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Just for Faculty: Mentoring

Welcome faculty! We value your support of students wanting to engage in research at APSU. These resources are just a handful of that which exists for Faculty Research Mentors. Please be sure to update your Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) membership; we are a CUR-Enhanced University.

A faculty research mentor helps his/her students to clarify goals and carry out a plan to reach those goals by sharing the insights and knowledge they have gained through their experiences. 

Recommendations for Mentors

  • Give prompt feedback.
  • Emphasize time on task.
  • Communicate high expectations
  • Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.
  • Encourage cooperation among students.
  • Encourage active learning.
  • Maintain an interest and desire to help
  • Reference your experience as a mentee
  • Devote adequate time & energy to the relationship
  • Keep current in your discipline
  • Have a positive and willing attitude toward learning

Mentors listen.

They maintain eye contact and give mentees their full attention. 

Mentors guide.

Mentors are there to help their mentees find life direction, never to push them. 

Mentors are practical.   

They give insights about keeping on task and setting goals and priorities.

Mentors educate.          

Mentors educate about life and their own careers. 

Mentors provide insight.             

Mentors use their personal experience to help their mentees avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions.

Mentors are accessible.               

Mentors are available as a resource and a sounding board. 

Mentors criticize constructively.               

When necessary, mentors point out areas that need improvement, always focusing on the mentee’s behavior, never his/her character. 

Mentors are supportive.             

No matter how painful the mentee’s experience, mentors continue to encourage them to learn and improve. 

Mentors are specific.    

Mentors give specific advice on what was done well or could be corrected, what was achieved and the benefits of various actions. 

Mentors care.  

Mentors care about their mentees’ progress in school and career planning, as well as their personal development. 

Mentors succeed.          

Mentors not only are successful themselves, but they also foster success in others. 

Mentors are admirable.               

"How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers"
By Carolyn Ash Merkel California Institute of Technology and Shenda M. Baker Harvey Mudd College
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, Helping the student to develop presentation skills, and Resources and references.
New to mentoring undergraduates? Would you like to consult with an experienced faculty mentor?  Please contact OSRI and we will connect you with a colleague from your college.
Austin Peay has Enhanced Membership which allows our full campus community to take advantage of the shared knowledge, resources, and support of the broad CUR Community. This membership allows any faculty, student, or staff member from an institution to join CUR at no additional cost to the individual. To activate your enhanced member benefits please click HERE. Your request will be reviewed within 72 hours.
The Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor award is designed to encourage, recognize, and reward the individual efforts of APSU faculty who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment as mentors of undergraduate students in research or creative activities outside their normal classroom assignments.