BUILD Research Mentorship Overview
BUILD Research Mentors play a critical role in the undergraduate research experience. A well-matched pairing of BUILD Scholar or Fellow with a BUILD research mentor is critical to the success of this training program.
Training with a BUILD research mentor operates on an apprenticeship model: Trainees learn from their mentors by observing and assisting with their mentor’s research. Mentors serve as role models for the trainees and as a resource for information. The research mentor provides the undergraduate researcher with rigorous guidance regarding research activities, academic achievement, graduate education and professional goals.
The overarching objective of this collaboration is to develop the undergraduate researcher's confidence, research skills, and critical thinking abilities in order to succeed in their undergraduate career, in graduate school and as research professionals.
There are currently two types of mentoring opportunities. Each is focused on students at differing points in their undergraduate career.
BUILD Scholar Trainees
This two-year program, including summers, provides faculty-mentored research and professional development training that includes presentation skills, career development planning, and graduate school application preparation. In addition to faculty-mentored research, Scholars participate in an 8-week summer Learning Community (Summer Undergraduate Research Gateway to Excellence – SURGE) in the first year of the program.
They are also expected to apply for summer research programs at Ph.D.-granting institutions during the second summer and then Ph.D. programs in their second year. Scholars receive a monthly stipend, tuition assistance, research supplies support, and assistance with travel expenses to professional meetings and conferences. They also participate in a 1-unit weekly learning community seminar class during the academic years.
BUILD Fellows Trainees
This one-year program, including summer, provides faculty-mentored research and professional development training that includes presentation skills, career development planning, and graduate school application preparation for graduating seniors. Unlike Scholars, Fellows are required to have at least 1 semester of mentored research experience before being admitted. Fellows also participate in an 8-week summer Learning Community (Summer Undergraduate Research Gateway to Excellence – SURGE) and are expected to apply to Ph.D. programs in the fall semester. Fellows receive hourly salary, research supplies support, and assistance with travel expenses to professional meetings and conferences. They also participate in a 1-unit weekly learning community seminar class during the academic year.
Opportunities for Lower-division Students
The primary goal of the lower-division program is to give students the opportunity to engage in mentored research and explore their research interest before applying to upper-division training programs. Implemented from 2015-2019, the BUILD Associates Program was a one-year research training program for sophomores. Associates participated in a paid two-week PREP training program the summer before they start their research with a faculty mentor during the academic year. Associates received hourly salary, research supplies support, and participated in a 1-unit weekly learning community seminar class.
Starting from the 2019-2020 academic year, the BUILD program partners with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) to create a health research UROP peer group for eligible sophomores and juniors. Interested students can apply directly to the UROP program. Faculty mentors can apply to become a research sponsor to work with UROP students.