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Mentor Guidelines

The McNair Program is first and foremost a research development program. As such, Scholars accepted into the program have been identified by faculty as having the passion and commitment to complete a research project as part of the Summer Research Experience in the program with the valuable support of your mentorship. While it is important to supportively challenge Scholars on the larger parts of their projects, we ask that Mentors also pay attention to how smaller details of projects can be potentially frustrating for Scholars as well. Clarity is crucial for success. Try to ensure that students understand how to accomplish each segment of the research project as much as possible.

Take the time to work with your Scholar to develop a research timeline. The timeline can decrease the level of stress a Scholar experiences as well as provide the necessary structure to complete a project by the deadlines set for the by the program. Remember that for many Scholars this will be their first opportunity to work on a project of this magnitude and they will most likely need extra assistance with project details.

Mentors are expected to meet with Scholars frequently during the spring semester to assist them with the development of their chosen research project. Most Mentors will establish a weekly meeting time outside of their office hours to provide Scholars with sufficient guidance. During the Summer, Mentors will continue to meet regularly with students to provide guidance focused on completion of projects. Mentors are not alone in this task. Should a Mentor find that their Scholar experiences difficulties, the Mentor should be willing to spend additional time with the student and contact the McNair Program staff for additional assistance. Realize that Scholars are expected to commit 10-20 hours weekly to their research projects during their participation in the Research experience.

Mentors also provide inspiration and guidance for navigating the graduate school selection and application process. Mentors are able to offer the Scholar insights about what to expect in graduate school, which graduate school programs are most in line with student's interests, and the process of successfully applying and interviewing. Mentors offer insights that are not available in textbooks and journals. We hope that our Mentors will follow these guidelines and work to establish a solid and productive relationship with their McNair Scholars.