Resources for Faculty

Information for faculty about undergraduate research:

Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Research Award

Faculty mentorship is an essential part of undergraduate research. 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

This competitive award will be given to a faculty member 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 will receive $1,000 and recognition at the 2024 Honoring Excellence Award Ceremony.  


Candidates for the annual Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Research Award will be drawn from full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty (including library faculty) and full-time lecturers whose responsibilities include at least 50% teaching. Although past awardees have mentored up to dozens of research students, for consideration all nominees must have formally mentored or directed a minimum of two undergraduate student research 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. For self-nominations and nominations, please complete the nomination form on or before April 15, 2024.

Nomination Link: 2024 Mentoring Award Nomination Form


Those nominees who wish to be considered for the Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Undergraduate Student Research Award, must complete an application 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 application 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 application forms will be considered by the College’s Undergraduate Research Council which will make recommendations of awardees to the Provost.

  1. Nominations accepted  by URC through April 15, 2024.
  2. Competed application packet submitted to URC by September 20, 2024.
  3. The Undergraduate Research Council will evaluate all nominee materials and make recommendations to the Provost by October 11, 2024.
  4. Provost notification of award recipient by the end of October 2024.

Evaluation Criteria

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 their 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 their 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 their own professional development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting a culture of undergraduate research within their department and discipline. Examples include: honors thesis advisor, 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.


Please contact Maria Timberlake, Director URC at extension x5937 if you have any questions or need additional information.

Abbreviated bibliography on undergraduate research

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.

Gilmore, J., Vieyra, M., Timmerman, B., Feldon, D. & Maher, M. (2015). The Relationship between Undergraduate Research Participation and Subsequent Research Performance of Early Career STEM Graduate Students. The Journal of Higher Education, 86, No. 6 pp. 834-863. DOI: 10.1353/jhe.2015.0031

Linn, M., Palmer, E., Baranger, A. Gerard, E. and Stone, E. (2015). Undergraduate research experiences: Impacts and opportunities. Science 347, DOI: 10.1126/science.1261757

Lockett, A., Babcock, R. and Hart, D.A.. (2021). Defining Access to Undergraduate Research in Writing Studies: A Proposed Model for Increasing Support, Opportunity, and Participation. Scholarship and Practice in Undergraduate Research, 5, pp28-35.

Morales, D. X.; Grineski, S E. & Collins, T. W. (2021). Effects of Mentoring Relationship Heterogeneity on Student Outcomes in Summer Undergraduate Research. Studies in Higher Education. 46 , 3, p423-436. DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1639041.

Pagano, Todd, Ross, Annemarie, and Smith, Susan B. 2015. “Undergraduate Research Involving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Interdisciplinary Science Projects” Education Sciences 5(2) 146–165;

Shearer, Eric, Reinthal, Ann and Jackson, Debbie. 2022. “Physically Disabled Students in Summer Research Environments” IEEE Transactions on Education 65, (2) 156-166. https://doi.org10.1109/TE.2021.3101401

Webber, K.L., Nelson, T.F., Laird, N. & BrckaLorenz A. (2013). Student and Faculty Member Engagement in Undergraduate Research. Research in Higher Education54, 2, pp. 227-249.