Mentored Research Program

student working in a science lab

Mentored Research Program applications are now closed and will reopen for the 2022-23 academic year at the start of fall term.

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). 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 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 or 403 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
  • Can mentor only one CHC student through this program at a given time.

Application Timeline

Students can apply for funding along with their faculty mentors as soon as the application becomes available at the beginning of fall term 2021. Applications should be submitted at least a month before the research opportunity is schedule to begin unless the research opportunity begins at the start 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

Student will need initiate an online application and submit the following at least a month before their research opportunity is scheduled to begin. Note exception - unless the research opportunity begins at the start of fall term:

  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. 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)
    8. 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)
    9. 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.

After submitting your online application 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.

Compensation

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. Please note that the 20/25 hour per week maximum refers to the total numbers of on-campus hours a student can work, so make sure to add the number of weekly hours you work in your current campus job (if you have one) to the approximately 8 hours per week you would be working as a researcher. (You will not be working more than approximately 8 hours per week as a researcher.)

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.

Post-Award Requirements:

  1. 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 end of the first month of their employment in the mentored research experience.
  2. 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.
  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.

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, 2021 - June 30, 2022 $12.75 $1,020
July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023 $13.50 $1,080
*Maximum funding provides for an average of 8 hours per week, over ten weeks of a term.