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What is a CURO Research Mentor?

Given the number of academic departments, diversity of research fields and the level at which each individual student begins research, there is no one method of effective mentoring.

Ultimately each faculty member must decide how best to mentor each undergraduate researcher, taking into consideration the individual’s goals and level of experience, in the classroom and with basic research principles and method.

And while CURO encourages and supports each faculty finding his or her mentoring “style,” CURO research is expected to be sustained, progressive and faculty mentored.

To that end, we offer the following five broad principles, in an effort to provide a basic foundation for crafting a more personal mentoring philosophy. Working from the definitions proposed by various national academies and publications, CURO defines mentoring as a relationship between undergraduate and faculty member emphasizing:

  1. the learning relationship is personal and professional and offers insight in to disciplinary research;
  2. the relationship develops over time, especially as the mentee grows in knowledge and experience;
  3. awareness of the individual mentee in determining how best to help, advise and encourage;
  4. sharing experience and wisdom as well as technical expertise.
  5. knowing, accepting and respecting the goals and interests of each mentee.

mentoring resources

UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning

The Center for Teach and Learning (CTL) provides a wealth of excellent mentoring resources, including websites, selected texts and references, and undergraduate mentoring programs across at UGA:

http://www.ctl.uga.edu/professional-opportunities-and-resources

Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)

“The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and its affiliated colleges, universities, and individuals share a focus on providing undergraduate research opportunities for faculty and students at all institutions serving undergraduate students. CUR believes that faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research.”

http://www.cur.org/

National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

“The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), established in 1987, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, this gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum.”

http://www.ncur.org/

Advice for New Mentors (adapted from Adviser, Teacher, Role Model Friend, National Academy Press, 1997)

1. Remember that a mentor, broadly, is someone that helps another develop into a successful professional.

2. Listen patiently to mentees and give them an opportunity to speak.

3. Build a professional and personal relationship.

4. Nurture self-sufficiency by encouraging confidence and critical, independent thinking.

5. Establish and maintain "protected time" with mentee.

6. Provide introductions to those in the lab, field, discipline, and profession.

6. Share pertinent professional and personal experiences.