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Finding a Mentor

Mentoring relationships benefit both undergraduates and faculty, develop over time, and enable:

  • Commitment to scholarly development; and,
  • Engagement in collaborative inquiry.

Mentoring relationships also encourage:

  • Positive environments, which encourage questions and foster curiosity;
  • Consideration of new or alternative approaches;
  • Constructive, reciprocal feedback;

And often provide:

  • Guidance for the undergraduate in making important research or related career decisions;
  • Oversight of the undergraduate's research methods and practices;
  • Up-to-date knowledge of available resources and funding;
  • Support in sharing and publicly presenting research;

All of which supports the enjoyment of active participation in research!

Remember: the quality and character of mentoring relationships varies across discipline and academic departments. Factors that influence mentoring relationships include time, experience, individual preferences and skill sets, and the number of research participants.

When selecting a potential mentor, ask yourself:

  • What are my scholarly interests and career goals?
  • What faculty shares my interests?
  • What do I expect from a research mentor?
  • What is my preferred research environment?
  • What type of training do I want?
  • What skills do I want to develop?
  • Who do I enjoy working with?
  • How does mentoring fit into my conception of research?

To answer these questions, you might:

  • Check CCU department web sites and read faculty profiles; many departments list their faculty
    members accomplishment and some faculty have created their own web pages (For the sciences,
    click the research button at http://www.coastal.edu/marine/research and you will find a list of various marine research topics and the CCU faculty members who conduct research in the topics.
  • Also visit some department webpages that post their students’ research. This may give you some
    ideas about what is possible and which faculty are involved with their students. For example, see the Department of Psychology http://www.coastal.edu/psychsoc/psych/sturesearch.html. If you are a psychology major, you will be involved in research as a requirement of your degree (PSYC 497).
  • Drop by during a potential faculty mentor's office hours (posted by their office or check with departmental administrative assistant0 to chat about her or his research;
  • Read Coastal Carolina University faculty publications (books, articles, videos, etc.) ; or,
  • Make an appointment with the Office for Undergraduate Research to learn more.