Faculty and Staff Resources
Faculty and staff researchers who are interested in integrating undergraduate students onto their research teams tend to have three main questions:
Those without funding may join an existing Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program (e.g., McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, University Honors Program Discover, and more). Most programs provide funding and training. Sometimes programs arise within a college or department as funding becomes available. Check with your dean of research or another colleague about opportunities within your unit.
As an alternative to joining an existing program, faculty commonly develop targeted announcements to promote an opportunity for a mentored research experience. Students commonly engage in undergraduate research for course credit, especially when the experience can be used to fulfill a degree requirement, such as an upper-level elective or capstone.
Funding to provide wages or stipends for undergraduate student researchers is limited and competitive. Beyond joining an existing Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program that provides funding for students, faculty commonly seek funding through grant supplements (e.g., NSF REU Supplement) and internal awards that are sometimes available within a college or department.
UC’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship provides up to $700 to help cover the costs of supplies, conference presentations, and travel to field sites. Dozens of these awards are provided annually.
Research Mentor Training
The Faculty Enrichment Center’s Research Mentorship: Optimize Your Practice is a learning community for faculty and staff who mentor undergraduate and graduate student researchers. While many research mentors report positive experiences with their mentees, negative experiences commonly arise unintentionally. This discipline-inclusive program uses interactive, evidence-based activities to help mentors develop productive, mutually satisfying relationships with their mentees.
If you are building undergraduate research experiences into your grant proposal, it is a good idea to integrate research mentor training and professional development support for students. Contact MK Lamkin, UC’s Program Director for Undergraduate Research, to explore collaborative potential and request a letter of support for your proposal.
Students who register to present at UC’s Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase can nominate their project advisor for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentorship. Approximately eight faculty/staff and two to four graduate student/post-doc project advisors are selected for the awards each year.
Have a question not addressed here? Contact MK Lamkin, UC’s Program Director for Undergraduate Research.