Proposal Guidelines and Application: Bates Learning Associates

Application Deadlines: 15 September; 15 November;
15 February; and 15 April.
Decisions will be made by the end of each application month.

What are Bates Learning Associates?
Bates Learning Associates are graduate scholars, practitioners or other experts who work with students at any point during their four years at Bates to develop the skills, knowledge and growth important during their senior thesis experience. When thinking about inviting this type of colleague into a department or program, it should be clear that this associate is not construed as a faculty member or co-teacher, per se. They may not grade work of students, they are not contracted through Human Resources (which entails background checks and letters of recommendation), they do not take primary responsibility for the administration, assessment, or execution of the course or their role in it, and their reimbursement is not based on faculty salary ranges. They are truly associates, whose expertise and advice enhance the faculty member’s teaching.

Who may apply for these awards?
Funds are available to faculty in the humanities and social sciences through submission of proposals by individual faculty or department chairs.  Faculty may submit proposals for learning associates for interdisciplinary programs if the proposed learning associates and the purposes they serve are grounded in the humanities or social sciences.

Students are encouraged to tell the faculty of their interest in particular scholars or practitioners. In addition, small funds are available to support students’ projects such as exhibitions and readings as long as they are conducted in a manner that is consistent with Institutional and State COVID-19 policies and laws.

What should a proposal include?
The proposal should include a specific plan for interaction with students, impact on student learning, and presentations or performances.  The proposal should also include documents such as a C.V. and/or web sites about the learning associate. The selection committee funds proposals that bring the highest value to student learning by considering the number and quality of classes or sessions of direct contact with students, master classes with thesis or prospective thesis students, degree of collaboration with other faculty, additional public presentations or performances, and stature of the prospective learning associate.

What are the size of awards?
Awards typically range in size from $300-$5,000.

How does length of stay at Bates, contact hours with students, and expertise of Learning Associate (LA) effect the award?
The honorarium award is guided by the actual number of hours that a particular LA is actively engaged with the class via Zoom, advising students in small groups via Zoom, or working with individual thesis writers via Zoom.  The proposal should include a definite plan for how the LA will interact with students in and out of the classroom via Zoom or present college-wide lectures or workshops via Zoom.  It is helpful if the Probable Dates of Visit includes separate contact time.  In an effort to become a resource for as many faculty as possible each academic year, the selection committee may adjust the proposal budget during the award process.

What is an example of an application that has been funded?
The most common awards are for guest artists, writers, policy makers, scholars, or technicians who add new dimensions to student learning. The learning associates program is unable to fund individuals to teach courses at Bates. If you would like to bring in a lecturer to teach a course, please contact the Dean of the Faculty’s Office.

Is there a final report required?
Yes. A brief, final report from the host faculty member is required within two weeks of the Learning Associate’s visit to campus. The report should describe the main teaching, mentoring, or performing accomplishments of the Learning Associate during their visit. Please send that report in a PDF form to

How to apply?
Proposals should be submitted using this portal.

The Learning Associates awards are now determined by the Faculty Scholarship Committee.  For 2023-2024, the Committee is comprised of: Don Dearborn (chair), Amy Douglass, Jakub Kazecki, Keiko Konoeda, and Geneva Laurita.