Approach to Mentor Sourcing
Obtaining a mentor can occur in one of two ways:
No matter which option is chosen, ALL applications (with proposals) must be in by January 14th, 2019. If option 2 is chosen, a mentor is not found by the beginning of January and the student would still like to participate, they should start writing a project proposal and submit their application online before the deadline.
All projects must be aligned with a mentor by January 31st, 2019.
Remember: An application can be submitted before alignment with a mentor however a proposal must be submitted with each application.
Click here to view the SBC proposal requirements for the application.
“Don’t be afraid to talk with researchers and professors! Do some research first and find your passion in science whether it’s agriculture, life sciences, medicine, engineering and everything in between! Try and find like-minded professor and possible mentors at your local university of college. Establish a dialogue with them and show them how much you care and what a difference you can make to the general scientific community and beyond! Ask yourself what kind of contribution you want to make and how you can help others whether it’s feeding the world and providing better access to nutritious food or finding a cure for cancer.”
Dr. Mark Belmonte, Past Mentor, Associate Professor at University of Manitoba
How to Source a Mentor
Potential Mentor Search:
- Determine your research interests
- Search for relevant mentors in your area
- Find all research institutions in your area
- Go to each institution’s research page online (you may have to go through each specific faculty to find a research page) and search keywords relating to your desired research area, include any faculty members that come up during your search in your list of potential mentors
- Alternatively you can search the research institution’s entire website using the search bar on the home page however the results will not be as focused
- Your list should include mentors who are doing research you are interested in and have labs close enough to you
- If a wet lab is not needed for the experiment, the mentor does not have to have a lab near you, virtual mentorships are possible
- Remember that if your proposal or interests are very specific the number of possible mentors is reduced significantly
Start Reaching Out:
- Start reaching out to people on your list as soon as possible, send an email and follow up with telephone call
- In your email be sure to include, your name, grade, school, your proposal (or project idea), goals and info about SBC
- Express why you are interested in working with them and ensure you have good background knowledge about their research
- Attach your completed proposal or research ideas and explain why you will fit well into their lab
- Ask to meet them at the convenience of their schedule
- Ensure that you make the potential mentor aware that you are able to adjust / change / revise the project in a manner that fits with the work of the lab
*REMEMBER – GRADUATE STUDENTS CAN ACT AS SBC MENTORS – UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THEIR UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR/PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR*
Following Up with Potential Mentors:
- Do not get discouraged. Remember many potential mentors have a very busy schedule. If you do not hear back after a few days – follow up with an additional email and/or phone call
- If a potential mentor is unable to assist you, ask if they may have graduate students who could mentor you or if they can provide suggestions of other researchers for you to contact
- If you get a negative response, just keep reaching out. You may have to contact several researchers before you are able to secure your mentor. If you continue to have difficulty contact Maddy Sattler, SBC Program Manager for help (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- When you do get accepted into a lab remember to email Maddy Sattler, SBC Program Manager (email@example.com) to update you in the system.