Research/inquiry is a great opportunity for faculty to collaborate with enthusiastic and high-quality undergraduate students, further enriching their education. This can also be a chance to spark a student’s interest in a particular area of study, providing further direction to students in search of their academic niche.
Why get involved in undergraduate research?
- Opportunity to get to know students outside of the classroom
- Reward of passing on knowledge and skill while watching students grow academically under one’s guidance
- Give students a sense of the various career paths that may be taken to get to where you are today
- Faculty can enrich their own research with properly structured projects.
What is expected of me as an undergraduate research/inquiry faculty mentor?
- Set clear and high standards for student performance
- Offer opportunities such as co-publishing and/or conference presentations when appropriate
- Give both positive feedback and constructive criticism
- Frequent, regularly scheduled communication with students, answering all questions to the best of one’s ability in a timely manner
What are the best ways to inform students of an available position on my research team?
- Students may be intimidated to meet with a faculty member out of the blue
- Posting information about current research projects outside office doors for students to peruse may be one way to make the initial interaction less nerve-wracking
- Students can become familiar with the type of research a faculty member may be interested in conducting prior to setting up a time to meet in person
- Students may also be able to formulate questions about current projects prior to meeting with the faculty member