Grant Mentoring Diversity Initiative

I am undertaking a project that I hope will increase the pool of women and underrepresented minorities who apply for National Science Foundation (NSF) grants within the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS). My project is in no way affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by the NSF.

In my opinion, getting an NSF grant is a bit of a science and a bit of an art. Occasionally, it might seem to be a bit of a mystery… but it needn’t be! Close mentorship from a successful NSF grant-writer can be an added edge in the process.

The idea of my potential project is to match up scholars from underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, etc.) who want mentoring in NSF-DMS grantwriting with scholars of any background who have prior successful experience with NSF-DMS grants. We will gratefully consider any qualified mentors who volunteer, but IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE AT LEAST SOME MENTORS WHO BELONG TO GROUPS THAT ARE NOT UNDERREPRESENTED (people identifying as men, or identifying as white, merely as examples). It is not reasonable to place the burden of supporting underrepresented groups squarely on the shoulders of those same groups.

Please fill out this form to express your interest either in serving as a mentor (you should have written and received at least one grant through NSF-DMS) or in receiving mentorship (you must identify as a member of a group underrepresented in the mathematical sciences).

For those currently supported by NSF-DMS grants, if you end up providing mentoring, we hope you will report your mentoring activity as a broader impact on your NSF annual report.

Your feedback will be kept confidential but will be used to make mentoring matches. Some demographic statistics may be reported in aggregate (not identified with individuals).

I am grateful that you would take the time to fill out this form. Additionally, I urge you to share the sign-up link,

by posting it on social media (Facebook/Twitter) and/or by emailing it to at least three colleagues (potential mentors, potential grant-writers, or a mix).

Finally, I am grateful to many people for invaluable guidance, feedback, and support on this project: Erika Camacho, Rachel Kuske, Karen Saxe, Mary Silber, Talitha Washington, Talithia Williams.


Chad Topaz
Professor of Mathematics
Macalester College