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Mentoring Undergraduates in a Virtual Summer Research and Professional Development Program

This guide will introduce you to mentoring undergraduates from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds via a virtual summer research and professional development program, through which they will acquire critical research skills, better understand potential research career paths, and prepare for taking their next steps toward their research career goals. It will cover general topics relevant to mentoring, such as setting expectations for the mentoring relationship and creating an inclusive learning environment, as well as topics specific to mentoring an undergraduate in the Leadership Alliance’s 2020 Virtual Summer Research — Early Identification Program (VSR-EIP), such as choosing a project appropriate to digitally mediated research and mentoring toward participation/presentation at the Virtual Leadership Alliance National Symposium (VLANS). Each section of the guide contains multiple types of resources to help you navigate the virtual mentoring experience, such as peer-reviewed literature on mentoring, summaries of best practices, short mentoring vignettes from members of the Leadership Alliance community, or mentoring resources such as checklists and interactive exercises.

The sections are grouped into four parts:

  1. Mentoring in the Leadership Alliance – The first of the guide’s four sections covers:
    1. The Leadership Alliance Commitment to Outstanding Mentorship
    2. The Benefits of Mentoring
    3. The Responsibilities of Mentoring
    4. The Requirements of Mentoring
  2. The second section covers working with your mentee before the program begins:
    1. Mentoring Before the Program Begins
    2. Clarifying and Aligning Expectations
    3. Project Fit
    4. Managing Logistics
  3. Because the relationship with your mentee is so essential to their time at during the program, the third section reviews topics related to mentoring during the summer research program:
    1. Mentoring During the Summer Research Program
    2. Mentoring During the First Week
    3. Establishing Open and Durable Lines of Communication
    4. Moving from Onboarding to Independence
    5. Modeling and Mentoring the Life of a Researcher
    6. The Emotional Health of Your Mentee
    7. Mentoring Toward the Virtual Leadership Alliance National Symposium (VLANS)
  4. The last section of articles helps you to maintain a relationship with your mentee after the summer experience. This series covers:
    1. Offboarding and Mentoring After the Research Experience
    2. Conclusion

Up next: The Leadership Alliance Commitment to Outstanding Mentorship