Effective Mentoring Practices

Lincoln University’s Center for Undergraduate Research (CUR) is committed to helping foster healthy and productive mentor and student relationships across campus. Faculty mentors have a unique opportunity to enrich the student experience by sharing their knowledge and experience as their students actively engage in the research process. Students are able to explore their interests and begin to develop their niche as they prepare to move onto the next stage of their academic careers.

General Tips for Mentoring Student Researchers

  1. Utilize the ScholarBridge free platform to post research positions available for Lincoln students.
    1. ScholarBridge.com
  2. Recruit students through Lincoln’s Center for Undergraduate Research student engagement platform (coming soon).
  3. Participating in Summer Research Academy Site Visits is another great opportunity to connect with potential mentees.
  4. Create clear goals with the student, by week, month, and/or semester.
  5. Have a check-in system:
    1. Regularly scheduled meetings afford students the opportunity to report their progress, receive feedback, and seek direction.
    2. Establishing deadlines keeps students engaged and helps ensure that they progress through the various stages of their research.

According to Students, the Top 5 Best Practices are:

  1. Make yourself available:
    1. Take time to explain your research and/or academic scholarship to new undergraduate researchers. Talk to them about their future goals and how research can help them reach those goals.
  2. Foster Community:
    1. Balance positive reinforcement and (clearly communicated) negative consequences.
    2. Ideas for creating community include:
    3. Research team meetings
    4. One-on-one meetings
    5. Attending department seminars as a research group
    6. Journal clubs
    7. Social outings
  3. Be Attentive:
    1. Help the students set timelines and deadlines.
    2. Try multiple lines of communication, when appropriate.
  4. Encourage Participation in the Broader Research Community:
    1. Refer students to the CUR Peer Mentors to learn more about opportunities.
    2. Encourage the students  to apply to present at local and national conferences
    3. Notify the students about department or campus events
  5. Be Understanding:
    1. Undergraduates frequently need longer turn-around times than graduate students.
    2. Realize that undergraduate coursework has to remain their first priority.
    3. Give constructive feedback.