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Vilas Life Cycle Professorships

The Vilas Life Cycle Professorship program will provide research support during 2018-19. 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).


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:

  1. Fill out the cover page, budget and budget justification form, and the current/pending support form (RSP hosts an online tool that may help produce the required current and pending support data). Awards are capped at $40,000. NEW FOR 2018/19, funds may be used for summer salary in a limited way, view the FAQs or the RSP VLCP page or contact jennifer.sheridan@wisc.edu for more information. The award period is one year.
  2. Write a statement of need in 3 pages or less. Statement should at minimum address four main points:
    1. Why is this a critical juncture in your career?
    2. What is the life event you are experiencing, and how has it affected your research progress?
    3. How will the requested funds help you through the crisis and enhance your research program?
    4. What are the costs/consequences of not receiving the funding?
  3. Include your CV or a biographical sketch in the application package.
  4. A letter of support from your 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 three times a year. In 2018, these deadlines are:

Applications may be submitted either in hardcopy form, or via email. Hardcopies may be mailed to:

Email applications should be sent to jennifer.sheridan@wisc.edu.


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 [1]. Awardees must agree to submit a report of activities upon completion of the Professorship period. WISELI will also request participation 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 sheridan@engr.wisc.edu; (608) 263-1445. Common questions may be addressed in this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

[1]In special cases, a divisional Associate Vice Chancellor from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education may be asked for technical advice regarding the research program; they will also regard the application materials as confidential.

Reports and Publications

Evaluation Reports

Publications and Presentations

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)