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Mentoring Events

Good mentoring is at the core of ensuring a successful undergraduate research experience. Good mentoring takes time, energy, and resources. Learning to be an effective mentor is an important professional skill that needs to be cultivated and supported. The opportunities below are designed to help mentors--at all levels of experience--learn more about effective mentoring.

Annual Mentoring Conference

Each May, the Student-Faculty Programs Office hosts an annual Mentoring Conference for Caltech and JPL mentors as they prepare to welcome summer research students to their labs. Any and all mentors are welcome.

Undergraduate Research Mentoring Series

The Undergraduate Research Mentoring Series is a summer workshop series that provides an opportunity for mentors to do a "deep dive" into the theory and practices of effective mentoring. Topics include:

Negotiating Expectations With Your Mentee
Effective Communication and Giving Constructive Feedback
Inclusive Mentoring: Challenges and Solutions
When Personal Issues Impact the Research: Mentoring the "Whole" Student
Troubleshooting: Helping Your Mentee Make Progress
From Student to Scientist: Helping Your Mentee Grow and Develop

Certificate of Interest in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

The Certificate of Interest in Undergraduate Research Mentoring provides graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and other interested members of the community an opportunity to learn more about effective undergraduate research mentoring practices.

In order to earn a Certificate of Interest in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, participants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Participate in at least 6 seminars or workshops focused on the mentoring of undergraduate researchers, or other approved Caltech programs. This might include:
    • Seminars offered through the Undergraduate Research Mentoring series.
    • Up to two sessions at Caltech's Annual Undergraduate Research Mentoring Conference.
    • Quarterly mentoring speaker series.
  • Within one month of each seminar or workshop attended, participants will write and submit a journal entry detailing what they learned and how they will apply it to current or future mentoring practice. Student-Faculty Programs Office (SFP) and/or the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach (CTLO) directors will review entries as they are submitted and provide feedback.
  • Write and submit a personal mentoring philosophy statement that summarizes key outcomes and insights from this experience.

Participants who complete the Certificate of Interest in Undergraduate Research Mentoring will receive a Letter of Completion signed by the Graduate Dean or Vice Provost and will be invited to a lunch with other awardees at the end of each year.

For more information, contact Candace Rypisi.