Mentoring Undergraduate Student Research

Suggestions for Successful Mentoring

A. Hold regular meetings.

B. Organize the group.

  1. Include undergrads in group meetings, journal discussions, etc.
  2. Have undergrads interact with graduate students and, if possible, with post-docs.

C. Promote progress.

  1. Set expectations in advance.
  2. Define project scope to permit student to be on his/her own within about three weeks.
  3. Especially at the beginning, consider giving student a task already known to be solved to check on his/her abilities and to promote sense of accomplishment and confidence.
  4. Have students write periodic progress reports.
  5. Specify major milestones: end-of-semester paper, presentation at a professional meeting, etc.