Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that addresses a specific research question, utilizes appropriate research methodologies, adheres to the standards of the discipline, and results in the dissemination of findings.
Undergraduate research is guided by a research mentor (faculty, graduate student, or research staff) and moves along a developmental trajectory toward independence,originality, and autonomy. Undergraduate researchers develop critical thinking,inquiry, communication, and analytical skills through authentic contributions to real-world research.
Using the information you provide on the Intake Form, UROC staff will work with you to develop an advertisement for the research opportunity, including a list of the attributes, skills, and training you are looking for in an undergraduate researcher and the learning outcomes the student will accomplish in this research experience.
UROC maintains a strong emphasis on graduate school preparation and holds all of its students to a high academic and personal Code of Conduct: students are expected to perform well academically and to serve as exemplary members of the scholarly community. In all matters, students will apply themselves to the fullest, work hard, and maintain the highest standards. They will adhere to the rigorous academic standards set by the program, and deliver required products in a timely and professional manner. In their actions they will exhibit maturity, honesty, sound judgment, and respect for others. Students who are unable or unwilling to perform at this level may be dismissed from the program. Mentors and staff will provide guidance to help students achieve their full scholarly and professional potential.
As undergraduate researchers move along their developmental trajectory they increase their range of course work, skill sets, and research experiences. The novice researcher is typically a freshman or sophomore student with partial content knowledge and little to no prior research experience. The apprentice researcher has a solid understanding of research methods, a growing understanding of the literature, and some prior research experience. The advanced researcher has substantial content knowledge, a solid understanding of the literature and research methods, and can develop an independent element of the research project. UROC will work with you to identify the ideal undergraduate researcher for your project and mentoring style.
Through UROC’s four-semester research seminar courses and workshops students receive extensive training in research preparation, professionalism and conduct, evaluating literature, proposal writing, conference presentation skills, and graduate school preparedness. We hold our students to rigorous standards and a high level of accountability for personal and professional actions. Our goal is for you to focus on training students in discipline-specific skills and guiding students as they connect theory to practice.
A good mentor models positive behaviors, fosters a trusting relationship, guides, instructs and motivates the mentee. Additionally, a good mentor continually assesses the mentee's progress in order to manage expectations and achieve stated goals and objectives while fostering a relationship of mutual respect.
UROC mentors help students develop and execute research objectives and learning outcomes that prepare students for advanced study, graduate school, and employment in their field. To that end, mentors will work with their student to complete UROC’s Research Planning Guide, which includes project-specific research objectives, learning outcomes, a literature review, and a timeline.
Mentors are expected to meet with their student on a pre-determined schedule, provide honest and critical feedback to their student, help their student make connections within the professional community, and aid their student in disseminating results through conference presentations and publications.
Mentors will also work closely with UROC Staff to gauge the student’s development and progress. We are committed to supporting the development of individualized, rigorous, and creative action plans.
At minimum, projects should last 8 weeks during the summer or 14 weeks during the academic year. However, we encourage our students to engage in long-term research projects that span full or multiple years. We recommend that all projects begin with a 2-week trial period, during which students and mentors can decide if the placement is an appropriate fit.
We provide funding for the student’s time, a small stipend for graduate student mentors, travel costs for students to present at conferences (max 1 per semester), and, if needed, research supplies for the student.
Students' time supported by UROC should be logged according to UROC Policy (link)
As appropriate, we ask partners to seek funding for undergraduate research through existing grants (i.e. Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation grants), research proposals, and institutional support.
During the course of their undergraduate research activities, UROC participants may be supported directly and indirectly by multiple grants stemming from UROC during the course of their undergraduate research activities. We ask that Faculty and Research Mentors acknowledge any and all support provided by UROC when they and/or their students disseminate results of their research (including poster presentations, oral presentations, peer-reviewed publications, grey/white papers, etc.). To this end, we request that you email the information below to firstname.lastname@example.org so that UROC Staff can provide you with verification of the grants supporting students during the time they worked with you in order to ensure accuracy in acknowledging funding source.
- Name of student
- Date range of research (please include dates of data collection and / or analysis):
- Title and / or brief description of research project
As of Fall 2018, a new policy for mentor compensation has been enacted. Please refer to the detailed description of the Mentor Compensation policy on the UROC's Policy webpage for more information.
In summary, Mentors to UROC Scholars and CCARE community college students receive $1000 annually, administered each summer. Mentors to UROC Researchers must complete an evaluation of their mentee's performance (UROC Undergraduate Research Mentee Evaluation ) and provide feedback regarding UROC's programming (Improving UROC Mentor Experiences) each academic term (Fall, Spring, or Summer) to receive $250 per academic term, regardless of the number of mentees under their supervision.
For access to these forms, please visit the UROC's policy webpage: https://csumb.edu/uroc/uroc-policies
If an undergraduate has multiple mentors, the mentor compensation will be split evenly (50:50) among each co-mentor. If the co-mentors would like the compensation split differently (e.g. 60:40, 70:30), the mentoring team should contact UROC prior to the scheduled date of compensation dispersement (see Mentor Compensation policy page for this information) and clarify the preferred split of the compensation.