The Role of the Mentor

Van Pelt

Professor Rick Cote and
Ben Van Pelt, Biochemistry

If you are willing to undertake the responsibilities of a mentor, please announce in your classes that you are available to mentor undergraduate researchers in your field, consult the Hamel Center website for specific requirements of the grant program in which you will be mentor, and ask the Hamel Center staff about any questions or concerns.

Responsibilities >
Acknowledgment >

Faculty Mentor Responsibilities

As a faculty mentor, you are responsible for helping your student with the following:

  • preparing an effective grant proposal;
  • preparing to conduct the research;
  • conducting the research; and
  • evaluating the research and the research process.

You should guide the student’s writing of the proposal and review the proposal before it is submitted, particularly the budget section. You will also write a detailed letter of recommendation for your student, affirming the student’s capability and preparation plan as well as your willingness to mentor the student through the end of the research project.

Depending on the grant program, you may also need to help the student connect with a research partner or opportunity abroad, and assist with the student’s cultural preparation and on-site accommodations, in conjunction with the foreign mentor. See descriptions of various Hamel Center grants for specific details.

Acknowledging Faculty Mentors

Many faculty members new to mentoring have questions about how their participation as a mentor will be acknowledged by their department. Does mentoring “count” as research? Teaching? Service? Will the Hamel Center contribute to being tenured and/or promoted?

Acknowledgement of and rewards for mentoring vary among departments and colleges; faculty should consult with their department chairs to learn promotion and tenure expectations. The Hamel Center considers mentoring to be teaching (and in some cases, research) rather than service. The Hamel Center Director and the International Research Coordinator are pleased to write letters solicited for promotion and tenure to detail mentoring duties and accomplishments.