What is a mentor?
“The best mentors are advisors, coaches, counselors, and supporters all at the same time. They guide your research, but also challenge you to develop your independence. A good mentor will help you define your goals and then support you in your quest to achieve them.” – Keren Witkin, Office of Training & Education, NIH
How do I find a mentor?
Once you have identified your research interests (see Getting Started), talk to your professors with similar interests. You can click on the Faculty Interests button below to find a list of faculty and their research interests. Identify at least three mentors you would be interested in contacting because some may not be taking new students at the moment. Please note that this list is not comprehensive and is periodically updated.
If you don’t find a mentor with similar interests, or the mentors you identified are not taking on new student researchers, don’t get discouraged! Remain flexible and keep contacting potential mentors. You can also make an appointment with the Undergraduate Research & Creative Scholarship Program to help navigate this process.
Finding Research Opportunities Off Campus
Seek out researchers from other institutions
If you have a particular area of interest, use the internet to seek our local researchers working in the field. Approach them and ask them to tell you more about their work. Offer to work with them for internship credit. (Most researchers will not take volunteers; however, if you are doing an internship for academic credit, they may be more likely to consider letting you work with them.)
Join professional organizations in your area of interest
These organizations often have resources and announcements related to work being done in the field. They may also have journals with articles on recent research.