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Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program  

The Office of Undergraduate Research in collaboration with Office of Research and the Graduate School offer the Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program (URMP) that provides funding and support for graduate students to mentor undergraduates in research and creative endeavors.

Current Program Application Timeline

Applications will be accepted for the Academic Year Mentorship Program from undergraduate students and graduate student mentors from any college. 

  • Undergraduate Student applications and Graduate Mentor Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis in Fall Semester.
  •  Final deadline is November 1 to participate in the program through the end of the AY 23-24.

AY 23-24 Undergraduate Application

AY23-24 Graduate Student Application to be Mentor

Fall 2023 Academic Year Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program

  • Graduate Student Mentors will be paired with undergraduates from similar disciplines or with similar research or creative endeavor interests. Undergraduate student mentees will have the opportunity to develop their own research project or creative endeavor mentored by the Graduate student, or to join a research project that is being conducted by a Graduate student. Graduate students can also provide information to their mentees about graduate school, how to apply to graduate schools, what it means to be a graduate student scholar. 
  • Applications will be accepted with a priority deadline of November 1, 2023. 
  • Mentor pairings will be announced by the end of Fall semester.
  • An orientation will be held at a date TBD during the last two weeks of the semester.
  • Mentors applicants and mentee applicants will designate in the application what type of roles and opportunities they are seeking, and matches will be made accordingly. 
  • Each pair will develop a project proposal with a timeline for activities and plans for what research or creative work will be accomplished.
  • A final report will be due the last day of Spring Semester.
  • Mentees will be expected to present during the Student Showcase for Artists and Scholars in April.

See below for a link to the Undergraduate Application.


  1. Increase access for UNC undergraduate students to engage in meaningful research and creative endeavors. High-impact practices such as undergraduate research and mentoring are known to increase persistence to graduation and admission to graduate programs. 
  2. Increase opportunities for UNC graduate students to develop key skills necessary for future growth in their academic pursuits, specifically mentoring and research. 
  3. Increase the capacity at UNC for faculty to pursue research and creative endeavors by expanding their connection to developing student researchers through funded opportunities. 
  4. Magnify the visibility and impact of UNC’s research pursuits and strengthen recruitment avenues at UNC for both graduate and undergraduate students.  

Structure and Key Requirements 

  • Centered on graduate student research or Undergraduate student ongoing projects
    • Graduate students apply to become research mentors in one of two categories:
      • 1) Graduate Directed Projects - Mentor students who will assist with graduate student directed research/creative projects
      • 2) Undergraduate Independent Projects - Mentor undergraduates who are working on their own research or creative projects. 
    • Undergraduate students apply to either join a graduate-student directed project or to be matched with a graduate student who will mentor the undergraduate student's own research or creative project. (The application will include the types of Graduate projects available).
    • Faculty members may serve as supervisors of the graduate student, mentors to the undergraduate student project, or in other support roles for the projects
  • Project periods

    • Academic Year: October 1 - May 10
    • Spring: January 15- June 30
    • Summer: May 15- August 15
  • Hours
    • Hours may vary depending on the project:
      • Recommend a minimum of 6 hours per month for Academic Year mentoring and 12 hours per month for summer program.
      • Recommended that mentor groups meet at least weekly, with exception for pre-planned vacation times.
    • Funding is available for the program, paid as grants. 
      • $250 per graduate mentor.
      • $100 per undergradute mentee - for completed projects, paid at the end of the project period.
      • Undergraduate students may ALSO apply for OUR Supplies grants to suppor the project.

Project Work Plan and Deliverables 

  • Work plan/research proposal
    • Final work plan/research proposal is two weeks after the intial mentor match pairing orientation meeting to include: 
      • Work schedule/number of hours per week
      • Activities outlined for undergraduate students
      • Level and nature of mentor supervision 
      • Specific outcomes and products 
    • Deviations from the original work plan must be approved by OUR and faculty supervisor. 
  • Regular meetings
    • Minimum weekly contacts between mentor (graduate student) and undergraduate student (may be face to face, or over zoom or similar depending on project needs).  
    • Minimum of monthly meetings between mentor and Program coordinators.
  • Deliverables 
    • Research teams must commit to deliverables at the end of the program period, which may include any/all of the following: 
      • Final report (required for all). 
      • Presentation or alternate sharing of the work (required for all - and may be in a subsequent semester) - Preferred presentation venue is Student Showcase for Artists and Scholars in April.
    • Submission for publication. (Optional)
  • Program evaluation 
    • Research teams must complete program evaluation at the end of semester.
    • Mentors and mentees should attend end of program wrap up event, if applicable. 

Professional Development and Trainings 

  • Mandatory meeting
    • Mandatory orientation meeting for all participants at the beginning of the the program period.
  • Mentor training
    • Mentors participate in training sessions as needed and relevant during the grant period begins. Topics vary, and may be optional for academic year program. 
      • Example topics: Elements of Effective Mentoring/Developing a Mentoring Philosophy; Establishing Expectations and Maintaining Effective Communication; Assessing Understanding and Fostering Independence; Fostering Academic Literacy's; Research and Mentoring Ethics; Professional Development 
  • Required certifications 
    • Undergraduate and Graduate students must obtain and maintain certifications as needed for research with humans (IRB), animals, HIPPA, CITI, etc. 
    • Complete all required mentor and mentee training through Office of Research and Sponosred Programs.
    • Be familiar with and follow the institution policies regarding academic conduct 
    • Sign and comply with a participation agreement 

Funding Details

  • Financial awards
    • Financial awards for research team (dependent on final budget allocations) are available for the summer research program. 
      • Stipends depend on final number of recipients and available funding.
    • Supplemental funds for supplies may be applied for by the undergraduate students through the OUR grant program.
  • Disbursement 
    • Students must submit all required paperwork (such as I-9) to be eligible for funding by the deadlines provided.