Tips for Faculty

What do faculty engaged in productive and positive undergraduate-faculty research partnerships do?

Here are some tips to help prepare faculty for successful research partnerships with undergraduates.

Establish Expectations

Your expectations of and for the student may be clear to you, but they may not be transparent to the student.

Here is one example of a mentorship agreement template (for students), which you can use as the basis for your own personalized agreement.

Maintain Effective Communication

It’s an understatement to say that miscommunication can lead to problems. How can you reduce the risk of miscommunication?

Assess Understanding

For the research to proceed, you need to know if the student is learning and understanding. Students may not feel comfortable sharing with you if they don’t yet have a specific skill or aren’t familiar with a software application or method in your discipline’s toolkit.

Foster Independence

Once a student has achieved proficiency in the essential project-specific research skills, acquired a field-specific intellectual foundation, and collected/analyzed data or research references, you can start them on a path to more independent research.

Address Diversity

Reflect on the richness of differences in our community and how they affect your student’s research experiences.

Prioritize Ethics

Stay current with your discipline’s ethics guidelines and resources. Be prepared to discuss how tenets of ethical research apply to you and your research.


The above tips were adapted from and inspired by content published on the website of the Center for Improvement in Mentored Research Experiences (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

For Additional tips, refer to “Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships: FAQs for Social Science Faculty”.

You can also contact Margaret Lynch, Director of Undergraduate-Faculty Research Partnerships in the Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Office with questions and suggestions about we can best support you and your undergraduate researchers.