LUROP Mentor Survey
LUROP Fellowship Mentor Survey Results
Nearly all students who conduct research with the support of a LUROP Fellowship do so under the guidance of a mentor. In 2013-14, there were nearly 100 LUROP mentors. Most of them were Loyola faculty members, although there were also 13 doctoral candidates who served as LUROP mentors.
For the first time last year, LUROP mentors were surveyed to assess the impact of mentored undergraduate research on the students, and on their mentors. This information will also be used in evaluating LUROP so that it can continue to strengthen mentored research opportunities for undergraduates at Loyola.
To help students and mentors know what they might expect through LUROP, here are some key results of the mentor survey.
LUROP Mentor Survey, 2013-14
(54 out of 95 mentors responded, 57%)
How much do you feel your LUROP fellow(s) gained in the following areas as a result of their research experience?
A) Ability to articulate a research question or problem and a hypothesis
B) Learning appropriate research methodologies and when to use them
C) Ability to deal constructively with research setbacks through problem solving
D) Learning key terminology, concepts, and theory, and knowing how to use them
E) Ability to find existing body of research relevant to their topic
F) Actual knowledge of relevant research, and ability to compare their project to it
G) Ability to work collaboratively with other researchers
H) Confidence and ability to communicate with graduate students and faculty
I) Ability to work autonomously
J) Connecting their research to their coursework, professional future
K) Ability to explain their research to others in the field
L) Ability to explain their research to a general audience
M) Knowledge of research ethics/responsible conduct of research
N) Experience that will help them in deciding whether to go to grad school or the work force
O) Knowledge about what they could expect as a graduate student
P) Overall skills needed to be successful in graduate school and/or a professional career
To what degree do you feel you benefitted in the following areas through the experience of mentoring one or more undergraduate research fellows?
A) Research fellow(s) produced data or conducted tangible work helpful to your own research
B) Research fellow(s) contributed useful questions, ideas, or problem solving, offering an intellectual contribution to your work or the work of your lab
C) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) helped fuel your enthusiasm for your own research
D) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) helped fuel your enthusiasm for new research topics that your students discovered or worked on
E) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) helped you develop better awareness of how students learn
F) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) helped you develop skills beneficial to mentoring and advising graduate students
G) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) helped you become a better classroom teacher
H) Mentoring undergraduate research fellow(s) was personally enjoyable, helping you get to know students in ways classroom teaching does not
Overall, would you say you benefitted from participating as an undergraduate research mentor?
LUROP mentors were asked to comment on the benefit of their research experience. Here are some of their responses.
- “Working closely with students to help them discover their passion and help guide them in their future career path is a personal mission at Loyola. LUROP allows me to do that and develop multi-year relationships with students which both of us enjoy."
- "I enjoy having undergrads in the lab; the work is highly instrumental and specialized, but they enjoy learning how to run the instrument. My mentee was very sharp and quickly learned how to run the experiments. The summer fellowships are great; the students do not have to deal with classes and can really devote themselves, and it pays off.”
- "More than anything else, observing how my student matured and experienced a positive self-transformation as a result of her project involving field research was the most valuable part of my mentoring. The contribution of her project to my own research was very modest."
- "It is a great experience for both mentor and mentee. I definitely learned how to work with an undergraduate, what to expect, but also learned (in reflection) that I should have made stronger expectations. It is important to continue these types of relationships and as many as possible in the Loyola research programs."
- "Mentoring undergraduate students in research is one of the highlights of this job! The student and I can develop a working relationship that is not possible in the very large classroom sizes which are typical of tenure-track faculty in the Biology Department. Several of my undergraduate LUROP supported students are currently attending graduate school for research related to their experience in my lab. The LUROP programs are a win-win-win (students-faculty-University), and I am so grateful for the support."
- "I think mentoring my student was pivotal in allowing me to convey my research ideas to a general audience. In addition, I felt that working to frame research methodology and statistical analysis in a 'digestible' manner really helped me be a more effective teacher and mentor."
- "I have found that undergraduate students can make real contributions to novel research and have done so in my lab. It is true that the time required to train a new student in my field and the short amount of time an undergraduate can work before they graduate can offset or greatly limit the ability of student activity to advance research productively directly. However, I find that working with students is extremely rewarding and I think the time I get to spend mentoring students is an important experience for me as well as for them. Working with students greatly increases my enthusiasm for my work and helps me to integrate my research and teaching. It also gives me a different perspective on my work to engage with students who are new to the subject; I think this is useful to keep the work fresh and relevant."