Proposal Guidelines and Application: Bates Learning Associates

Application Deadlines: before 11:59 pm on 15 September,  15 November, 15 March and 15 April (Note: The April round of funding is for bringing Learning Associates in the fall semester.) Deadlines are firm. There are no extensions granted.


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.

What are the different categories of Bates Learning Associates?
Intermittent –  Intermittent Learning Associates connect with students during short visits (less than two weeks) to campus in whatever ways faculty advisors, practitioners, and students deem most useful. Honoraria, room and board and transportation costs are usually covered by the Mellon grant.

Distance – Distance Learning Associates, generally established scholars or practitioners, share their expertise with students via e-mail, telephone calls or other means of communication, with occasional visits to campus.

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.

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.

Click here for an example of an ideal itinerary.

What are the size of awards?
Awards to support Bates Learning Associates depend on their length of stay and level of their expertise.  Awards typically range between $1,000-$3,500.

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 in the classroom, advising students in small groups, or working with individual thesis writers.  The proposal should include the definite plan for how the the LA will interact with students in or out of the classroom or present college-wide lectures or workshops.  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.  Please contact Alison Keegan at for further information about expenses associated with the visit.

Inviting Scholars & Experts from Abroad
Inviting scholars, experts, and practitioners from abroad involves considerable time and effort by the College and the visitor, so please weigh your invitations carefully. When applying for support for scholars and others from abroad, faculty must allow time for the College to secure an appropriate visa, usually J-1. For more information, please see Visa Guidlines or contact  Kerry O’Brien at, 786-6065. To arrange payment of any honorarium the host must take the visitor to 215 College Street at the beginning of the visit.

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 a final report part of the process?
As a final report, faculty and students must complete evaluations on and assessments of the visit. It is essential to assess the importance and impact of the visit on all students but especially on those whose theses are or will be influenced. Evaluations are a critical and important part of the Learning Associate process.  A faculty member who receives a Learning Associate grant must complete an evaluation form on that Learning Associate, must send an evaluation for the Learning Associate to also complete, and must send out the evaluation for students to complete.  These evaluations are used heavily to steward the foundation.  Future funding for faculty is contingent upon receiving these completed evaluations.

How to apply?
Applications are due by 11:59 pm on the day of the deadline in Fall and Winter semesters.  Please complete the application below.

Click here to APPLY.