Why Mentor Research?
The benefits of mentoring undergraduate research are widely documented in literature regarding undergraduate research, insofar as it allows faculty members an opportunity to spend time with motivated undergraduates, creates an opportunity for faculty members to integrate classroom teaching with research practice, and provides faculty members with substantive help in the research setting.
While, certainly, mentoring undergraduate researchers is a commitment of time and effort on the part of faculty members, the benefit to the student, faculty member, department, and discipline is substantial. How better to move your discipline forward than by initiating the newest generation of scholars and researchers into academic work?
According to faculty members, mentoring students provides faculty with the following benefits:
- “Great mentorship experience, and the students can produce viable results in a surprisingly short amount of time”
- “Provides students with necessary exposure to real experiments”
- “Positive way to spend time with motivated undergraduates”
- “Because of the substantive help a good student can bring to research efforts”
- “It is a good experience for every faculty member who has ongoing research. It is nice to integrate classroom teaching with research practice.”
- “Very beneficial for a busy faculty member having trouble making progress on research.”
For those faculty members who have worked with STAR Scholars, these particular students:
- “are diligent and exercise independent judgment”
- “accomplish a lot, work independently, and generate interesting results that could become a full-fledged research project of their own”
- “are bright, enthusiastic, and willing to learn. You cannot ask for more.”
- “are willing to take the initiative”
- “are quick learners and good self-starters”
- “are enthusiastic and dedicated”
- “are hard workers”
- “are very motivated and made significant contributions to the research project”
Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research staff with any suggestions or information on how we can better support faculty in the process of mentoring undergraduate researchers.
Discover for Faculty
Why Post on Discover?
The Discover portal is an online database of open research positions that is searchable by all undergraduate students. Faculty members looking for any type of research assistance (i.e., volunteer, paid P/T, paid F/T, work/study) can post these positions on Discover to reach a wider applicant pool. Discover enables faculty to review students’ applications to choose the best student for each position posted. Discover also has features such as a pre- and post-experience survey, which enables faculty members to assess the impact of the research on their students, as well as an evaluation survey for faculty members to assess the work done by the students.
How to Post on Discover?
- Once you have logged into the Discover website, navigate to the opportunity posting page by the shortcut, “Create an Opportunity,” or by clicking on the Research Projects/Creative Works tab and selecting “Add New” under “opportunity postings.”
- Either option will bring up a form with details about the research project, the student’s role, and the eligibility criteria for a research assistant. Please note: The form will reveal more fields as certain questions are answered; for instance, select “Currently accepting applications,” and it will reveal an entirely new section on the form (“Opportunity Information”), which will ask for details about required eligibility criteria for a research assistant.
To allow students to apply for the position, “Currently accepting applications” must be selected.
When filling out information about the research position, there are certain fields where you can indicate how you want to receive information from applicants – your choices are either via email or “accumulate online,” which would require you to sign into Discover to view the applications. This information would be accumulated under “Research Projects/Creative Works”/ “Student Applications.”
After posting a position, you will be notified as students submit applications. Review their applications, and – after selecting a student for the position – offer the position through Discover (there will be a button that allows you to offer the position on the page where the applicants are listed). The student will then go in and accept the offered position, and the process of posting on Discover will be complete.
For more detailed information on how to navigate the Discover website, please see the Faculty Manual [PDF] or email email@example.com.
The OUR supports undergraduate students who are selected to present their research at discipline-specific conferences, as well as at undergraduate research conferences. After being selected to present at a conference, undergraduate students can submit the Undergraduate Research/Travel Grant Application [PDF] for partial travel funds. The OUR provides up to $250 for domestic conferences and up to $500 for international conferences.
For information on undergraduate research conferences that may be appropriate for your students, please visit Research Opportunities > Presenting Research.