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For Faculty Members

The McNair Scholars Program thanks you for being, or for considering being a faculty mentor to a McNair scholar. The faculty-scholar mentoring relationship is integral to the success of the program. Faculty mentors and McNair scholars have found the experience mutually beneficial.

 

These McNair Scholars Program guidelines clarify program requirements, expectations and your responsibilities.  As a McNair Scholars Program faculty mentor, you agree to fulfill the following obligations.

  • Attend the McNair faculty mentor and scholar orientation.

  • Work with your scholar during the academic year.

  • Help your McNair scholar finalize his or her research proposal, abstract and human subjects protocol (if needed) by the end of the spring McNair research seminar so that she or he can start her or his research immediately.

  • Assist your scholar with the following: 

    • Research paper for publication in the Portland State University McNair Journal or other scholarly journals

    • Presentation for the McNair Research Symposium at Portland State University and regional or national McNair conferences

    • Applications to PhD programs

  • Meet with your scholar regularly, and at least once a week during the summer research project. The research internship (project) is during the summer term, usually June to August.

  • Submit weekly written evaluations of your scholar’s progress during the 8-week summer research internship. (Your scholar will provide you with evaluation forms). Your scholar has agreed to spend at least 30 hours weekly on his or her research project and McNair activities during the summer research internship.

  • Approve your scholar’s research project abstract, proposal, final paper and required work for the program.  The program will not accept your scholar’s abstract, proposal and final paper until you have approved them, and your scholar will not receive his or her full stipend until you have signed off on his or her work.

  • Attend the PSU McNair Research Symposium in the summer.  You must be present during your scholar’s presentation.

  • Attend the PSU McNair awards ceremony during the first week of fall term.

  • Introduce your scholar to the requirements of academic research within your discipline and guide him or her through the process (i.e. from conducting the actual research to producing scholarly papers).

  • Provide your McNair scholar with a workspace or an office if feasible.  This gives the scholar a specific place to do his or her work, and it places him or her in an environment that is conductive to learning and collaboration.

  • Know your scholar’s strengths and weaknesses, and recommend referrals or additional assistance as needed. 

  • Discuss graduate schools and doctoral programs with your scholar and provide him or her with information about relevant doctoral programs. One aim of the McNair Scholars Program is to enhance each scholar’s chances of getting into a PhD program.

  • Spend additional time with your scholar if she or he is struggling with his or her research project, and call the McNair program staff if you need assistance.

  • Inform the McNair program coordinator or director immediately if your scholar is not attending appointments with you or is generally being difficult, rude or inappropriate.

  • Inform the McNair program office if you will be away for a portion or part of your scholar’s research, so that the McNair staff can monitor his or her progress in your absence.

  • Please note that while the program does not object to graduate students working with McNair scholars, they should not; however, perform the role of faculty mentor.

  • You are entitled to a stipend at the end of the summer research internship for supervising your scholar’s research project and paper.  Please note that the  stipend is taxable, and it may create an overload for tenured and full-time faculty.  Please also note that the stipend is paid to you as wages, and cannot be used or disbursed as a grant.

  • The stipend will be divided evenly among faculty mentors should the scholar decide to work with more than one faculty mentor. However, we encourage students to work with one faculty mentor.

  • You will give the program a brief statement about yourself and a photo for the McNair website and other publications.

  • The program discourages you from supervising two scholars at a time, but if the situation is unavoidable, you are entitled to additional money. Please check with the program director before you take on more than one McNair scholar.