Mentor Selection

It is imperative to select a mentor wisely. Careful thought and planning should go into the process of determining possible mentors, presenting yourself and your project to prospective mentors, and then formally requesting a faculty member to be your mentor.

We require mentors to be active, tenure track faculty with tenure-line (home institution affiliation) at UH Mānoa (which includes JABSOM and the UH Cancer Center).  If you already have an active UHM faculty member in mind to mentor your research or creative work, please be sure to ask if they fit our criteria and exercise proper academic and professional etiquette in your communications. We are happy to offer some tips below.

Select Possible Mentors
If you are new to your major or unfamiliar with the faculty researchers in your field, we recommend that you do some preliminary research:

• Consider active UHM tenure track faculty you know from classes you have taken or other activities
• Department websites often have faculty pages that include bios and research
• The UROP Alumni page for UHM faculty that have previously served as mentors
• Develop a list of prospective mentors, the first person you ask may not agree to mentor you
• Do not wait until the last minute: Building relationships can take time!

Exploratory Meeting
• Select a faculty member that you respect
• Request a meeting to discuss your research and search for a mentor
• Explain your situation and research ideas
• Ask about faculty members who have expertise or research related to your topic
• This is a great way to gain insider knowledge of eligible faculty who may be prospective mentors

Present Yourself and Your Project
• Draft, proofread, and edit a formal email introducing yourself and the purpose of your meeting
 ..    Be sure to use appropriate titles (e.g. Dr. Soandso, etc.)
..     Request a sit-down meeting (sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to offer to bring coffee)
……Email, or bring, a CV so the faculty member can get an impression of you
Dress appropriately
Present your proposal at the meeting
• Understand you are requesting a faculty member to do something beyond their standard responsibilities
• This is your chance to convince them of the value  and your own investment of your project
If the faculty member expresses interest in your research, you need to interview them as well
    .. Ensure they will be available to you for guidance for the duration of your project
 ..    Be sure they understand the depth of the relationship
 ..    Ask them about their research and explore the expertise they can offer to your project
Value their time and express gratitude verbally and in a follow-up emails 

Formally Request Mentorship
• Once you have a mutual agreement about working together on research or creative work, send the UHM faculty member the UROP Mentor Form and your appreciation
• Be sure to update them on any changes to your project, and send them drafts/final copies of your proposal before they sign the mentor form

Maintain Communication with your Mentor
• CC your mentor on all email communication with UROP
• Be sure they can get in touch with you as necessary