Frequently Asked Questions: Mentors

What is the Undergraduate Fellowship Program?

The Undergraduate Fellows Program is a year-long fellowship and joint initiative offered by IIS and CPD. The program presents a unique opportunity for a highly selective group of undergraduate students to work side-by-side with IIS/CPD affiliated faculty and graduate level research associates on conducting original research. 

What will I get out of this experience?

Mentors will benefit from this experience various ways including:

  • Tangible research support at no cost to the mentor.
  •  Develop and expand valuable professional skills including effective communication, collaboration, coaching and mentoring, and managing a multi person project.
  •   Support young scholars in honing the skills necessary to succeed in their academic research pursuits.
  • Contribute to a vibrant research community at UC Berkeley.
  •  Many mentors have benefited from being mentored as an undergraduate and see this program as an opportunity to pay it forward.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Mentors must be either faculty or graduate students at UC Berkeley and able to commit to working with one or more undergraduate fellows for the full duration of an academic year. Eligible research projects must generally be in alignment with the IIS or CPD mission as specified on the IIS andCPD websites.

What is required to apply?

Please complete the application form which can be accessed here. You will be asked to provide a brief description of your research project and the tasks your fellow/s are expected to take on.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is EOB August 19, 2022.

What are the next steps after I submit my application?

Your project description will be posted on the IIS and CPD websites for students to review and decide which project/s to apply for. Students can apply for up to three projects.

When and how will I get to select my fellow/s?

Mid-September IIS staff will provide mentors with access to student application materials along with guidelines for the interview process. You will be given approximately two weeks to conduct interviews and select your top candidate/s. We ask that you do not inform candidates until fellowship award notifications have been sent out by IIS staff. After notifications have gone out, you may reach out to your fellow/s and start your collaboration.

How much time can I expect the fellow/s to commit to supporting my research project?

Fellows are expected to commit 25-30 hours per semester (1-2 hours/per week) to supporting their mentor’s research project. For fellows who can dedicate more time to the fellowship, the time commitment can be increased, if supported by the mentor. The fellow stipend amount will be increased to reflect the increased time commitment. We recommend that you openly communicate with your fellow/s about your expectations in the beginning and throughout the fellowship.

What skills can I expect fellows to have at the time of applying for my project?

Mentors decide which skills fellows need to have in order to be eligible to work on their project. To get a sizable pool of candidates, and the opportunity to work with more than one fellow, we recommend that you do not require too many or too specific skill sets. Fellows who are quick learners and coachable, will be easier to find and can also make valuable contributions.

What is expected of me as a mentor?

Mentors are expected to support fellow/s in being successful which includes communicating clear expectations, providing guidance as needed and giving feedback. In addition to the research-related collaboration, mentors should take an interest in their fellows’ career aspirations and share insights and advice. We suggest scheduling at least one meeting per semester for these kinds of mentoring conversations.

What should I do if the collaboration with my fellow/s is not going well?

Setting clear expectations and maintaining regular and open communication are key to a successful mentoring relationship. If conflict arises that cannot be resolved through conversation, mentors are encouraged to reach out to the IIS Program Manager for assistance.