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CUR Biology Division Mentor Awards Announcement 2015-2016

Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR)

Biology Division Mentor Awards


The Biology Division of CUR would like to honor Biology Mentors for their long-term efforts in supervising undergraduate research (UGR) students. Individuals may be nominated by CUR Institutional or Institutional-Enhanced members, or individual CUR members of the Biology Division.  Faculty mentoring interdisciplinary projects are eligible as long as those projects involve a major biological component. Nominations must be submitted in their entirety by 5:00 pm (DT), Friday, October 2, 2015, by email to Dr. Shere Byrd at byrd_s@fortlewis.edu  

Awards will be made in three categories. Nominators are asked to identify the category in which they wish the candidate to be considered and explain that choice in their letter (see below).

Early Career: Scientists with 1-9 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers. While this generally corresponds to Assistant Professors, the committee recognizes that many mentors are not in tenure track positions and that some scientists begin significant undergraduate research mentoring even before they obtain a tenure track position.

Mid Career: Scientists with 10-19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.

Mature Career: Scientists with greater than 19 years of experience mentoring undergraduate researchers.

Application requirements (should arrive as a completed package):

  1. A completed institutional profile survey see link
  2. Nomination Letter – a nomination letter (3-page limit) that can speak first-hand about the nominee’s mentoring of UGR students. In the letter we suggest that the nominator explain a) the nominee’s personal commitment to mentoring, and b) how the nominee individualizes mentoring strategies to fit student needs and limitations. Additional information that gives more detailed insight into the nominee’s mentoring philosophy and style is welcome.
  3. Nominee CV – should provide information regarding cumulative mentoring activities involving UGR students (3-page limit).  Please indicate all publications and presentations with undergraduate co-authors.
  4. Student LettersTwo recommendation letters from UGR students who were mentored by the nominee (2-page limit). In their letter we ask that students explain a) how their mentor showed commitment to helping them achieve in areas of their life that mean the most to them (i.e. academic, career, or personal growth); and b) how their mentor modeled positive behaviors and successful performance.  Additional information that gives detailed insight into the mentor’s work on behalf of the student is welcome. Student letters are suggested to come from both a current/recent student and a former student, who may be able to reflect more broadly on the impact of the mentor on their career.



The CUR Biology Councilors will review the completed applications and will choose this year’s winners.  The winning mentors will be notified in November.  We look forward to reading the application letters and learning about the great opportunities and experiences undergraduate students are having across the nation.  

If you have any questions regarding the application process, contact Dr. Shere Byrd at byrd_s@fortlewis.edu.


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