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The Women’s Sports Foundation Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching: Guidelines & FAQs

What is the purpose of the Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching?

The Tara VanDerveer Fund for the Advancement of Women in Coaching, established by the Women’s Sports Foundation, provides grants to institutions of higher education to allow for paid entry-level fellowship positions for aspiring female coaches. Inspired by legendary Stanford University Coach Tara VanDerveer, the WSF VanDerveer Fellowships emphasize hands-on training and mentorship with established collegiate coaches in order to strengthen professional development, provide networking guidance, and identify paths to advancement.

Who administers the Tara VanDerveer Fund?

The Tara VanDerveer Fund is administered by the Women’s Sports Foundation and is supported generously through private and public donations. Funds are given directly to the college or university to provide stipends to their WSF VanDerveer Fellows as well as to cover costs of housing, training, mentoring, and professional opportunities.

Who is eligible to apply?

  1. Institutions of higher education located within the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including tribal colleges and universities, may apply to the Women’s Sports Foundation for the opportunity to host a WSF VanDerveer Fellow.
  2. Institutions of higher education with varsity athletic programs.
  3. All NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA and other athletic association member institutions are encouraged to apply.
  4. Institutions may apply with a specific candidate for the WSF VanDerveer Fellowship in mind but an individual may not apply here to gain a WSF VanDerveer Fellowship for herself. (e.g. individuals must be sponsored by a university or college which would submit the application.)

What is the grant amount awarded?

Institutions will be awarded $15,000 to cover living expenses; an additional $2,500 will be provided specifically for professional development opportunities for the WSF VanDerveer Fellow. It is up to the awarded institution to determine how they would like to distribute funds to the Fellow (e.g. via installments or one lump sum). Institutions may choose to increase a WSF VanDerveer Fellow stipend or salary by adding money from their institutional budget.

What are the requirements for WSF Tara VanDerveer Fund grant recipients?

Awarded institutions must agree to the following:

  1. To use the grant for its intended purpose. (e.g. to create or increase the salary/stipend of a WSF VanDerveer Fellow, room and board, and professional development opportunities)
  2. To create a fellowship position for an aspiring female coach.
  3. To allow the selected fellow to attend at least 3 professional development opportunities (one being the Women’s Sports Foundation’s annual Sports Advocacy Network meeting and Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards gala).
  4. To include recognition of this grant and the Women’s Sports Foundation in all publicity surrounding this Fellowship position.
  5. To be available for interview(s) on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation based on advanced notice and availability.
  6. To provide two progress reports, one midway through the fellowship and one at the conclusion. If you do not satisfy these reporting requirements you will not be eligible to reapply for this or any other WSF grant in the future.

What criteria will be applied in making grant decisions?

A judging committee will evaluate each application based on the information provided in the application including the following criteria:

  1. Profile of the institution’s proposed mentor coach and perceived mentorship experience of the Tara VanDerveer Fellow
  2. Proposed job description for the WSF VanDerveer Fellow
  3. Institution’s plan and process for selecting a WSF VanDerveer Fellow
  4. Institution’s commitment to provide additional support to the WSF VanDerveer Fellow, above and beyond WSF grant money
  5. The institution’s commitment to inclusion for its athletics department, and faculty and student-body overall

What are the expectations for Institutions hosting a WSF VanDerveer Fellow?

Institutions that are selected for funding will be responsible for hiring an individual to fill their WSF VanDerveer Fellow opening. Applicants should explore relevant regulations and laws which apply to their institution and ensure that the submitted application meets all necessary requirements.

What professional development is expected of the WSF VanDerveer Fellow?

In order to fulfill the grant requirements, a VanDerveer Fellow is expected to attend at least two professional development opportunities (e.g. relevant coaching association conference, women’s coaching networking events). The WSF VanDerveer Fellow will have $2,500 to spend on professional development. This amount is over and above the $15,000 grant.

Additionally, WSF VanDerveer Fellows will be expected to attend the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute in October. Travel and lodging for this event will be paid and organized by WSF and is not expected to come out of the $2,500 professional development budget.

When are deadlines and other relevant dates?

Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, April 19, 2019. Institutions will be notified of their grant status by the end of May.

Application Procedure

You must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit an application on the website. APPLY HERE

Under the organization information, please enter the contact information for your university’s athletic department and the subsequent person of contact. A Tax ID number is not required to register (so you may leave that space blank). Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive a notification at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received. Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for something other than to support a WSF Tara VanDerveer Fellow at an institution of higher education will not be accepted.


After carefully reading the above guidelines, if you still have questions please contact Sarah Axelson: 516.307.3948 or