Some students are very forthright about seeking research opportunities. Others may be unsure of the research skills and abilities. Successful techniques that have been used by faculty members to find undergraduate researchers include: making announcements in classes that you or your colleagues teach, speaking to a student association, contacting the Advising Center, contacting CELT-RE, or posting an opportunity on the CELT-RE website.
The Role of Mentor
The primary role of the faculty mentor is to serve as the senior partner in a research collaboration with the student. For most students it will be the first research experience. It is important that the mentor offer the student intellectual responsibility for his/her own project or portion of a larger project. The mentor is a teacher, a couch and a partner.
Tips for Mentoring Students
The following suggestions are adapted from Stanford University and University of Minnesota websites:
How frequently will you meet face to face? Who, in addition to you, will directly work with the undergraduate student, for example, a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow. What blocks of time, hours of the day, or hours per week, consecutive weeks or semesters do you expect the student to work? How will the student be trained? Is the student expected to attend lab or research group meetings, and, if so, will she or he need to prepare something for them? Will the student work in the lab or research area, or is there work she or he may take home to complete? What kind of final product do you expect the student to produce?
As the project's Principal Investigator (PI), you are ultimately responsible for the health and safety of everyone in your laboratory, including employees and undergraduate researchers . It is expected that students will be supervised at all times while in the laboratory or other potentially hazardous environments. You should arrange for the appropriate safety training of students.
Web Resources on Mentoring
The University Washington has some excellent information on their website:
Non-Web Resources on Mentoring
Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-314-7698 firstname.lastname@example.org