Learning Through Research

Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award

CUR--Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award

Overview: The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation (BGSF) Program (hereafter Goldwater Scholars (GS) Program) request nominations of an outstanding faculty mentor for the CUR-Goldwater Scholars (CUR-GS) Faculty Mentor Award. The faculty mentor must conduct her/his research in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) discipline (as defined by the Goldwater Scholars program), and must have mentored at least three (3) Goldwater Scholars during his/her career.

The 2016 CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award will be given at the 2016 CUR Conference to be held at the University of South Florida from June 26-28, 2016. The awardee will receive a plaque.  In addition, $5000 will be awarded to the recipient’s institution and dedicated to support of the faculty mentor’s research program and/or current undergraduate researchers.


Past Recipients


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 packet should include:

  • 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,
  • a three-page CV of the nominee, and
  •  a list (minimum of 3) of all Goldwater Scholars (Scholars and Honorable Mentions) that the nominee has worked with that includes each student’s name, year of the Goldwater award and an indication of whether the nominee was the (1) sole research mentor, (2) joint mentor or (3) supported the student in preparing his/her Goldwater application only.

Upon review of these materials, a subset of the nominees will be asked to submit a complete application portfolio. A complete portfolio would 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 three  GS recipients, and (3) philosophy of engagement of undergraduates in research;
  • 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.

The letter submitted by the president or provost, which will formally identify the applicant as an institutional nominee, the three-page CV and the list of Goldwater mentees 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 post-graduate 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 one (1) candidate for the CUR-GS Faculty Mentor Award per year.

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

                             eambos@cur.org with a copy to jeffrey@cur.org

Important Deadline: The deadline for nominations by the institution’s president or provost is November 7, 2016.

Questions: Questions may be addressed to Elizabeth Ambos (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.