UMaine’s EMPOWER program enters second year with new cohort

The University of Maine is pleased to announce the successful launch of the third cohort of the Enhanced Mentoring Program with Opportunities for Ways to Excel in Research (EMPOWER). This initiative supports UMaine and the University of Maine at Machias faculty at multiple career stages. 

EMPOWER is a mentoring program that supports faculty in their quest to achieve significant professional growth and advancement, including in research and scholarly activity. Mentoring is available for pre-tenure faculty as they establish a research program, promoted faculty as they expand their research, or faculty set to begin a significant administrative assignment. A total of 19 mentoring pairs will be supported in the second year of the program, representing the third cohort of accepted faculty participants.  

The program is adapted from a similar program developed and successfully implemented at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). EMPOWER has a special emphasis on supporting the professional attainment of faculty who are underrepresented in their academic areas. Along with one-on-one mentoring, participating faculty will receive limited funds in support of research and professional development, as well as tailored engagements to support the mentoring relationship. 

The first cohort of EMPOWER completed its formal participation in the program at the end of August 2022. The second cohort will reach the end of its direct support at the end of December 2022. This new third cohort represents the continuing schedule of the program, with spring recruitment for fall starts, lasting one year. 

Mentors and mentees are expected to meet on a regular basis and develop program goals and objectives throughout their one-year mentoring relationship. Mentees work towards at least one significant assignment during this process, typically a submitted application for external funding. 

In cases where there are mentees facing unique challenges that would impact them professionally, including their research and scholarly activity, their primary mentors are complemented by others who would be qualified to provide advice in overcoming or reducing these unique challenges.  

Plans are underway to have previous EMPOWER program participants share their experiences with colleagues and we are seeking appropriate venues to do so. Deans, directors, and chairs interested in hosting such an engagement should contact Danielle O’Neill, Assistant Director of Research Development for Faculty Outreach and Education,