Faculty Mentor Program

This program is not currently active. Please see the similar "Pathways 2 Research" program instead.", with a hyperlink to the 'Pathways to Research' page.

Applications for the 2011-2012 school year has now ended. Applications for the next school year will open around November 2012, you may take a look at the 2011-2012 application to have an idea of the requirements.

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Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) sponsors a Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) for EOP students (students from historically low-income backgrounds and communities with limited educational resources). Funded through the University of California, Office of the President, FMP seeks to identify and select 20-25 students with academic majors in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Arts as undergraduate research fellows. Participants must have a UCSC tenure track faculty member to serve as a mentor and supervise their research work on a predesignated research project. Contact with the faculty member and agreement to the mentoring must be made before submitting the FMP application. The goals of the program are to prepare undergraduates for future educational opportunities at the graduate level and to promote academic careers as a viable career path. 

Students selected as FMP Undergraduate Research Fellows participate in a structured program that: 
a) Offers undergraduate research opportunities supervised by faculty;
b) Encourages a peer support network that reinforces collaborative learning and fosters collegial relationships;
c) Organizes activities that develop effective critical thinking, research, writing, and oral communication skills;
d) Provides academic, career and graduate school advising; and
e) Offers assistance with the process of applying to graduate school (i.e., GRE preparation, writing a statement of purpose, obtaining applications for financial aid and fellowship information).



Participants in the Faculty Mentor Program are selected on a competitive basis. Eligible individuals are: 
a) EOP students in arts, humanities and social science majors; 
b) Juniors or seniors (priority given to juniors) in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above ; and 
c) Students who demonstrate an interest in pursuing a graduate degree and interest in an academic career.


Program Description

The Faculty Mentor Program is designed to support undergraduate fellows’ research experience through a mentoring relationship with faculty, while assisting students to increase their critical and analytic thinking and writing skills and develop expertise in the graduate school application process.


1. Mentoring Relationship

Faculty mentors and students develop a research agreement describing research activities for two academic quarters. Most faculty mentors prefer to work with students who have taken one or two of their courses. So the first place for students to look for a potential mentor is in their UCSC course experiences. Once a match is agreed upon, students and mentors identify a research project that will engage the students for the winter and spring quarters. 

Research projects may take one of three forms: 
a) Students work as a research assistant to an on-going, faculty sponsored research project; 
b) Students design a “satellite” research project (i.e., a project that grows out of or extends the faculty mentor’s past or current work); or
c) Students initiate an individual research project that is sponsored by a faculty mentor who agrees to supervise the individual project.
Although research projects can take many forms, it is important to recognize that students must identify projects that are mutually agreeable to the faculty sponsor. The options above serve only as guides to the forms mentoring relationships can take. Students and faculty mentors are encouraged to explore research activities that can support a “win-win” relationship; one where both parties benefit from the relationship and the research that is conducted. 

FMP mentor/student time commitments include project commitments of 8-10 hours during the winter quarter and 10-15 hours during the spring quarter. These time commitments are negotiated with the faculty mentor according to the research project demands.

FMP Undergraduate Research Fellows and Mentors are expected to meet at least one hour per week to review the research agenda as a means of monitoring and evaluating weekly progress. These meetings include feedback on the student’s research activities, assisting students with research skill development, and advising on graduate school opportunities within the student’s academic discipline.


2. Undergraduate Research Seminar   

During the 2010-2011 academic year students enroll in a 5-unit upper-division research and graduate school preparation seminar sponsored by Stevenson College in winter quarter and a 5-unit advanced writing course in spring quarter.  Both seminars are structured to empower undergraduates to expand their intellectual perspectives and become competitive applicants for graduate school. 

WINTER/SPRING QUARTERS: The winter and spring courses meet twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2:00 - 3:45 PM and focus on critical thinking, reading,  research, writing, and graduate school application skills. Sessions are dedicated to preparing students for the graduate school application process, introducing students to the process of graduate-level research, and assisting students to demonstrate advanced writing skills. FMP participants engage in intensive research skill building through knowledge of libraries and computer technology, and discussions with faculty and graduate students on critical research topics within the arts, humanities and social science disciplines. Key to successful research skill development is student interaction with library staff, recommended readings drawn from UCSC faculty, and critical discussion of student research and writing projects. 

Designed to complement student’s hands on undergraduate research experience, the two seminars will include:

• LIBRARY RESEARCH SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Organized by Annette Marines, McHenry Librarian, students will receive training in fundamental and advanced library research. She will assist students throughout their research process with particular emphasis on the process of finding and reviewing important literature pertinent to exploring a research question and developing essential background knowledge and academic understanding.  

• GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION WORKSHOPS: This space is intended to be open to the interests and concerns of FMP participants as they begin to grapple with some of the issues involved in the graduate school process. The program is designed to guide students through this process and these open forums are the spaces where students gain information, resources and practical tips. Workshop topics Include:  
• Graduate School: The Application Process
• Writing an Effective Statement of Purpose
• Paper Presentation and Conference Skill Building
• The Graduate Record Exam (diagnostic exam and overview) 
• Financing a Graduate Education: Applying for Fellowships 
• Reading between the Lines: Graduate Student Experiences
• Effective Strategies for Internet Research and Resources


Research Presentations in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty and Graduate students will be invited to participate as guest presenters in the FMP courses. The focus is introducing students to the critical issues within research. These sessions will provide students with the varied approaches and interdisciplinary nature or research options. As role models in the process, guest speakers will discuss research topic choices, methodology decisions, and their unique contributions to the discipline. The focus will be on presenting the formats and internal logic, which govern research in graduate school and advanced academic settings. These sessions with faculty and graduate students will also support students understanding the conventions of academic writing within the various disciplines of the arts, humanities and social science disciplines.


Undergraduate Research Colloquium

At the culmination of the Faculty Mentor Program all FMP participants will present the findings of their research to the larger university community at an Undergraduate Research Colloquium.


Faculty Participation

The participation of UC Faculty is central to the success of the program and our students. Undergraduates learn about the nature of research and academic professions directly from faculty. Faculty participates in the Program by introducing students to the process of academic research by mentoring. Mentors incorporate students as research assistants on their existing research projects (in which case the services of post doctoral and graduate students might also be enlisted) or by sponsoring students' independent research projects. 

Faculty interested in the program but who are unable to make a long-term commitment of two quarters can still be involved by participating as a guest speaker in the research writing course or the workshop series.

Because students and faculty negotiate expectations for the winter and spring quarters, and with academic progress measured by these agreed upon expectations, faculty will need to provide participants with direct and frequent feedback on their work. In addition to this feedback, we encourage faculty to discuss graduate school opportunities within their academic discipline. These discussions will help students identify scholars, either on campus or at other universities that share the students’ academic research interests.


Student Participation

Students selected to participate in the Faculty Mentor Program must make a two-quarter commitment to course work, research and workshops. It is a serious commitment that will support the development of comprehensive research and writing skills. Although demanding, the Program prepares students for graduate work at the doctoral level. Participation in ALL aspects of the program is mandatory. 

It is absolutely necessary that students Maintain regular contact and communication with faculty sponsors. Students develop lasting relationships with their faculty mentors over the two quarters.  Regular attendance at research discussion meetings, as well as follow through with responsibilities is key to establishing oneself as a reliable researcher. 

Students are expected to participate in active advising through their academic department, EOP and the Career Center. This advising will support students as they establish an academic plan that will be critical to preparing for future educational opportunities.

Students will complete a final research paper and present their findings at the annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium late in the Spring Quarter. 
If selected to the program, FMP participants are expected to Identify a UCSC faculty member to serve as a sponsor and research mentor, attend all sessions of the winter and spring quarter classes, attend required workshops and a weekend retreat, complete all class assignments in a timely manner, attend weekly meetings and work closely with their faculty mentor, and participate in the FMP Undergraduate Research Colloquium.