FAQs for All McNair Mentors

FAQs for Prospective Mentors

How do I become a faculty mentor?

Faculty mentors are chosen by our Scholars based on their research interests. This typically occurs during the fall of their first year in the program. We encourage our Scholars to research faculty, communicate, and confirm willingness to mentor on their own, similar to the major professor establishment process in graduate school. 

What are the requirements of a faculty mentor in McNair?

Faculty are required to provide an enriching research experience for the Scholar, which can include (but is not limited to): an independent project or portion of already existing research, mentorship in the research and graduate application processes, and assistance with development of research presentations and graduate application materials.

What is the role of a faculty mentor in McNair?

The role of a McNair faculty mentor is to expose the Scholar to research, while assisting and mentoring their development of personal, and professional skills that will prepare the Scholar for the transition to graduate study. 

How is mentoring a McNair Scholar different than working with an undergraduate researcher?

McNair Scholars are expected to develop as budding graduate students during their time in the program, leading to the attainment of a Ph.d. The McNair Program expects they are able to experience developmental mentoring that ensures growth in their confidence, credibility, and competence as researchers and future graduate students. 

How long are faculty mentors expected to mentor Scholars?

Mentors are expected to stay with the Scholar for the duration of their time in the program (typically two years). Depending on the research, the relationship may not always include active research work. As the Scholar progresses through the program, their needs will change depending on their graduation timeline. 


FAQs for Current Faculty Mentors

What deliverables am I expected to help my Scholar produce?

Faculty mentors are expected to assist their Scholar with: preparing a poster to present each year they are in the program, preparing an oral presentation their second year in the program, finalizing graduate application items as they begin applying for graduate programs. 

Is there financial assistance for compensation for mentoring a Scholar?

The McNair Program does not provide financial assistance to mentors to provide compensation for Scholar’s work. 

My Scholar completed their project in the first year. Can I move them to a new project?

We encourage our Scholars to get as much research and diverse experiences as possible, so that they can continue to gain valuable skills in preparation for their graduate study. 

Are funds available for my Scholar to attend a professional conference?

The McNair Program is able to provide professional development funds for Scholars. This funding is provided on a case-by-case basis, pending funding availability. Scholars can request funding here.(link to the google form?)

What research related campus events/activities are McNair Scholars required to participate in? 

McNair Scholars are required to participate in all McNair Program research activities. In the second year of the program, Scholars are expected to orally present at the campus-wide Undergraduate Research Symposium and Creative Expression.


FAQS for Graduate Student Mentors

How do I become a Graduate Student Mentor?

Each year, Graduate Student Mentors are chosen by Scholars or are asked by the program to volunteer to be matched with a Scholar. If you are interested in becoming a Graduate Student Mentor, please complete the interest survey (link to the Qualtrics).

What are the expectations of a Graduate Student Mentor?

Graduate Student Mentors are required to meet with the McNair Scholar a minimum of one time per month. During their mentorship, they are expected to support and assist McNair Scholars, as they prepare to navigate graduate school culture. 

How much time and effort will being a mentor require?

Graduate mentors are required to meet with their Scholar one time per month. The amount of time spent with the mentee will be determined by the type of relationship that is developed.

What are sample activities or things I could do with my Scholar?

Activities that Graduate Mentors and Scholar mentees engage in are wide-ranging. From having a discussion to allowing the mentee to attending a course the Mentor is teaching, many opportunities can come from interests of the Scholar or things that the Mentor believes are important to understand before becoming a graduate student. 

Does my Scholar have to be in the same major as me?

No. Graduate Student Mentors and Scholar mentees can come from different backgrounds. It is most important that they are exposed to life as a graduate student, no matter what field.