McNair Mentors


Mentor Requirements

  • Must hold a PhD, or doctoral degree
  • Must have experience in research
  • Must have experience teaching and working with post-secondary students 

Preferred Requirements

  • A member of the UALR faculty
  • Experience in advising and mentoring disadvantaged students

What would my responsibilities as a mentor be?

The scholar’s program mentor will be responsible for meeting with their Scholar a minimum of once per week during the summer research project. Mentors must meet weekly with their Scholars. 

During the summer component, McNair Scholars are required to complete 30 hours of research per week as well as attend weekly GRE preparation classes and summer workshops with the McNair Staff. Mentors will monitor the progress with the research project, verify the Scholar’s timesheet, complete monthly progress reports on the Scholar, and submit needed documents to the McNair Scholars Office.  Timely and efficient communication with the McNair staff concerning progress, obstacles, and problems with the scholar and/or scholar research is expected of the mentor.

Each component of the research (Literature Review, Methodology, Abstract, etc) must be reviewed and approved by the mentor before being turned into the McNair Office.  Approval is shown by the mentor signing the document.  Please note that electronic approval, such as an email, can serve as temporary approval if the mentor is unavailable due to illness or travel but the mentor must physically sign a hard copy of the document that is to be turned into the McNair office.

In the fall, the Mentors will be asked to attend the UALR McNair Research Symposium. At this symposium, the Scholars will present their research. Mentors are required to help the scholar develop a 15 minute presentation of their research to be presented at the Symposium and future McNair and/or professional conferences.

Research expectations

  • Attend the annual Mentor orientation held in May of each year
  • Help the scholar with identifying a focus area and preparing a research action plan, including a timeline.
  • Meet with the scholar to discuss responsibilities and expectations of both parties.
  • Guide the scholar in conducting research in his or her focus area.
  • Set regular meetings with the scholar to discuss research progress.
  • Assess his or her needs, review research plans, and set attainable short and long term goals.
  • Provide support and advice to the scholar to present and publish their work.
  • Stress the importance of maintaining a research journal or logbook.
  • Acquaint the scholar with research methods, data collection, interpretation, and evaluation.
  • Direct the Scholar with the writing of a publication quality paper due before the end of the summer internship.

Specifically, the mentor should: 

  • Accept the scholar as a legitimate student with potential for success.
  • Legitimize the student(s) with departmental faculty and other students.
  • Direct research choice and plans.
  • Communicate with the scholar in an open and honest manner.
  • Direct the scholar’s research.
  • Give sound, constructive and critical reviews of the scholar’s work, free of judgmental bias.
  • Hold scholar to high standard of academic output.
  • Be an advocate for the scholar as progress is made toward completion of the undergraduate degree.
  • Introduce the scholar to opportunities and options for graduate study.
  • Help sponsor and promote the scholar into the profession.

If interested in serving as a McNair Mentor for the upcoming summer internship, please complete the application below and return it to the McNair Offices in Speech Building 101 or email to

Mentor Application (pdf)

Mentor Application (MSWord)

Other documents/forms for current mentors:

Mentor Agreement 

Mentor Monthly Report