McNair Research Mentors

McNair Research Mentors demonstrate a commitment to the mission and values of the McNair Scholars Program. Research experience represents a foundational element in successful applications to graduate school and overall scholarly development. McNair-eligible students frequently face additional challenges and invisible labor navigating dominant-culture higher education institutions and cultures. This McNair Program is committed to illuminating this “hidden curriculum” and mitigating access and equity issues, which are often accentuated with social capital involved in identifying and developing relationships with faculty mentors.

The development and success of McNair Scholars centers on a robust mentor-mentee relationship. The McNair Scholars Program team—Program Director and PI, Program Coordinator, Graduate Employee, and Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research—cultivate a broad network of support with campus partners, such as the Graduate School, Division of Equity & Inclusion, and Teaching and Academic Engagement Center. Faculty Research Mentors assume a salient role in this community of support.

The McNair Scholars Program is deeply grateful to the cohort of McNair Scholars Faculty Mentors and their support and their dedication to the academic and professional development of future scholars from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented backgrounds.

If you have any questions about the expectations for the role or more ways to get involved, email us at and we would be happy to share more information and ideas.

What Mentors Do

Faculty Research Mentors introduce and guide students through the research process generally and within their particular field of study. In complement to the McNair Scholars team, Faculty Research Mentors provide expert knowledge to familiarize students with the academic culture, scholarly rigor, professional networks, and prospective graduate school and career pathways within their particular discipline. Faculty research mentorship ultimately provides encouragement and motivation for students as they pursue their original research and preparation for doctoral studies.

As part of the support they provide, mentors:

  • Assist students with identifying an achievable research project
  • Support students with the preparation of Research Proposals for the McNair Summer Research Internship
  • Review and “approve” final draft of Research Proposal before submission to McNair Scholars Program at the end of spring term
  • Provide guidance on research questions, literature reviews, methodology, sources/data, implications/applications and significances of the study
  • Meet/consult regularly with mentee during summer research internship period to support research process/data analysis
  • Review and provide constructive evaluation on drafts of research papers as students prepare for presentations at the McNair and UO Undergraduate Symposium, as well as publication in the UO McNair Scholars Journal. The McNair Program Team also reviews research papers and provides feedback on general academic writing, organization, and copy-editing to allow faculty to focus on content and discipline-related feedback.
  • Provide informal counsel on the experience of graduate school and the role of faculty
  • Introduce mentee to prospective graduate school programs and faculty at these institutions
  • Introduce mentee to academic and professional conference participation and networking opportunities
  • Author letters of recommendation for graduate school applications'

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Nominate a Student

Many faculty come across students they think would be good fits for our program’s curriculum and support structure. We gladly welcome any and all referrals and recommendations that you may have.

Send us the student’s contact information and a brief description of why you would nominate them. We would then be happy to reach out to that student to share more information about the program.

Send your nomination

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General Research Project Timeline


Your scholar may be working with a modified timeline as pre-arranged with the Program staff.



    • Identify research interests
    • Identify and secure possible research mentor
    • begin draft of research proposal, timeline, and budget


    • Revise and submit research proposal package (due May)
    • Arrange schedule and agenda for summer research internship


    • Spend 30-40 hours per week on research project
    • Weekly McNair cohort check-ins
    • Identify possible academic conference presentation opportunities
    • Begin draft of research writeup (introduction, literature review, methodology)
    • Present project at Works-in-Progress McNair Symposium (August)


    • Finish processing data from research
    • Finish draft of research writeup (results, discussion, appendices)
    • Prepare proposals for academic conference presentations
    • Begin preparing academic poster or oral presentation


    • Revise draft of research writeup for publication
    • Present project at UO McNair Research Symposium (February)
    • Present project at individual academic conference (optional)
    • Submit research writeup to UO McNair Research Journal (March)


    • Present project at individual academic conference (optional)
    • Present project at UO Undergraduate Research Symposium (May)

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