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Develop a mentor relationship

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Develop a mentoring relationship: Prepare for the meeting, meet up, act on suggestions, and synthesize what you learn


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

  • Read
  • Analyze findings
  • Take classes
  • Meet with contacts


  • Connect research classes, service work, and student groups
  • Evaluate your experience