Most undergraduate research involves faculty mentorship. Faculty generally view their mentoring of undergraduates as a deeply satisfying form of teaching, although one that can require a major commitment of time and resources. Some are energized by the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that undergraduate can bring. Others feel the responsibility to “give back”, and honor the faculty who mentored them by helping the next generation.
- Faculty gain personal satisfaction for working closely with students and passing on their knowledge and skills.
- Faculty gain by learning from students and making joint discoveries (this does happen!)
- Faculty can benefit by distributed workload on larger research projects.
- Faculty increase opportunities for a number of external grants that require participation of undergraduates
SUNY Cortland faculty can apply for an Undergraduate Research Assistant (URAP). The Undergraduate Research Council in partnership with the Financial Aid Office is pleased to support the Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) through which faculty members from across the College may request a Work Study eligible student as a research assistant to advance their research/scholarly activities. Students selected for this opportunity would be paid to assist faculty in their research and can gain valuable research skills and experience. Responsibilities will vary depending on the position. In general, the work may be more task-oriented (e.g., literature searches, grant proposal support, data entry, or routine lab work) than research undertaken through independent study or summer fellowship. Several faculty within a department or across disciplines can and are encouraged to jointly apply for a single student research assistant position. Click here to go to the URC funding/grants page for more information and application forms.
Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Research Award
This competitive award will be given to faculty or professional staff members whose record of mentoring undergraduate research or creative activity are deemed particularly outstanding. Evidence for excellence in mentoring undergraduate students is based on evaluation criteria (see below). The Awardee will be selected based upon mentoring related activities at SUNY Cortland. The Awardee(s) will receive a $500 award and recognition at a campus reception.
Candidates for the annual Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Research Award will be drawn from full-time tenure-track faculty (including library faculty) and full-time lecturers whose responsibilities include at least 50% teaching. Nominees must have formally mentored or directed a minimum two undergraduate student research or creative projects. Past awardees are not eligible for this award.
NOMINATION FOR AWARDS
Self-nominations and nominations from other SUNY Cortland students, faculty and professional staff will be accepted. If you are nominating someone else, the name and department of nominee should be sent to Christopher McRoberts, Director, Undergraduate Research Council, 1010 Bowers Hall on or before January 23, 2015.
Those nominees who wish to be considered for the Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Student Research Award, must complete a nomination form, obtain one letter of support from a Faculty colleague, the Department Chair or School Dean (for faculty), and two letters from formally mentored student researchers. The completed nomination form includes: a curriculum vitae, list of publications/presentations/exhibitions/performances that include student authors or co-authors, a listing of undergraduate students formally mentored; and a brief synopsis of the nominee’s mentoring activities and methods. All completed nomination forms will be considered by the College’s Undergraduate Research Council which will make recommendations of Awardees to the Provost.
- Announcement and call for nominations made on November 2014.
- Nominations accepted by URC through January 23, 2015.
- Competed nomination form and documentation submitted to URC February 17, 2015.
- The Undergraduate Research Council will evaluate all nominee materials and make recommendations to the Provost March 4, 2015.
- Provost notification of award recipient(s) by March 13, 2015.
All nominees will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- The nominee’s extraordinary commitment to undergraduate students and their advancement as undergraduate researchers. Examples include: incorporating undergraduate research into his/her classes, mentoring students on undergraduate research/creative projects, serving as a sponsor on undergraduate research awards, promoting deeper student engagement in research by facilitating dissemination of research findings or creative products by the student (e.g., conference presentations, publications, exhibitions), etc.
- Clear demonstration of the nominee’s impact on his or her students’ accomplishments as undergraduate researchers.
- The nominee should demonstrate skills needed to effectively mentor undergraduate researchers and should show interest in developing these skills as part of his/her own professional development.
- Demonstrated commitment to promoting a culture of undergraduate research within his/her department and/or discipline. Examples include: incorporating research into the undergraduate curriculum, creating research opportunities for undergraduates, promoting the inclusion of undergraduate research in faculty review criteria, participating in professional conferences or organizations in order to promote undergraduate research, etc.
- Clear evidence should be presented that the nominee’s concern for undergraduate students goes significantly beyond that of the average.
Please contact Christopher McRoberts, Director URC at extension x2925 if you have any questions or need additional information.
Additional information for Faculty about undergraduate research
- The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)
- National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates
- National Institutes of Health Student Programs for Research and Training
- The Boyer's Commission Report on Reinventing Undergraduate Research
An abbreviated bibliography on undergraduate research for faculty and administrators
Arnold, G.H. 1993. Strengthening student teachers' reflective/critical thinking skills through collaborative research. Teacher Education Quarterly, 20(4), 97-103.
Boyer Commission on Education. 1998. Reinventing Undergraduate Education. Washington DC. [available online at: http://notes.cc.sunysb.edu/pres/boyer.nsf]
Burke, L.A., & Cummins, M.K. 2002. Using undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research projects to personalize teaching. College Teaching, 50(4), p. 129-133.
Colebeck, C.L. 1998. Merging in a seamless blend: How faculty integrate teaching and research. Journal of Higher Education, 69(6), 647-671.
Crowe, M. and Brakke, D. 2008. Assessing the Impact of undergraduate-research experiences on students: An Overview of Current Literature. CUR Quarterly, 28(4) 43-50
Doyle, M. 2002. Faculty time: Academic excellence: A study of the role of research in the natural sciences at undergraduate institutions. Research Corp, Special Report, 2002, 1-4.
Ferrari, J. and Jason, L. 1996. Integrating research and community service: Incorporating research skills into service learning experiences. College Student Journal, 30(4), 444-451.
Gafney, L. 2005. The role of the research mentor/teacher: Student and faculty views. Journal of College Science Teaching, 34 (4): 52-57.
Gregerman, S.R. 1999. Improving the success of diverse students through undergraduate research. CUR Quarterly, 19, 54-59.
Guterman, L. 2007. What good is undergraduate research, anyway? Many students benefit, but studies show weaknesses in current practices. Chronicle of Higher Education, August 17, 2007.
Hathaway, R.S., B.A. Nagda, and S.R. Gregerman, The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: An empirical study. Journal of College Student Development, Vol. 43, 2002, pp. 614-631.
Ishiyama, J. 2001. Undergraduate research and the success of first generation, low income college students. CUR Quarterly, 22, 36-42.
Ishiyama, J. 2002. Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science and humanities students? College Student Journal, 36(3), 380-386.
Kardash, C.M. 2000. Evaluation of an undergraduate research experience: Perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors. Journal of Educational Psychology. 92, 191-201.