Information for Mentors

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Eligibility Of Mentor

  • Faculty who have tenure and/or are on tenure-track with the Psychology Department are eligible to be independent Psyc 395 mentors (that is, they are both “faculty sponsor” and “direct supervisor,” as listed on the Psyc 395 application).  Faculty who do not have tenure with the Psychology Department (e.g., adjunct and/or faculty without a psychology appointment, etc.) or graduate students who are interested in serving as a Psyc 395 mentor must find a “faculty sponsor.”  A faculty sponsor is a tenured or tenure-track psychology professor who is willing to monitor the Psyc 395 experience, to ensure that all Psyc 395 requirements are fulfilled (e.g., grading & paper deadlines).  Tenured/tenure-track psychology faculty are listed here: http://psychology.unc.edu/people/faculty/.  The Department does not set up Psyc 395 mentor–faculty sponsor liaisons.  It is up to the potential Psyc 395 mentor to find a faculty sponsor.
  • Faculty who do not have tenure with the Psychology Department may eventually be eligible for their own Psyc 395 sections, and therefore, be independent Psyc 395 mentors (no longer needing a “faculty sponsor”).  When 1) you have mentored seven or more students (please provide a list of the students whom you’ve mentored), 2) it can be shown that Psyc 395 policies have been consistently followed over the years, and 3) the research involved is psychology-relevant, the faculty member may request their own Psyc 395 section.  Please email a request to Marsha Penner, with the names of mentees and dates of when they were mentored.

Eligibility Of Students

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Psyc 101
  • Two other Psychology courses (other than Psyc 101)
    • These course requirements must be completed before submitting an application.  (You cannot concurrently do Psyc 395 during the same semester that you are completing a pre-requisite course for Psyc 395).
  • Psyc 210 or 215 (Statistics) and Psyc 270 (Research Methods) are recommended but not required

Psyc 395 Course Requirements

  • Work 9 hours/week during Fall/Spring semester or 30 hours/week during a summer session, when three credit hours are requested for a semester. (NOTE: Psyc 395 cannot be taken as a Maymester course) 
    • up to 6 credit hours count towards graduation
    • up to 3 credit hours count towards a Psychology major
  • Accumulate at least 10 pages of scholarly work (when receiving 3 credit hours)
    • The scholarly work must not be a log of activities
    • The scholarly work does not need to be one 10-page paper; it can be a literature review or critical analysis of several articles, for example.
    • It is highly recommended that faculty meet with the student approximately once a week, to guide the writing process
    • 2 credit hours = 7 pages of scholarly work, 1 credit hour = 4 pages of scholarly work

Advertising Your Position

Here are a few ways to advertise:

Tips On Choosing A Mentee

It is strongly recommended that you thoroughly interview potential Psyc 395 mentees, in order to assess how committed to the experience the student may be.  

Application Process

Psyc 395 Applications (with syllabus attached) are to be turned in to Lori Shamblin, (Davie Hall room 235) no later than 4 PM on the day that the application is due. The due date is 2 business days before the last day to register late for a course (e.g., if the last day to late-register is Friday, then the Psyc 395 application is due on the Wednesday before, by 4 PM). To find out the last day to register, please click here (look under “Chancellor’s Calendars”).

  • Attached syllabus should:
    • give a description of course requirements (e.g., type of work the student will do)
    • state the basis for assessment (e.g., what % of course grade is based on written requirements, etc.)
    • explicitly state that the student will work 9 hours/week (if three credit hours are requested)
    • explicitly state that the student will write up to 10 pages of scholarly work
  • If the direct supervisor is new, the Supervisor Orientation Form must also be completed and attached to the application.

End Of The Semester: Final Papers & Grades

  • Final Papers: It is recommended that final papers be due at least by the last day of classes.  Students should turn in their papers to you as well as upload a copy of their paper to Sakai (which they will have access to).
  • Grades: Please be sure to fill out grades via ConnectCarolina within 72 hours of the last scheduled final exam. (see exam schedules here: http://registrar.unc.edu/academic-calendar/).
  • In order to have access to your grade roll on ConnectCarolina:
    • The Registrar’s Office should identify you as the instructor of your section of Psyc 395 AND
    • You need to have successfully completed the FERPA test
      • For FERPA training and/or testing, please go here:
        http://registrar.unc.edu/training/ferpa/
      • After completing the FERPA test, it will take approx. 48-72 hours before you have access to ConnectCarolina (and therefore, your grade roster).

Undergraduate Funding Opportunities

  • Visit the Carolina Internal Funding Database website.
  • Some particular opportunities to note are:
    • OUR Undergraduate Travel Grants (up to $500)
    • C.V. Starr Scholarschips (up to $3125).
    • Travel Fellowships (up to $4000)
    • Burch Fellows Program (up to $6000)
  • Also go to http://www.unc.edu/depts/our/deadlines.html to see a quick list of application deadlines on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s website.

Opportunities To Present And/Or Publish Undergraduate Research

Go to Office of Undergraduate Research, Choose “Get Recognized.”

  • Some particular opportunities are (check out the OUR link for more details):
    • Carolina Research Scholar Program
    • Symposia
      • Celebration of Undergraduate Research
      • Departmental and Course Symposia
      • Research in the Capital
      • Atlantic Coast Conference Undergraduate Research Symposium
      • State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium
    • Get published
    • Newspapers

Further Recommendations & Materials For New Supervisors

  • If you are a new supervisor, be sure to complete the Supervisor Orientation Form and have the student attach it to his/her Psyc 395 application.
  • It is recommended that students come in to lab for longer, rather than shorter, periods of time as it generally takes the student some time to get re-oriented. (e.g., instead of coming in three times a week for one hour, consider having the student come in once a week for three hours)
  • When to advertise your research opportunity: many advertise in the middle of the semester for a student to work the following semester. Faculty also advertise at the end of Spring semester for a student to begin working during the Fall semester.
  • Carefully screen your applicants.
  • Give weekly detailed instructions (e.g., how students should dress when meeting with participants). This step usually takes more time than expected. “The more structured you are, the better. It is good to plan ahead of time what you want the students to get out of the process.” “Start on the report due to the department during the first week Psyc 395 students are in the lab. The sooner they understand the background for what they are doing, the sooner they are likely to feel a part of the project.”
  • Monitor student activities weekly. Some mentors have regretted not doing this when they discovered that tasks were incorrectly done for several weeks. 
  • Get the student’s contact information as well as schedule so you know whether or not s/he is available for last minute assistance. 
  • Incorporate a variety of laboratory activities. “Rather than have all their hours one week be just entering data and the next week being coding tapes, it’s better to break it up into small chunks of each task each week. That way, they don’t get too burnt out on one task” (and increase the number of errors they make).
  • Make Psyc 395 a rewarding experience. “It makes little sense to take the time to train new students each semester, when one student for two semesters can really make a greater impact and get a lot more experience.” “Incorporate Psyc 395 students into the lab, don’t just give them a task and leave them to it. If they take ownership of the project, it really makes them work harder and work better, while at the same time, enjoying their time in the lab.”

Supervisor Orientation Form

Please click here to access the form.