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The Office of Undergraduate Research is committed to helping foster healthy and productive mentor/student relationships.

The advice and direction provided by faculty mentors are crucial to the success of students in their research endeavors.  As a master to an apprentice, the mentor’s job is to supervise and direct research but also to challenge, nurture and shepherd young researchers into possible future careers. In all cases, mentors are an integral part in the planning, development, and implementation of students’ research projects. Students benefit greatly from mentor input in all stages of their research.



During the research project:

  • Set up a meeting schedule with the student to report on progress and provide the opportunity for questions and advice
  • Coach student in appropriate time management, and set deadlines for stages of research and writing


  • Review student abstracts, articles and posters
  • Serve as a test audience for student presentations

Does mentoring “count” as research? Teaching? Service?

Many faculty members new to mentoring have questions about how their participation as a mentor will be acknowledged by their department. Acknowledgment of and rewards for mentoring vary among departments and colleges; faculty should consult with their department chairs to learn promotion and tenure expectations. The NC State Office of Undergraduate Research considers student mentoring to be teaching (and in some cases, research) rather than service.