Quality mentorship is foundational to a successful undergraduate research experience.
The Office of Undergraduate Research staff are here to support faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and other researchers who are looking to take their mentoring skills to the next level. Our staff can also provide consultation for researchers looking to incorporate undergraduate research experiences into grant proposals and departmental initiatives.
We encourage those who are looking to grow as mentors to take advantage of the resources and tools we have curated below.
Join the Council on Undergraduate Research for Free!
We have recently secured an enhanced membership with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), which allows you to opt-in free of charge to take advantage of the shared knowledge, grant-writing resources, workshops, books, and support of the broader CUR Community.
With our new enhanced membership, anyone connected to the University of Washington (all campuses and including graduate students) are eligible to receive membership benefits through CUR. You can click the link below and fill out a short form to request to become a member under University of Washington. Once the request is received, each person will receive an emailed response within 24-48 hours informing them their membership is active.
After your enhanced membership benefits have been activated, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Collaborate with nearly 14,000 members to discuss issues, ideas, and share resources on undergraduate research
- Gain access to a Member Resource Library of over 100 resources, tips and tricks for virtual learning and teaching, and other valuable content to strengthen your undergraduate research programs
- A subscription to our scholarly journal, Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research
- Exclusive member-only programs such as CUR Conversations on evolving hot topics
- Discounts for event registration and publication purchases
- and more!
Review Ten Salient Practices of Undergraduate Research Mentors
Shanahan and colleagues (2015) reviewed over 100 articles on undergraduate research mentoring and distilled this vast body of literature down to ten salient practices. Check out table 1 for a quick list of these salient practices, which can be applied broadly across disciplines, students, institutions, and mentoring approaches.
Consider Practices for Equitable and Inclusive Mentoring
Are you looking for a holistic primer on how to mentor undergraduate researchers in ways that are equitable and inclusive? This open access mentoring guide can be used in several ways. Read it from start to finish for a complete guide on inclusive mentoring or read it asynchronously when you want to consider equitable practices at specific points in your mentoring relationships (e.g. when selecting a new mentee).
This guide also offers a set of broader impacts ideas that are likely to expand participation and community impact in STEM.
Create a Mentoring Agreement
A key feature of effective mentoring is establishing clear expectations early on. A mentoring agreement can serve as a great way to outline what you expect of undergraduate researchers and what they can expect from you. We provide an example here and welcome you to download it and make it your own!
Promote Student Belonging with Conversation Starters
Most research mentors want students to feel like all of their identities are welcomed and supported. However, some aren’t sure where to begin when initiating conversations about identity.
These conversation starters were created to allow discussion about identity to flow naturally. When students’ answers to these questions are met with curiosity, enthusiasm, and empathy, students may feel more willing to share details about themselves and their identities, which will then allow mentors to show students that all of their identities are welcome in the research space.
Build your “Impact Identity”
Risien and Storksdieck (2018) offer “a thoughtful process for scientists to develop their ‘impact identity’, a concept that integrates scholarship in a scientific discipline with societal needs, personal preferences, capacities and skills, and one’s institutional context. Approaching broader impacts from a place of integrated identity can support cascading impacts that develop over the course of a career.”
- Read blog posts by Dr. Buffie Longmire-Avital that address diversity, inclusion, and equity in high-impact practices, with a focus on undergraduate research.
- Read “Collectors, Nightlights, and Allies, Oh My: White Mentors in the Academy,” an article by Dr. Marisela Martinez-Cola that captures the experiences of students of color and their perceptions of their white mentors.
- Read “Ten simple rules for building an antiracist lab” by Drs. Bala Chaudhary and Asefaw Berhe.
- View “The Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM” by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.