A Federal TRIO Program

Mentors

The Mentors are distinguished members of the University of Kansas graduate faculty who assist McNair Scholars by introducing them to the nature and rigors of research, serving as classroom role models, helping them build professional networks with other scholars in their fields, and participating in social as well as academic activities with their proteges.

McNair Mentorships: Guidelines and Responsibilities

  1. Sign the Mentor-Scholar Contract outlining the Scholar's expected outcomes and deadlines.
  2. Evaluate the Scholar at mid-summer by completing and returning the McNair Scholar Progress Report.
  3. Monitor the Scholar's research activities and writing and provide feedback and guidance.
  4. Challenge the Scholar and assist him/her in writing a high quality research paper.
  5. Approve and sign the final draft of the Scholar's research paper and assign a grade based on his/her work during the SRI.
  6. Attend the annual McNair Symposium, held at the end of the summer, and offer support and encouragement to the Scholar as he/she prepares to present his/her research at the McNair Symposium and McNair conferences.

What expectations does the program have of its mentors during the SRI?

  1. Meetings: Although there is no standard number of weekly meetings held by mentors, the McNair Program has discovered that Scholars are usually kept on-task when they meet with mentors on a weekly basis.
  2. Deadlines: It is hoped that mentors and Scholars develop realistic plans for completion of their summer research projects. Disbursement of stipend is linked to deadlines agreed upon by the mentors and Scholars and detailed on the Mentor-Scholar Contract.
  3. Credit for research: Ideally, mentors provide 3 hours of credit (usually under their department's undergraduate directed readings rubric) for the SRI. If this is not possible, the McNair Program is able to make alternate arrangements. It is important that students receive formal credit for their research efforts.
  4. Program evaluation: The McNair Program asks that each mentor complete an end-of-summer evaluation so that program strengths and weaknesses can be assessed.

In general, how should I regard this internship?

Most McNair mentors treat these internships as they would a directed readings course. There are, however, some significant differences related to mentor expectations of proteges. During the summer, McNair Scholars are awarded a generous stipend that enables them to devote full-time effort to their research. Only in rare cases are Scholars allowed to take classes and/or hold part-time employment. They are expected to regard their SRI as full-time employment. Consequently, mentors are able to expect their proteges to perform at a level that might be unreasonable during the fall or spring semesters when students have additional responsibilities.