Vilas Life Cycle Professorships
The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship program will provide research support during 2015-16. The Vilas Life Cycle Professorships provide funds to faculty and non-emeritus permanent PIs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who are at critical junctures in their professional careers and whose research productivity has been directly affected by personal life events (e.g., illness of a dependent, parent, spouse/partner, or oneself; complications from childbirth; combination of major life events).
NEW FOR 2015-16! The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship program will consider, on a pilot basis, a broader range of applications for funding. "Critical career junctures" may be expanded to include situations that are not career-threatening but nevertheless important. "Life events" may be expanded to include any situation that is having an adverse effect on research productivity—not only those events that happen in one’s personal life (e.g., professional or work situations causing research to slow.) Through this pilot expansion of the program, we hope to learn more about the barriers that faculty and permanent PIs face as they strive to maintain high research productivity throughout their careers. All applicants, whether or not funded, may be asked to participate in an evaluation process in order to assess the success of this newly-expanded pilot program.
NEW FOR 2015-16! The request for research funds may not exceed $40,000. This is an increase from previous years.
These funds are available to tenure-track and tenured faculty, and non-emeritus academic staff with permanent PI status at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. All faculty and non-emeritus permanent PIs are eligible, regardless of discipline or gender.
To apply for a Vilas Life Cycle Professorship, please:
- Fill out the cover page, budget form, and the current/pending support form. Awards are capped at $40,000, and funds may not be used for salary of the applicant. The award period is one year.
- Write a statement of need in 3 pages or less. Statement should at minimum address four main points:
- Why is this a critical juncture in your career?
- What is the life event you are experiencing, and how has it affected your research progress?
- How will the requested funds help you through the crisis and enhance your research program?
- What are the costs/consequences of not receiving the funding?
- Include your CV or a biographical sketch and funding record in the application package. Please also include a budget justification statement.
- A letter of support from you department chair is encouraged, but not required.
Because critical life events cannot, in many cases, be planned for in advance, deadlines for submission of applications will occur two times a year. In 2014, these deadlines are:
- June 19, 2015 (for awards beginning between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015)
- September 25, 2015 (for awards beginning before February 1, 2016)
- December 25, 2015 (for awards beginning before June 1, 2016)
Applications may be submitted either in hardcopy form, or via email. Hardcopies may be mailed to:
- 3065 Mechanical Engineering Building
- 1513 University Ave.
- Madison, WI 53706
Email applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship applications will be processed through the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) and the Office of the Provost. Applications will remain confidential within the review committee . Graduate School Research Committees will review expenditures for awards, but will not have access to applications. Awardees must agree to submit a report of activities upon completion of the Professorship period and participate in evaluation efforts for the program. Once awarded, the processing of expenditures of the grant funds occurs within the recipient's department or unit.
If you have questions about the Vilas Life Cycle Professorships, contact Jennifer Sheridan at email@example.com; (608) 263-1445. Common questions may be addressed in this list of Frequently Asked Questions.
In special cases, a Graduate School Dean or Associate Dean may be asked for technical advice regarding the research program; they will also regard the application materials as confidential.
Publications and Presentations
- Sheridan, Jennifer; Christine Maidl Pribbenow; Molly Carnes; Jo Handelsman; and Amy Wendt. 2015. “Life Happens: The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.” In Family Friendly Policies and Practices in Academe (Catherine R. Solomon and Erin K. Anderson, Eds.) Washington DC: Lexington Books.
- “The LEAD Center Helps Faculty Improve Productivity.” Wisconsin Center for Education Research Feature Stories. March 9, 2015.
- Sheridan, Jennifer; Amy Wendt; Christine Maidl Pribbenow; Molly Carnes. October 10, 2008. “The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship Program at the UW-Madison.” Poster presented at The New Norm of Faculty Flexibility: Transforming the Culture in Science & Engineering Conference. Ames, IA.
- Sheridan, Jennifer. May 18, 2006. “Vilas Life Cycle Professorship Program.” 5th Annual NSF ADVANCE PI Meeting. National Science Foundation. Washington, DC.