Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers

By Carolyn Ash Merkel California Institute of Technology and Shenda M. Baker Harvey Mudd College / 2002

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers is written for faculty members and other researchers who mentor undergraduates. It provides a concise description of the mentoring process, including the opportunities and rewards that a mentoring experience provides to both students and mentors. Expectations of mentors are contrasted with those of students. While written primarily with summer research experiences in mind, the booklet contrasts those intensive experiences with day-to-day mentoring of undergraduate research during the academic year including senior theses. Advice is valid for both on- and off-campus research experiences and most academic disciplines. Practical information includes:

  • How to get started
  • Mentoring tips
  • Coaching and Training
  • Helping the student to develop presentation skills
  • Letters of recommendation for students
  • Resources and references
Special challenges are also reviewed, including:
  • How to handle group dynamics
  • What if the project fails?
  • How much should a mentor demand of a student?
  • How to deal with varying levels of student knowledge and abilities

"This is a well-written, informative booklet that is ideal for its intended audience. I believe it will be very valuable for mentors because it gives informative, flexible guidelines rather than rigid rules that may not be appropriate for all cases." ---Reviewer

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers may be ordered for $12.00 plus handling and postage ($4.00). It may be ordered by mail, fax, or on the CUR website.

[http://www.cur.org/publications/howtoseries.html]

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