Finding a Mentor

Mentorship is at the core of success as a college student; not surprisingly, high-quality mentorship is also at the core of successful undergraduate research! Through faculty mentorship, you are learning from an expert in your field and developing a professional relationship that will have long lasting benefits.

What is a faculty research mentor? 

The role of the faculty mentor is to provide the student with guidance and support, and to act as a role model, to facilitate the development of the student's skills and ethical behavior. Faculty research mentors support you by:

  • Assisting in the development of a project that supports your goals, challenges your skill development, and is feasible in a given timeframe. 
  • Supports your skill development to ensure you are adequately trained in the proper methodology and techniques of the research process and be sure they understand the importance of ethical behavior. 
  • Meets regularly with you to ensure progress, discuss the experience, and troubleshoot challenges.
  • Provide you with opportunities to connect other faculty, scholars, and students in the discipline.
  • Encourage you to present your research, helping you develop a professional presentation and secure dissemination opportunities. 

How Do I Find a Faculty Research Mentor?

Developing key relationships with faculty that could lead to opportunities like research is so important, but also can be intimidating!  Consider exploring the following steps to identify key connections you have on campus that might lead to a mentorship opportunity:

  • Talk to faculty with whom you have taken a class.
  • Talk to other students who have been engaged in research to learn about their experiences.
  • Check out the Open Opportunities website to faculty who currently are seeking student researchers. 
  • Meet with Undergraduate Research for support and guidance for making connections with faculty. 
  • Read faculty bios on departmental websites to learn about them and their research interests. 
  • Review our lists of past faculty recipients for our grants in Undergraduate Research.