UMMS Faculty Vitality Award


The UMMS Faculty Vitality Award is intended to promote individual rejuvenation, career development, mentoring and academic vitality. The award provides support for faculty to pursue a career objective in a new area of research, education or clinical practice. The Award is targeted for mid-career and senior faculty who have been successful but wish to acquire new skills and knowledge or pursue a change in career goals to remain engaged and productive at UMMS/UMMHC. Our vision is that all our faculty will be engaged, productive, and highly satisfied with their careers at UMMS.

Awards support activities to enhance, expand, and/or improve:

  • Research development and/or mastery of new skills to increase competitiveness for extramural research
  • Teaching capabilities, assessment techniques and/or educational scholarship
  • Clinical techniques, and/or measures designed to improve quality and efficacy of health care delivery
  • Leadership and administrative skills
  • Commercialization efforts in areas relevant to the academic missions and the joint strategic plan.

Click here to view examples.


Talented and productive faculty may reach a point in their careers when their expertise is no longer competitive or they wish to move their career in a new and different direction. Re-engaging and refreshing is essential for these individuals to maintain their contributions the institution.

The UMMS Faculty Vitality Award provides funding for mid-career and senior faculty to undergo a focused training experience or project, consistent with one or more of the mission areas. Applicants propose a project and a career development plan with mentoring support to acquire new skills and knowledge that will enable them to achieve success in a new area of research, education or clinical practice.


Full time employed faculty appointed at UMMS for six or more years who:

  • Currently hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (modified or unmodified)
  • Currently tenured and non-tenure track faculty. Tenure track faculty are not eligible for this award
  • Teams of up to four faculty members who are working on the same project or activity, provided the designated Team Leader meets the other qualifications stated above and departmental salary support is provided for all team members.


The UMMS Faculty Vitality Award is supported in part by an Award for Faculty Career Flexibility from the Alfred P Sloan Foundation in collaboration with the American Council on Education, the UMass Memorial Medical Center, and the UMass Memorial Medical Group Practice.  The Award is funded jointly by the Office of Faculty Affairs and the applicant's Department or Program.

Funding may be requested for specific costs associated with conducting the activity or project, such as lab or other supplies, animals or equipment, tuition for professional development courses or other technical coursework, and/or travel expenses. Awards may range from $5,000 to a maximum of $40,000. It is expected that the award will be supplemented or matched by support from the faculty member’s Department/Program to cover the necessary salary and associated fringe benefit costs for the applicant(s) during the time period of the award. The award is not intended as bridge funding to support continuing research activities, for hiring personnel or for buy-out of clinical time.

The application cycle for 2016 is now closed.

Review Criteria

1. Applicant. What is the likelihood for future success based on candidate’s previous accomplishments?

2. Career Development. Are the planned activities likely to enable the applicant to acquire the necessary new skills and knowledge?

3. Impact. What is the potential impact of the proposed new area of activity? Is it likely to be sustainable as an area of research, education or clinical practice? Does the proposed new area fit with institutional strategies in research, education or healthcare?

4. Support. What is the strength of support and commitment from the applicant’s chair or program director? What is the strength of support from the applicant’s mentor and reference(s)?