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Undergrad research and creativity
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  • Resources for faculty

    Why Serve as a Mentor to Undergraduates?

    • Serving as a mentor can count towards tenure and promotion decisions.
    • Undergraduates can contribute to your broader scholarly interests.

    How to Involve Students in Research or Creative Projects

    • Academic advising sessions are a good time to suggest that students start to engage in hands-on activities that are relevant to their long term career or educational goals. This CMB advising file has a sample 4 year plan for an undergraduate major with suggestions of what else the students should be doing each year.
    • Provide departmental or program descriptions of faculty scholarly interests. Encourage your faculty to add their specialty areas to their UW-L profile. It allows students to see what research options are available with different faculty members, along with a picture and contact information.
    • Advise students to write for scholarships and grants to pursue their research or creative interests.
    • Great sources of potential topics and possible collaborations is our Policy Research Network in which we solicit requests for policy reports from local and regional civic leaders.
    • Send students from one of your courses to the Celebration with an assignment to increase awareness of research opportunities on campus.

    Independent Projects vs. Collaborative Projects

    • Students contact may feel more freedom and more ownership over an independent project, however the mentor investing their time runs the risk of the student possibly failing to complete his or her project.
    •  In collaborative projects, students work on a smaller, more manageable portion of their faculty mentor's project.

    Time Management:
    • Have students work in teams, which can decrease the number of meetings per week.
    • Establish a single meeting time for all students. The students may gain from hearing feedback and discussions of other student's projects.
    • Pair up more experienced students with newer students to encourage peer-to-peer training.
    • Have students work on a portion of your broader scholarly projects.
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