Successful UROPs are built on the relationship between students and their mentors. As a mentor you’re much more than simply a research supervisor to your students: you’re also a teacher, a role model, and a trusted resource. Serving as a UROP mentor is also a chance for you to hone valuable supervisory skills and think deeply about your work. Here are just some of the things you’ll gain as a UROP mentor.
- Supervision and management experience – Serving as a UROP mentor helps you develop and hone a range of important management skills. As a mentor, you’re responsible for supervising students to ensure they are productive members of your team. You’ll build the hard and soft management skills required for careers in academia or industry, among them delegation, communication, and project planning.
- Documentation experience – The ability to effectively document your work is a cornerstone of effective research. Working as a UROP mentor means that you’ll gain experience documenting every aspect and process of a project – from properly scoping a project for an undergraduate to evaluating student progress, and planning ahead for their evolving contributions.
- A chance to teach, share, and shape the future – Mentors are supervisors, but they’re also teachers. Students will look to you to help build their technical and practical skills, and to share your journey as a researcher. It’s a unique opportunity for you to teach and cultivate a generation of researchers passionate about breaking new ground in your field.
- A opportunity to reflect – Inherent in mentoring a UROP student is taking the time to thoughtfully engage with them, evaluate their work, and support them on their journey. Mentors say that the experience of working with undergraduates in this capacity often provides an opportunity for them to reflect deeply on their research and trajectory.
- New tools and new skills – While some UROP students are new to the world of research, others come with significant experience and a range of skills. Mentorship is a chance to help undergraduate students evolve and grow, but it’s also an opportunity for you and your lab to gain from their diverse perspectives and experiences.