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FAQ for Mentors

What are the goals of the Blugold Fellowship?

-To recruit and retain high achieving students to UW-Eau Claire
-To provide an early introduction to student / faculty research collaboration opportunities arrow

How do students choose their projects?

Students look through abstract books, web pages and lists of projects submitted to ORSP. In addition they look at departmental web pages and talk to former Blugold Fellows. Once they select an area of interest they talk to various people in the departments. arrow

If I agree to talk to a student do I have to be a mentor?

No. Many times the freshmen need to talk to a few people in order to understand their interests. My hope would that you could be a valuable resource in helping them find a good project match. Please note that some of them are still trying to understand where their interests lie, so even if it seems like they want to work with you it may change. (I have tried to couch them to be professional, but they are still getting their legs at the university). arrow

What is the time commitment for the Blugold Fellowship?

Blugold Fellows work an average of 5 hours a week on their research projects for a total of 75 hours per semester. The project schedule is determined by the Blugold Fellow and you, their mentor. The students are paid bi-weekly for this work by the fellowship. arrow

What additional benefits do the students get?

For both their freshmen and sophomore years they are awarded $1500 in scholarship money, and their work stipend, $1200. arrow

Do they have to work 5 hours every week?

No. The basic guideline is that a student works about 150 hours over the course of a year. This allows you and the student to work around both of your schedules, including tests and absences, and allows you to do work over breaks and summer. It is whatever works best for the two of you. arrow

Is there any other benefit?

There is a small amount of supplies money that is usually available. Typically it has been $100 that is transferred into the differential tuition account of your department. Generally this is done over winter break. Larger amounts for travel and supplies are handled through ORSP.  arrow

Do mentors get paid?

At this time there are no funds to pay faculty. In many departments working with students on research during the semester is expected; in this case the student is fully funded for two years. arrow

Does the project have to last two years?

The expectation is that the student works for a couple of years in the same field so that they can delve deeper into their research area. A few projects end after a year and new ones are started with the same mentor. Often times these second year projects are driven by student ideas. arrow

I have smaller projects, but not one that lasts two years. Is that all right?

Hopefully you have enough work to have the student work for a couple of years, as the ability to have continuity with mentors is preferred.  arrow

Can students work on more than one project at a time for the Blugold Fellowship?

Yes, but it is the hope that the mentors of both projects know about the other project. Sometimes this will work, as not all projects can fill the total time requirement. This type of arrangement should be discssed with me in order to avoid misunderstandings between all of the interested parties.  arrow

Can students get paid for the research they do with me?

They ARE paid to do research. It is not acceptable to get an additional grant to pay the students unless the hours they work are in addition to the 4-5 hours per week. Examples of acceptable additional funding are when the work is done in winterim, when the student works over the summer, or when they are doing MORE than the 75 hours per semester.  arrow

Can students come up with their own projects?

This is totally up to the mentor and the student. Some projects have come from students with an interest in an area, and they are looking for someone to bounce ideas off of and as a resource. Many times these projects have some connection with a faculty members interests.  arrow

I don't do research with students because my area is rather unattainable. Can I still be a mentor?

See the previous question. Also note that sometimes you don't have to be an expert in an area to be a mentor. In addition you can sometimes come up with interesting concepts that are more than a term paper, but might not be considered research in your field. These are completely fine. Sometimes it takes stepping away from what is considered "real" research and looking at projects that teach a method of research. I don't know how ground breaking reading ancient Greek texts and summarizing them can be, but I have a fellow doing just that.  arrow

Does the mentor have to file reports?

No. The expectation is that the students will file reports every two weeks with the Blugold Fellowship director. Copies of these reports are automatically emailed to the mentor. Only if you dispute the report do you need to contact the director.  arrow

What output is expected from this project?

The expectation is that the research will result in a finished or presentable project at the end of the second year. The default for this is presenting a poster at Student Research Day. Other methods have included presentations at state or national meetings, papers, and involvement in community projects.  arrow

What if the student is not ready to present during their second year?

The hope is that there is some way to have a presentation come out of the project. If it is better to bypass reasearch day then the hope is that there is an opportunity to present at a later date. This could include a meeting after their time in the program has ended, or finishing up a poster at the end of their two years (ie in May) but waiting until the next year to present the work. If you are ever in doubt call me (Matt 36-5519)  arrow

Can they work more than 2 years?

The funding for the Blugold Fellowship runs out after 2 years. Students can continue through ORSP sponsored research. arrow

What happens if the students goes abroad?

The student will not be in the program that semester, but will have an additional semester of support their junior year. In this case the poster would be pushed back until the end of their junior year.  arrow

Who has been a Blugold Fellow mentor?

Check out the current and past fellows and their mentors.

There is also a FAQ for incoming students and a FAQ for current students.

If you have further questions contact:

Matt Evans
Blugold Fellowship Director
233 Phillips Hall  arrow