Mentor Responsibilities

We consider mentors to be one of the most important aspects of the McNair Scholars Program. In order to make the program a successful and intellectually stimulating experience for both scholars and faculty, the McNair Scholars staff has some recommendations.

We request mentors provide the following when working with McNair Scholars:

  1. Be directive. Work closely with the scholar:
    • Meet early and frequently in second semester to select a topic & formulate a research project
    • Guide the literature review
    • Determine and guide the research methodology process with the student
    • Complete the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process with the student if appropriate
    • Discuss the scholar's responsibility and time commitment involved in data gathering and analysis. Determine how data will be analyzed (if will use SPSS, etc.)
    • Assist the scholar to establish realistic goals for the project, enabling students to meet the deadlines and to work within the timeframe allowed for the research project.
  2. Read, edit and provide input into:

    Mentors must sign off on each of these to verify they have seen and approved of each one. The mentor's name will be cited along with the student's on the paper, at the poster session and in the McNair Scholars Journal.  Please see our online calendar for due dates.

    • The scholar's research proposal
    • Annotated bibliography
    • Research paper drafts
      • First draft
      • Second draft
      • Third draft
      • Final paper

  3. Attend the Poster Session in the fall. Students greatly appreciate the support and encouragement they receive from their mentors.
  4. Encourage and guide students toward publishing their research in professional journals in their field of study if appropriate. The added entry to their bibliography is a plus in the graduate application process.
  5. Provide students with information on professional organizations they can join within their field.
  6. Be available to the scholar for advice and consultation on academic, research and fields of graduate study. Discuss with students possible graduate schools for their interest area and encourage them to pursue graduate studies.
  7. Demonstrate sincere interest in the intellectual development of the scholar.
  8. Keep track of students' work by completing the Time and Effort worksheet monthly during spring semester and the summer. Please also complete a student and program evaluation at the end of the summer research period.
  9. Make arrangements to keep in contact with students or have a colleague act as a proxy mentor to the student researcher if you will be unavailable for more than one week during the summer.
  10. Report to the McNair Director any needs/concerns regarding either the student or the research process. Please do not hesitate to contact the McNair Director or Academic Coordinator if questions or concerns arise with your scholar(s). The McNair program office is located in Old Main 340, and the phone number is x8043.