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Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program  

The Office of Undergraduate Research in collaboration with Office of Research and the Graduate School has created a new undergraduate research mentorship program that will provide funding and support for graduate students to mentor undergraduates in research and creative endeavors.

Current Program Application Timeline

Applications are being solicited for the Summer 2022 Mentorship Program from undergraduate researchers in the following colleges:

  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Applications from undergraduate students in these colleges will be accepted through April 26. 

Final awards and mentorship groups will be announced by April 29 for Summer 2022. 

See below for a link to the Undergraduate Application.

Purpose

  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 serve as supervisors of the graduate student and must approve the graduate student’s application. 
  • Projects
    • If the graduate mentor is applying to mentor undergraduate students to assist with a graduate student directed project, then the graduate student must provide a proposal that describes the research or creative project concept when applying to become a mentor.
      • The research or creative endeavor project may directly link to a faculty member’s work, and faculty are encouraged to apply for external grant funding that supports undergraduate research.  
      • Or the project may link to a graduate student research or creative endeavor that is not related directly to a faculty project. 
    • If the graduate student would prefer to mentor undergraduate students on the undergraduate student's own work, then no project proposal is due with the application.
    • The graduate student must designate at least one faculty member who will act as overall  supervisor and provide guidance when necessary.
    • The graduate student must upload a sample of past research or creative endeavors work.
  • Project periods

    • Academic Year 2021-2022: October 18-May 6
    • Summer 2022: June 1- August 20
  • Hours
    • Hours may vary:
      • Graduate Student Directed Project mentoring: Minimum of 100 hours of mentored experience.
      • Undergraduate Student Independent Project mentoring: Minimum of 6 hours per month for Academic Year mentoring and 12 hours per month for summer program.
    • Funding will be based on proposal, commitment of hours of mentoring, and on funding available.

Project Work Plan and Deliverables 

  • Work plan/research proposal
    • Final work plan/research proposal is due by end of second week of the program 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 meetings between mentor (graduate student) and undergraduate student.  
    • Minimum monthly meetings between mentor and faculty supervisor regarding the mentorship role. 
    • 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).
    • Submission for publication. (Optional)
  • Program evaluation 
    • Research teams must complete program evaluation at the end of semester.

Professional Development and Trainings 

  • Mandatory meeting
    • Mandatory meeting for all participants at the beginning of the summer.
  • Mentor training
    • Mentors participate in 2-3 training sessions during the grant period begins.
      • Example topics: Elements of Effective Mentoring/Developing a Mentoring Philosophy; Establishing Expectations and Maintaining Effective Communication; Assessing Understanding and Fostering Independence; Fostering Academic Literacies; Research and Mentoring Ethics; Professional Development 
  • Required certifications 
    • Undergraduate and Graduate students must obtain and maintain certifications as needed for research with humans, animals, HIPPA, CITI, etc. 
    • 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). 
      • Stipends depend on final number of recipients and available funding.
    • Supplemental funds for supplies may be applied for. Graduate students should submit a budget with line item detail for supplies funding requesting, up to a maximum of $1,000.
  • Disbursement 
    • Student awards paid through Financial Aid as scholarships.
    • Faculty awards paid as either professional development funds or as research/supplies (faculty member selects) with budget transfer. Faculty awards are paid at beginning of grant cycle. 
    • Summer awards disbursed at the end of each summer 6-week session.