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 (for the purposes of this program, summer is counted as one term) of student research funding (up to approximately $3,000 for three terms, or up to approximately $1,000 per term) in an academic year. Students in all disciplines are welcome to apply! Funds will be awarded through a competitive process. A student and their faculty mentor may request renewal funding for the same project through the normal application process, 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:
- Articulate a clear research question or problem and formulate a hypothesis
- Define and use terminology, concepts, and theory in the field and know how to use them
- Apply problem solving skills to address research challenges
- Work collaboratively with their mentor
Work independently, setting and meeting deadlines
- 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 or 403 credits).
- 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
- Can mentor only one CHC student through this program at a given time.
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 like DevonThink, 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
Students can apply for funding along with their faculty mentors as soon as the application becomes available in Winter 2021 (in 2021-22, the application will be opened starting at the beginning of fall term). Applications received early in the application cycle will receive priority consideration, although (pending available funding) applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year (although applications received after Week 8 will be considered at the beginning of the following term). Funding will be awarded through a competitive process.
How to apply
*Additional instructions for students and the link to the online application form are on the CHC’s student Canvas site.
• Students who wish to apply will need to initiate an online application and submit:
A 250-word statement (approved by their faculty mentor) describing their research project or learning experience and plans, that addresses the following:
a. The student’s expectations of and goals for the mentored research experience
b. Why they wish to work with their faculty mentor
c. Whether the project is integrated with the faculty member’s research or professional agenda
d. 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
e. Examples of the tasks/activities that they expect to carry out
f. Start and end dates of the mentored research experience
g. Verification that with their projected number of research hours, their total on-campus work hours do not exceed 25 hours per week (20 hours per week for international students)
h. 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 or 403 credits) (because students cannot be paid for the same hours that are devoted to academic credits)
A letter of support (250 words maximum) from the faculty mentor (see additional instructions below).
• Faculty mentor will need to:
Write a letter of support (250 words maximum) that includes the start and end dates of the mentored research experience and a brief explanation of how the mentored research experience will benefit the student and the faculty mentor.
The faculty mentor can give their letter to the student so the student can upload it along with their application, but If the faculty mentor would prefer to keep their letter of support confidential, they can submit it directly to the CHC’s Director of Admissions, Paula Braswell (email@example.com), who will be receiving application materials.
Electronically sign off on the student’s application via the online application form when prompted via email. By signing this form, the faculty mentor:
- Approves of the proposed mentored research experience
- Affirms they are 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)
- Understands that the mentored research program funding is unavailable during term(s) when the faculty mentor is on FMLA or leave without pay
- Agrees to mentor only one CHC student through this program at a given time
- Agrees that they will sign monthly timesheets so the students can be paid and that hours approved on timesheets do not exceed the maximum funding approved for the student’s research through the Mentored Research Program.
- Agrees that they will send a letter of support (250 words maximum) to Paula Braswell, the CHC’s Director of Admissions, at firstname.lastname@example.org if they did not give their letter to the student to submit (student’s application cannot be considered until the letter of support has been received).
- Agrees that they will send a brief evaluation of the student’s performance at the conclusion of the MRP award period to Paula Braswell (email@example.com).
- Students are required to write a thank-you letter to the donor of their funding, to be submitted to the Alumni Outreach Program Manager in the Clark Honors College no later than the end of the first month of their employment in the mentored research experience.
- At the end of the internship experience, 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.
- 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.
Funds will be paid out monthly to the student as salary. The student will complete monthly timesheets that are signed by the faculty mentor. All students will complete a Student Employment Form and submit monthly timesheets that accurately reflect the number of hours worked. Timesheets are due by the 15th of every month, signed by the student researcher and faculty member, and submitted to the Central Business Services Office (CBSO).
Most undergraduate students are permitted to work up to a maximum of 25 hours a week in on-campus jobs. In their applications, students must verify that, with the projected number of research hours, their total on-campus work hours do not exceed 25 hours per week. (For international students, the maximum allowable number of on-campus work hours is 20 hours per week.) Students are only eligible for the Mentored Research Program prior to graduation.
If a student does not use all the funds approved for a term, the balance will return to the pool of funds available for the Mentored Research Program.
Mentored Research Program Funding Table
See the funding table below for maximum funding provided per term. Students are eligible to apply for a maximum of 3 terms in an application cycle. Maximum funding provides for an average of 8 hours per week, over ten weeks of a term. Students must not work more hours per term than the maximum funding amount per term allows.
|Time Period||Minimum Wage||Maximum Funding Provided Per Term*|
|July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021||$12.00||$990|
|July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2021||$12.75||$1,050|