2020 CUR Physics and Astronomy Mentor Award

The CUR Physics and Astronomy Division would like to honor Mentors in our disciplines for their long-term efforts in mentoring undergraduate research (UGR) students. Individuals may be nominated by CUR Institutional or Institutional-Enhanced members, or individual CUR members. Nominees are encouraged to be CUR members, but it is not required for nomination. Individuals mentoring interdisciplinary projects are eligible as long as those projects involve a major physical or astronomical component. Nominations/recommendations must be submitted in their entirety by 11:59 pm (EDT), Sunday, May 31, 2020. (Submissions are closed at this time.)

Mentors with 3 or more years of experience in a primary role are eligible. While this generally corresponds to Assistant Professors and above, the committee recognizes that many mentors are not in tenure-track positions and that some scientists begin significant undergraduate research mentoring before they obtain a permanent position. Nominations of individuals at 2-year colleges, national labs, research centers, etc. are especially encouraged. Nominations must be made by colleagues who know the nominee well. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Application requirements:

  1. Online application form, to be completed by the nominator, and includes submitting items 2 and 3 below
  2. Nomination Letter – submit a 2-3 page letter submitted to the link above that specifically a ddresses the nominee’s mentoring of UGR students. The letter should describe:
    1. The nominee’s long-term personal commitment to mentoring;
    2. How the nominee’s mentoring strategies fit student needs and limitations;
    3. Additional information that the nominator feels is warranted.
  3. Nominee CV/Resume (two-page limit) – submitted to the link above. This document should provide information on the cumulative UGR mentoring activities. All publications and presentations with undergrad co-authors within the past 5 years should be listed.
  4. Two recommendation letters from undergraduate research students (two-page limit for each letter) – At least one student must have been mentored by the nominee within the past five years. Each letter should detail:
    1. How their mentor helped them achieve in areas of their life that mean the most to them (i.e. academic, career, or personal growth);
    2. How their mentor modeled positive behaviors and successful research outcomes.
    3. Additional information about the mentor’s work with the student is welcome. Recommendation letters should be submitted separately by each recommender.

The CUR Physics and Astronomy Councilors will review all completed applications and select this year’s winner(s). The awardee(s) will be notified in late Spring. Awardees will receive a plaque recognizing their significant contributions to mentoring undergraduate researchers. Letters of recognition will also be sent to identified superiors (Department Chair, Dean, Provost, Center Head, etc.).

Questions about the application process should be addressed to Carol Hood at chood@csusb.edu.

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.

CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.