Thank you for becoming a mentor to a Georgia Tech undergraduate student researcher. Here we offer some quick tips and more in-depth articles on becoming an effective mentor. What does UROP consider the key items to ensure a successful undergraduate research experience for you and your student?
- TIME– Spend time with students and meet regularly to explain what you need and expect from them, to give feedback, and show them how you work.
- CLEAR EXPECTATIONS– Give students a clear understanding of what you need, when you need it, and how it needs to be done.
- INDEPENDENCE– Encourage students to think independently and creatively about how to solve the problem that you have given them. Encourage the students to figure out how to do something by themselves rather than telling them how to do it, but also letting them know that they can come to you if they are having problems.
- ENCOURAGEMENT– Students need positive feedback, especially when they are feeling confused or discouraged about the work. Be patient, understanding and reassuring.
- INSTRUCTION – Use the time you spend with the students to teach them not just about the specific tasks they have been asked to do, but also about everything else that contributes to success in research, a career, and life. Explain the broader context of research projects: how they were planned and funded, how the results will be analyzed, written about, used. Show them how to write clearly and effectively. Show them how research is not always glamorous or exciting and how the rewards of discovery are built on hard work and attention to detail.
The UROP office has compiled an extensive list of resources, but we also have compiled a shorter list of key resources to review when first beginning your adventure as a mentor. UROP also has a library of books, journals, articles, and other similar resources that are used by Research Option students and that mentors might find helpful. Please contact the UROP office about availability of these resources and how to check them out. For a current list and description of these resources, please download the "UROP Library Resources" document.
In addition, provided below we also have resource lists that we have found to be helpful when encountering specific issues when interacting with your undergraduate students. Please let us know if you have found any additional texts, articles, books, etc helpful that we have not included in our lists. We are always on the look-out for new recommendations.