A Friend in STEM
What is A Friend in STEM?
How does it work?
Provide support and mentorship to undergraduate students pursuing careers in STEM/research, especially prioritizing support for underrepresented minorities in STEM (including international/low income/first generation/BIPOC/LGBTQ+ students of all genders)
Provide personalized support, specific to a student’s unique needs and interests in the current moment
Create a structure that is achievable for both researchers and students
Frequently Asked Questions
Will all mentors be paired with students?
What is the time commitment for Friend in STEM?
What if my student doesn’t respond to my emails?
What if I get too busy and can’t meet with my student?
Do you provide any mentoring resources for us?
What if I have other questions?
Contact your student within 1 week after our email.
After initial email contact, set up a Zoom meeting with the student.
Be prepared to provide whatever guidance the student is seeking. This may include helping them pick a lab, draft an email to faculty, or just encouragement!
Future meetings/contact decided based on goals determined by mentor and student.
Check in with students 3-5 months after initial contact (or at the end of the semester) to see how they’re doing and if they need any additional guidance!
You will be paired with one student/semester (dependent on the number of students requesting mentorship).
This doesn’t mean that we intend for mentor:mentee relationships to end/begin within a semester time period - the longevity of these contacts will be up to you and the student!
At the end of each semester, we will send out a survey to collect the following information:
Are you willing to be paired with an additional student next semester?
What worked? What didn’t work?
Before your first meeting
During your first meeting
Help the student set tangible goals (even if they’re small!) Plan to meet to discuss how things went.
Let students tell you what they need - listen first, then give advice!
Allow space for the students’ experiences to be different from your own.
When in doubt, ask if your advice is helpful or applicable.
Encourage them to follow their intuition.
If students are interested in pursuing undergraduate research, be honest with them about the realities of this work environment.
Discuss what healthy mentor/mentee relationships look like.
Discuss what healthy lab environments look like.
Discuss how to get paid for undergraduate research (see the Resources list on the Student page of this website).
Resources for intentional, inclusive, and uplifting mentorship:
Resources for your Mentees:
COVID-19 Mentorship Recommendations
Meet over Zoom.
Encourage students to email professors about future research opportunities, affording the possibility that in person research may not be available to undergraduates this semester (lab dependent) .
Encourage students to ask PIs if they can meet over zoom with lab members to learn more about their research and possible dry-lab projects.
Invite interested students to other relevant zoom events. (Remember to offer guidance or provide the opportunity for them to ask questions afterwards if students are unfamiliar with these sorts of meetings!)