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Mentor Resources


Definition of Effective Undergraduate Student Research Mentoring

Based on some of the literature on mentoring and personal experience, the Scholarly Activity Mentoring Study Group (SAMS), a faculty Community of Practice, put together a Definition of Effective Undergraduate Student Research Mentoring.  The definition document describes mentor attributes and activities that enhance the student learning experience.  Click on the links below to see commentary from colleagues across campus on various stages of the process.

  • Mentor has the disciplinary expertise required to mentor the project
  • Mentor designs a project appropriate to the student and the subject matter
  • Mentor leads the student through stages of the research project and personal development
  • Recruitment
  • Initiation
  • Cultivation
  • Transformation
  • Closure
  • Mentor maintains a supportive collaborative environment throughout

Survey of Faculty

Based on this definition, a survey was created by a student-faculty research team to query faculty about their priorities and challenges as they relate to mentoring students in their scholarly projects.  An interesting finding was that project design and student recruitment are considered the most challenging components of a mentor's role, and that mentors provide the most consideration to project design and to the initial stages of the project. Preliminary results were reported in an oral session at the Mindful Teaching conference (UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development, April 2014) and in a poster at the UW-Eau Claire Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, April 30-May 1, 2014.

Excellence in Research Mentoring Awards

The Community of Practice also developed a process for selecting an early-career Emerging Mentor and a more experienced Career Mentor each year for an award. Criteria for these awards are based on the Definition of Effective Undergraduate Research Mentoring and input from focus groups of student researchers.  Learn more about these awards here.

Rubrics for Evaluating Student Research Outcomes

Some departments on campus, as well as some other campuses, use rubrics to evaluate student research products.

  • UW-Eau Claire Biology Department
  • (more will be added)

Other Mentor Resources

(to be added in future)