Faculty are invited to engage with undergraduate students in research projects, or field experiences. Accepted projects will provide students an opportunity to apply for paid work experiences which are designed to engage students, encourage success, and offer research experience through the guidance of an knowledgeable mentor.
Students who have participated in the Mentored Employment Program have reported that the program provides important industry connections. They enjoy the mentoring relationships that are established with faculty and PhD students and feel it is the perfect opportunity to gain exposure to research in a manageable way, while earning money.
What is mentorship?
The Mentored Employment Program defines mentorship as a professional relationship between a faculty member (mentor) and an undergraduate student (protégé) for the purpose of fostering, guiding, teaching, and enhancing learning experiences. This relationship allows the protégé to explore career paths and interests in areas which the mentor has more experience and knowledge.
Benefits of being a faculty mentor:
The benefits of mentoring CoF undergraduate students go beyond a student assisting with a project that may have been set aside due to a lack of time or resources. Taking an active role in a student's education can help foster a love of learning and expose them to possible career paths. Additionally, hands-on experiences help advance the skills that are being learned in the classroom. Being a mentor offers a sense of fulfillment, and can provide a fresh perspective on your research.
Download Examples of Mentored Employment Program projects (Power Point document): MEP_Project_Example_Slides.pptx
Who can be a mentor?
- College of Forestry faculty
- Post-doctoral researchers
- Faculty research assistants
- Extension faculty
Where can MEP experiences take place?
Any OSU campus (including remote work)
- Field location
- Online/remote work
Faculty Mentor Expectations:
- Faculty interested in participating in the Mentored Employment Program are invited to attend a Research Ready workshop, scheduled for October 11, 2023 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm in RICH 123.
- Facutly Mentors and students should agree on goals and projects outcomes at the start of the project
- Project timeline
- Required training
- Meeting schedules
- Communication preference
- Learning and professional development goals
- A required mid-program assessment will be administered by Student Services to evaluate project progress
- An brief end-of-year write up about your MEP experience is required and will be used for program assessment and donor relations
How much time should mentors plan to spend with protégés?
- Mentoring is an important piece of this program. Mentors should be prepared to spend 1-3 hours per week interacting with with student mentees (in-person, remote, email, etc.).
Ideal projects for a MEP experience:
- Research assistance (lab, field)
- Teaching or educational
- Programmatic (develop new programs for a unit/entity/research group)
- Project-based (specific set of assignments for overall team project)
MEP funding information:
Project proposals, which meet mentorship and educational outcomes and program goals, will be considered to receive funds. Because funding is limited, any hours that protégé’s work that exceed MEP funds will need to be redistributed to an alternate index (provided by faculty or department).
- Funds are available to use during fall, winter, and spring terms only
- Projects will be considered based on the nature of the opportunity and experience provided to a CoF undergraduate protégé
- Projects should meet the duties and qualification posted in the CoF Mentored Employment Program (Student Technical Assistant Pool 2023-24) job posting
- The Student Services Office will reach out to CoF undergraduate students with MEP opportunities. Deliberate outreach to students who enhance a diverse college community and who would benefit from a mentorship will be made
- Monthly funding updates will be provided to assist with planning protégé hours and prevent overspending of MEP funds
- Funding is limited and will only be awarded to one proposal per faculty
Student eligibility requirements:
- Currently enrolled as an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate student in the College of Forestry
- Part-time students are eligible
- Students with only a CoF minor are not eligible
- Good academic standing (not on academic probation or suspension)
Students who may benefit from a mentorship experience:
- Students from underserved and underrepresented communities
- First generation students
- First and second year students (including incoming Transfer students)
- Students who have not previously participated in a mentorship program or worked with faculty
Maximum weekly Mentored Employment Program hours:
- Mentored Employment Program opportunities are announced to students during fall term
- The program runs during fall, winter and spring terms
- Students are allowed to work a maximum of 20 total hours per week. Students working more than one positon on campus will need to split their hours between positions. The most current Employment Eligibility and Maximum Allowable Hours can be found in the Student Employment Manual
Students participating in the Mentored Employment Program are encouraged to seek out opportunities to present their research. Presenting and sharing your research helps develop communication skills and provides networking opportunities with peers who share interests. There are several programs for undergraduate research presentations.
- MEP students are required to participate in the spring term Mentored Employment Program Research Symposium (date/time TBD)
- Fall Virtual Symposium (FVS)
- Western Forestry Graduate Research Symposium (WFGRS)
Are you interested in applying to be a Mentored Employment Program Faculty Mentor?
CoF faculty interested in participating in the Mentored Employment Program should submit a proposal submission form detailing your project, how mentoring an undergraduate will impact your research and what type of experience students can expect.
Questions about the Mentored Employment Program can be directed to Brooke Harrington in the Student Services Office, 116 Peavy Forest Science Center, (541) 737-1593