Mentored Research Program

The Mentored Research Program application for 2023-24 is now available on Canvas.

Faculty-student collaborations, meaningful mentoring experiences, and undergraduate research opportunities are signature characteristics and values of the Robert D. Clark Honors College. Mentored research and learning experiences are recognized as high-impact practices and are closely correlated with student success. These experiences span the disciplines: from research assistantships in which students assist scientists in labs, to research assistantships that pair students in the social sciences with faculty collecting data or doing fieldwork, to research assistantships where students work with faculty on creative projects or humanistic scholarship. Engaging in research with faculty mentors is a great way for students to lay the groundwork for their CHC thesis (although your MRP research experience doesn’t have to be connected to your thesis project)!

A CHC student, in conjunction with a UO faculty mentor, may apply for up to three terms of student research funding. Up to $1,000 of scholarship funding is available per academic year term, for a maximum of three terms. Students in all disciplines are welcome to apply! Funds will be awarded through a competitive process. Students may apply for only one term of funding at a time. A student and their faculty mentor may request renewal funding for the same project through the normal application process if the student has not yet reached their three-term funding maximum, but priority will be given to new proposals and new applicants.

The research funding opportunities for students provided by the Mentored Research Program are made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends of the Clark Honors College, including Dr. Ronald C. Fraback and David O’Kelley.

Learning Outcomes of the Mentored Research Program

Mentored research experiences should enable the student to:
  1. Articulate a clear research question or problem and formulate a hypothesis
  2. Define and use terminology, concepts, and theory in the field and know how to use them
  3. Apply problem solving skills to address research challenges
  4. Work collaboratively with their mentor
  5. Work independently, setting and meeting deadlines
Sample tasks/activities for mentored research experiences might include:
  • Assisting in data collection and analysis
  • Assisting in dissemination of research results
  • Completing programming using Python or other programming languages
  • Coding videotaped sessions
  • Tracking down text, images, and copyright information
  • Summarizing primary and secondary information sources
  • Examining primary sources and assessing specific aspects of its content, goals, and audiences
  • Creating references in EndNote, Zotero, or other bibliographic software
  • Learning bibliographic organization
  • Using digital tools likeDevonThink, SimpleNote, OneNote, etc. to organize research materials
  • Assigning keyword tags
  • Collaborating in the creation, staging, or digital sharing of a creative project
  • Coauthoring or collaborating on a paper for publication

 

Eligibility

Student:

  • Must be a currently enrolled CHC student in good standing
  • Must not be taking academic credit for this research assistantship (e.g. the student cannot receive this funding during the same term(s) that they will be enrolled in independent thesis research credits--e.g. 401, 403, or 405 credits)

Faculty Mentor:

  • Must be a full-time tenure-stream or tenured faculty member or career instructor at the University of Oregon, a core faculty member in the CHC, or an Officer of Administration (OA)
  • Must be affiliated with the University of Oregon for the duration of the MRP period
  • Cannot be on FMLA or leave without pay
  • If on sabbatical/research leave during part or all of the proposed mentored research period, the faculty mentor must personally mentor the CHC student for the duration of the MRP award period
  • Can mentor only one CHC student through this program at a given time

Application Timeline

Funding will be awarded through a competitive process. Applications are due according to the following timeline:

  • For Fall Term funding: Application deadline of Friday of Week 8 of Spring Term
  • For Winter Term funding: Application deadline of Friday of Week 8 of Fall Term
  • For Spring Term funding: Application deadline of Friday of Week 6 of Winter Term
  • No Summer awards available

 

How to apply

Student will need initiate an online application available on Canvas.

  1. A 250-word statement (approved by their faculty mentor) describing their research project or learning experience and plans, that addresses the following:
    1. The student’s expectations of and goals for the mentored research experience
    2. Why they wish to work with their faculty mentor
    3. Whether the project is integrated with the faculty member’s research or professional agenda
    4. Whether the project is associated with the student’s CHC thesis, or if it is a research experience that is separate from the student’s thesis research
    5. Examples of the tasks/activities that they expect to carry out
    6. Start and end dates of the mentored research experience
    7. Confirmation that if the project is associated with a student’s thesis research, that the student will not be receiving this funding during the same term(s) that they will be enrolled in independent thesis research credits (e.g. 401, 403, or 405 credits)
    8. An explanation of how the project contributes to diversity, equity, and inclusion if they checked that box on the application form.
       
  2. A letter of support (250 words maximum) from the faculty mentor that includes the following (if the faculty mentor wishes to keep their letter of support confidential, they can email it directly to the CHC’s Director of Admissions, Paula Braswell at paulab@uoregon.edu, who will be receiving applications):
    1. Start and end dates of the mentored research experience;
    2. A brief explanation of how the skills the student will develop from this mentored research experience will benefit the student and the faculty member.
    3. If the faculty mentor will be on sabbatical/research leave during part or all of the proposed mentored research period, please confirm that the faculty mentor will personally mentor CHC student for the duration of the MRP award period.

After submitting your online application on Canvas with all required documents uploaded (all supporting documentation must be uploaded as a single PDF file), the form will route to your faculty mentor, who will have to electronically sign it. Please tell you faculty mentor to watch for an email from UO Forms that will prompt them for their signature.

Applications will not be considered complete, or considered by the committee, unless all pieces of the application (including the faculty letter of support) have been received by that term’s deadline. Applications will be automatically denied if they are incomplete or unclear.

Instructions for Reapplication

Students may only apply for one term of MRP funding at a time. If a student has not yet received their maximum of three terms of MRP funding, they may reapply for additional MRP funds with their original (or a new) research mentor. If a student is reapplying for the same project with the same research mentor on the same project, the student’s application essay and the faculty mentor’s letter of support must both be updated to include progress on the research project and an explanation of why additional scholarship funding for the project is required. Students who reapply for funding are not guaranteed to receive additional funding.

Award Process

MRP awards are disbursed directly to the student’s UO billing account for the following academic year term (no awards are made over the summer). Receiving an MRP award will affect the student’s financial aid package.

Post-Award Requirements:

  1. Upon receipt of an MRP award, students are required to write a letter of thanks with a brief description of the research project, directed to the donors who support the Mentored Research Program. This should be submitted to Elin England (eengland@uoregon.edu), CHC Director of Alumni and Community Engagement, no later than the start of their MRP funding term.
  2. At the end of the MRP funding term, the student will be expected to complete a short survey/evaluation about their experience no later than four weeks after the conclusion of their mentored research experience.
  3. Students who receive MRP funding may be asked to give a presentation about their experience to other students and/or be interviewed by CHC Communications for a story.