Develop a mentor relationship
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A good relationship with a faculty mentor is the cornerstone of all successful undergraduate research and independent projects.
Finding a Research Mentor
- Identify faculty whose disciplinary interests align with yours.
- Prepare to meet with faculty by reading their website profiles, reading their recent publications, attending their talks, and developing a list of questions about their work.
- Set up a meeting with the faculty, either by emailing them or attending their office hours.
Working with Faculty on Long Term Projects
Set up a regular schedule of meetings with your project mentor. Always come prepared to meetings with questions and updates. In your meetings, ask for feedback and direction for next steps--then follow through with your mentor's suggestions before your next meeting.
As your project progresses, you might need to ask for a letter of recommendation from your mentor. Note that all student grant applications require at least one faculty mentor letter of support.
Develop a Mentor Relationship
Prepare for the Meeting
- Develop questions and discussion topics
- Setup a meeting schedule
Meet with your Mentor
- Ask informed questions
- Discuss your ideas
- Ask for feedback
- Get next steps
Act on Suggestions
- Analyze findings
- Take classes
- Meet with contacts
- Connect research classes, service work, and student groups
- Evaluate your experience