students and over 100 undergraduates, many of whom now hold significant positions in academia, government, and the private sector, both in the United States and throughout the world. Batt has published over 240 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and reviews. He has participated in and managed review panels. As the founder of Stone Fence Collaborative, Batt has helped a wide range of clients – including Miami University – enhance their grant development efforts.

Megan Queen Cantwell

Cantwell ​is an independent proposal development and strategic planning consultant who has led and contributed to a range of strategic planning and grantseeking efforts for secondary and postsecondary institutions and nonprofit organizations since 1994. She has delivered proposal development workshops on nearly 100 college and university campuses, including Miami. She has written and edited proposals submitted to the following sponsors and programs:

  • The U.S. Department of Education, including the federal TRIO programs and CCAMPIS through the Office of Postsecondary Education, and the Office of English Language Acquisition's National Professional Development Program
  • NIH’s R15 and R01 mechanisms
  • NSF's EPSCoR program
  • U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • National foundations
Cantwell has extensive experience as a peer reviewer for federal agencies. She served as senior consultant for special initiatives in the AASCU Grants Resource Center for 13 years, holding the roles of editor of GrantWeek, the lead on GRC's external partnership and advocacy activities, and adviser to the executive director on long-range planning activities.

Marjorie P. Piechowski

With over 30 years’ experience in research administration and research development, primarily at DePaul University and the University of Wisconsin, Piechowski retired from research administration in 2014 to become an independent grant and technical writing consultant. Since 2002, she has researched, edited, written, and consulted on proposals for over 75 colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations, including New York University, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania, resulting in over hundreds of millions in funding for her clients. Many of these were large-scale institutional and collaborative grant proposals for programs such as the U.S. Department of Education’s Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and the U.S. Department of Education’s First in the World program.

Piechowski holds a PhD in American Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has worked with faculty in a wide range of disciplines, from engineering and applied sciences to education, with particular experience in creating individual development plans for newly hired assistant professors and providing ongoing mentorship to these faculty through the tenure process. In addition, she has served as a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education’s TRIO programs, FIPSE, and McNair programs. She has extensive experience as a speaker and workshop leader.

Burr Zimmerman

Zimmerman is principal at Urban Venture Group (UVG), a firm focused on advancing science and commercializing emerging technology. With his help, Zimmerman’s clients have raised over $445 million in grant funds from federal and state agencies, including NIH, NSF, DOE, NASA, DoD, BARDA, DARPA, and SBIR. Zimmerman holds a PhD in chemical engineering and has industrial experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical device development. He has worked with Miami University faculty in Biological Sciences, Biology, Kinesiology & Health, Microbiology, Scripps Gerontology Center, and Speech Pathology & Audiology on funded proposals.


Participants and consultants will use an online workspace called Teamwork Projects to manage workflow and communications. Individual participants will be responsible for regular, ongoing communication with their consultant using this online workspace and other channels agreed upon with the consultant. In particular, Phase 2 participants should identify for the consultant the opportunity they intend to target for the annual included application support at least two months prior to the application’s deadline.


New Faculty GPS is jointly supported by OARS and divisions. There is no cost to individual faculty members.