The University recognizes that learning to supervise the work of others is an important component of graduate professional development. Accordingly, the OUR developed a mentoring program for graduate students, which involves annual workshops held during GTA orientation each Fall, contributions to workshops on mentoring organized by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and collaborations with “TIBBS” (Training Initiative in Biomedical and Biological Sciences).

If you wish to read more about Getting Started,  Learning to Communicate, Setting Goals and Expectations, Identifying Challenges and Issues, Resolving Challenges and Issues, Evaluating Your Progress as a Mentor, The Elements of Good Mentoring  and/or Developing a Mentoring Philosophy, please review the handbook Entering Mentoring, published by HHMI.

Graduate Student Mentor Award (GSMA)

The Graduate Student Mentor Award (GSMA) was established to recognize and encourage mentoring of undergraduates by graduate students. This award is open to enrolled graduate students in all areas of study. The Office for Undergraduate Research values the support, motivation and perspective that graduate students bring to the undergraduate’s understanding of the researcher experience and the offerings of the university.

Award Criteria:

1a. Create a research opportunity for an undergraduate, and post the opportunity in the Database of Research Opportunities.

1b. If you have already identified the undergraduate mentee, you may choose to post a general description of the kind of research that is ongoing in your area and provide your contact information for undergraduates who want to learn more about how they might become involved. (Note that you are not responsible for “matching” any student with a particular opportunity. You are just indicating your willingness to talk about current work in your area with Carolina undergraduates who contact you because they are interested in this area.)

1c. Graduate students who served as mentors for Science and Math Achievement Resourcefulness Track (SMART) or an HHMI Learning Communities program (HHMI Future Scientists and Clinicians or HHMI Future Teachers) are eligible. They must, however, email a separate reflective statement to Monica Richard (mrichard@email.unc.edu).

2. Mentor at least one undergraduate research project for 2 semesters or 1 summer. Or mentor 2 or more undergraduates in the fall or spring.

3. Provide a brief summary (3000 characters) of the undergraduate’s accomplishments including any presentations and/or publications that resulted from the project. This summary will be submitted on the online application.

4. Provide a brief reflective statement (3000 characters) summarizing your graduate mentoring experiences. This statement will also be submitted as part of the online application. Some areas to address in the report:

  • Describe the nature of the interaction between you and the undergraduate student. Please focus on describing the dynamics of the relationship of working with the student, rather than describing the work or research: how rather than what. Be sure to include the undergraduate student’s name.
  • What were your expectations prior to mentoring the student? Compare the experience to your prior expectations. In what ways were those expectations met? In what ways were you surprised (both pleasantly and otherwise)?
  • Add any additional thoughts or responses you believe would be valuable for future graduate mentors and the Graduate Mentoring Program in general.

Eligibility:

Any currently enrolled graduate student in good academic standing who mentors at least one undergraduate.

Application process:

The mentor must submit the on-line application.

Application deadline:

  • For mentoring in the Summer, August 15
  • For mentoring in the Fall, December 1
  • For mentoring in the Spring, April 1

Award Process:

Award recipients will be notified and invited to attend either OUR’s Fall Reception held in September or the Closing Ceremony immediately following the Celebration of Undergraduate Research held in April.

Postdoctoral Scholar Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduates

The University recognizes that postdoctoral fellows who mentor undergraduates in specific research projects help to promote a vibrant, multifaceted research community at Carolina. Another important role that postdoctoral fellows can play is to provide advice to students who are seeking research experiences, and serve as liaisons to help students identify research opportunities, particularly in professional schools that have no dedicated undergraduate programs. To provide formal recognition of these valuable activities, we invite postdoctoral fellows to apply for a “Postdoctoral Scholar Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduates.” Recipients will receive a letter acknowledging their accomplishments in mentoring from the Provost, and will be recognized at the annual Postdoctoral Scholar Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs.

Award criteria:

1a. Create a research opportunity for an undergraduate, and post the opportunity in the Database of Research Opportunities.

1b. Alternatively (especially if you have already identified the undergraduate mentee), you may choose to post a general description of the kind of research that is ongoing in your area and provide your contact information for undergraduates who want to learn more about how they might become involved. (Note that you are not responsible for “matching” any student with a particular opportunity. You are just indicating your willingness to talk about current work in your area with Carolina undergraduates who contact you because they are interested in this area).

1c. Postdocs who served as mentors for an HHMI Learning Communities program (HHMI Future Scientists and Clinicians or HHMI Future Teachers) are also eligible.

2. Mentor an undergraduate research project for 2 semesters or 1 summer.

3. Provide a brief summary (3000 characters) of the undergraduate accomplishments including any presentations and/or publications that resulted from the project.

4. Provide a brief reflective statement (3000 characters) about your goals as a mentor prior to beginning the project, and what you learned from the experience, including the extent to which your expectations were met.

Application deadline:

Candidates for this award must complete the on-line application by September 30.

Award process:

Award recipients will be notified and invited to attend the Postdoctoral Scholar Awards ceremony in November.

 

 

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