Learning Through Research

Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award

CUR--Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award

Overview: The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and the Goldwater Scholars (GS) Program request nominations of an outstanding faculty mentor for the CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award. The faculty mentor must conduct her/his research in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) discipline[1], and must have mentored[2] at least two (2) Goldwater Scholars during his/her career.  The first CUR-GS mentor award will be presented at CUR’s next biennial conference, to be held June 2014 in Washington, D.C.; thereafter, it will be presented at a yearly recognition event associated with either CUR or GS programs. Each CUR-GS mentor awardee will receive a plaque and cash prize of $5000, which will be awarded to the recipient’s institution, and dedicated to support of the faculty mentor’s research program and/or current undergraduate researchers.
Eligibility:  Faculty members in STEM disciplines who have five or more years of teaching and research experience past the terminal degree in their discipline are eligible for the award.
Nomination Process:  A faculty member must be nominated for the CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award by her/his institution, self-nominations will not be accepted.   The initial nomination consists of a letter from the institution’s president or provost highlighting the nominee’s contributions to the mentoring of Goldwater Scholars on the institution’s campus. Additionally, a three-page CV of the nominee should be included.   Upon review of these materials, a subset of the nominees will be asked to submit a complete application portfolio. A complete portfolio will include a written narrative (no more than 5 pages), providing a description of the nominee’s (1) experiences in mentoring undergraduates in research, (2) experiences in mentoring undergraduates in research who have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, including the names and award years for at least two GS recipients, and (3) philosophy of engagement of undergraduates in research. 
Additionally, the complete portfolio would include two letters of reference from current or former Goldwater Scholars who have been mentored by the faculty member and two letters of reference from colleagues who have had the opportunity to observe the candidate’s mentorship should be mailed or emailed directly to the address given below. The letter submitted by the president or provost, which will formally identify the applicant as an institutional nominee, and the three-page CV will also be used as part of the final application portfolio.  
Recognizing that the evidentiary basis for identifying successful mentors of undergraduate researchers can take many forms, the following list is meant to be non-inclusive, but illustrative of the types of activities that will be considered in the selection process:  
  • Evidence of consistent research and scholarly activity involving undergraduate students in STEM research;
  • Stature as a researcher, as evidenced by a consistent record of peer-reviewed publications and presentations throughout her/his career;
  • mentoring undergraduates whose work leads to peer reviewed publications and conference presentations;
  • innovative approaches to mentoring undergraduates, including involvement of graduate students and post-doctoral scholars in undergraduate student mentorship;
  • extramural support for undergraduate research activities through grants, contracts, or fund-raising;
  • admission of students to postgraduate and professional programs and/or employment in business or industry post graduation; and
  • baccalaureate and postgraduate awards, honors and recognition resulting from a student’s undergraduate research experience with the mentor.
Number of Nominations per Institution:   Institutions can nominate a maximum of two (2) candidates for the CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award.
Mailing/Email Address:   All nomination materials should be mailed or emailed to:
                             CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award
                             ATTN: Dr. Elizabeth L. Ambos
                             Council on Undergraduate Research
                             734 15th St NW
                             Suite 550
                             Washington, DC 20005
Important Deadlines: The deadline for nominations by the institution’s president or provost is November 15, 2013. Those being asked for complete portfolios will be notified by December 15, 2013, with complete application portfolios due by February 15, 2014. An announcement of the award will be made in early April of 2014.
Questions: Questions may be addressed to Elizabeth Ambos, Executive Officer, Council on Undergraduate Research (eambos@cur.org or 202-783-4810 x 201).

[1] For the purposes of the CUR-GS award, STEM disciplines will correlate directly with the disciplines identified in the eligibility for Goldwater Scholars’ awards (http://www.act.org/goldwater/). Please see the website for Goldwater Scholars for more information.

[2] As Goldwater Scholars often have multiple mentors, applicants for the CUR-GS faculty mentor award may have shared mentorship with other faculty colleagues. If that is the case, applicants should identify their specific role(s) in mentoring GS awardees.