The Office of Undergraduate Research is committed to helping foster healthy and productive mentor/student relationships. The advice and direction provided by faculty mentors are crucial to the success of students in their research endeavors. As a master to an apprentice, the mentor’s job is to supervise and direct research but also to challenge, nurture and shepherd young researchers into possible future careers.
Students may approach potential mentors for supervision of research projects either during the academic year or over the summer. Most research performed during the academic year may be used toward academic credit or, if the student qualifies, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. Research performed during the summer may be eligible for funding awards, but financial support is always at the discretion of faculty.
In all cases, mentors are an integral part in the planning, development, and implementation of students’ research projects. Students benefit greatly from mentor input in all stages of their research.
- Collaborate on the design of a manageable project and development of a reasonable budget
- Write a recommendation for the student, if applying for a funding award
During the research project:
- Set up a meeting schedule with the student to report on progress and provide the opportunity for questions and advice
- Coach student in appropriate time management, and set deadlines for stages of research and writing
- Review student abstracts, articles and posters
- Serve as a test audience for student presentations
See "Five Effective Strategies for Mentoring Undergraduates: Students' Perspectives," an article in the Spring 2013 issue of CUR Quarterly, published by the Council on Undergraduate Research. On-going information is available from Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring.