What to Expect from a Faculty Research Mentor

Students should expect a clear statement of the mentor’s expectations for them. This can include expectations for time spent on research, meetings with the mentor, intermediate and final deadlines for the submission of work, and any other scheduling issues of importance. And students should understand clearly how the mentors are going to provide feedback to them.

Students should expect that their mentors will assign work that is challenging for the students but also reflective of their level of preparation. For example, a student who is newly involved in research may be asked to do bibliographic work or data entry. An advanced undergraduate researcher can be a partner in the formulation of interpretations and conclusions. Whatever the specific assignments, students and mentors understand that research is part of the student’s learning.

Students should expect that their mentors will help them to see the “big picture” of which their work is a part.

Students should expect their mentors to make available any specific training necessary for the students to do what is expected of them. For example, this may involve instructions on how to safely use pieces of equipment.