Mary Erskine Funding Awards

Faculty | Mary Erskine Funding Awards

Mary Erskine Funding Awards are smaller-scale funding awards designed to further the professional development and career advancement of tenure-track or tenured STEM faculty, with a focus on funding faculty activities that support BU’s community of women and other underrepresented genders in STEM.


Applicant / Award Eligibility

    • Applicants must be tenure-track or tenured BU faculty members with primary appointments in one of the departments listed below.
      • CAS: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth & Environment, Mathematics & Statistics, Physics, Psychological & Brain Sciences
      • ENG: Biomedical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
      • SAR: Health Sciences
    • Applicants of all genders may apply for funding awards, but award preference will go to awards that benefit the community of women and other underrepresented genders (i.e. non-binary, genderqueer, etc.) in STEM.
    • Applicants may apply only once per year, with award preference going to applicants who have not previously received an award.
    • Awards may be used for: Faculty travel to conferences, student support, publication costs, supplies, etc. 
      • For parents with children ages 0 through 5, these funding awards may also be used to cover childcare expenses associated with faculty travel. However, this would be considered a taxable benefit to the faculty member, and faculty should consult their accountants/tax professionals to be compliant with all relevant tax laws.
    • Awards may not be used for: Personal salary, teaching buy-out
    • Faculty receiving funds are expected to be available to serve as application reviewers during one of the two application cycles following their successful application.

    Application Timeline

    The two application cycles per academic year operate on the following timelines:

    • For activities January 2022 – June 2022:
      • Application deadline: Accepted on a rolling basis
      • Application review deadline: N/A
      • Decisions released: N/A
    • For activities July 2022 – December 2022:
      • Application deadline: First Monday in June – (June 6th)
      • Application review deadline: Fourth Friday in June – (June 24th)
      • Decisions released: First Friday in July – (July 1st)

    Application / Selection Process

    Applicants must submit:

    1. A response to the form below which asks basic information, the date/timeframe of the proposed activity which the funds will go towards, and the dollar amount being requested, up to $1,750.
    2. A 1 page synopsis about how the proposed activity will contribute to the applicant’s career development, the enhancement of their professional network, and any ways the proposed activity could benefit other BU community members.
    3. A brief CV

    Each application cycle, a committee of faculty members will evaluate applications using this rubric.

    Reporting Back

    • Recipients are required to work with their departmental administrator and the ARROWS administrator to submit all expense reports within four weeks of their activity’s occurrence/completion. Failure to do so within this timeframe may adversely affect future eligibility.
    • Recipients are also required to submit within the four week timeframe a short paragraph about their activity, including a brief description of how the funds were used, to be placed on the ARROWS website.

    Please contact arrows@bu.edu with any questions about this program.


    Mary Erskine Funding Awards | Application Submission

    • Please upload a 1-page synopsis about how the proposed activity will contribute to your career development, the enhancement of your professional network, and any ways the proposed activity could benefit other BU community members. Submissions should be .doc, .docx, or .pdf file types.
    • Please upload a brief CV between 2-5 pages (e.g. NSF- and NIH-formatted CVs.) Submissions should be .doc, .docx, or .pdf file types.

    Professor Mary Erskine (1946-2007) was a long time member of Boston University’s Biology Department. She came to Boston University in 1985 as a research assistant professor, made the transition to a tenure track appointment in 1990 when she was appointed the Clare Boothe Luce Professor of Biology, and was promoted to full professor in 1999. She was a founding member of the Women in Biology program at Boston University and she played a crucial role in the creation of Boston University Women in Science and Engineering (BU WISE). Her long time colleague and collaborator, Michael Baum, noted that “as a senior woman in the biology department, she was a mentor and role model for many female students and postdoctoral fellows who sought to establish careers in science. She proved that women could have both a family and a successful career.” Mary died at the age of 61 in December of 2007 following a long battle with breast cancer.