Information for Mentors

Thank you for your interest in serving as a mentor for a Koret Scholar!

Undergraduate research is among the ten high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh, a well-known educational scholar. Indeed, several key studies have shown that student-faculty interactions outside of the classroom through undergraduate participation in research play a significant role in the academic achievement, retention, and performance of undergraduate students. Perhaps most important in the context of UC Santa Cruz, participation in undergraduate research markedly improves the retention and timely graduation of students of color, first-generation college students, low-income students, and lower achieving students. Collaborating with faculty in research also imparts skills that help students get jobs and contribute to the economy.

Independent Study: Koret Scholars are to participate in a research project through a 2- or 5-credit independent study with their faculty mentor. As such, Koret scholarships will not be awarded for regular course assignments or other course-related research projects, but new research projects might be developed out of previous coursework.

Recognition: In order to honor their time and commitment to undergraduate research, Faculty mentors will receive $500 for each Koret Scholar supervised. These funds are to be used in support of any research project involving undergraduates. Additional details: 

  • Faculty mentors may mentor up to five Koret Scholars per academic year. We can fund 42 faculty-mentored projects. 
  • Graduate students and postdocs are also eligible to be Koret Scholar Mentors. For graduate student mentors, the terms are somewhat different. Graduate students receive a $2,000 fellowship and do not have to participate in the mentoring in the context of an independent study. We can fund eight graduate student-mentored projects.
  • Proposed projects can be student- or faculty-originated.

Letter of Support: The mentor letter of support should address the applicant’s ability to carry out the project and detail the support that will be provided by the mentor. Please include in your letter:

  • Your status at the university (the type of faculty, postdoc, graduate student, etc.)
  • If a postdoc or graduate student, the name of your faculty supervisor
  • The title of the project and a brief description
  • What is the student's specific role with the proposed research? Is the student new to the project or continuing participation?
  • What will the student learn through this experience? How will they develop as an undergraduate researcher?
  • How will you mentor and support the student throughout this project?

Please consider mentoring an undergraduate student through the Koret Scholars Program. We are particularly interested in granting scholarships to students who have not previously had research experiences. Student eligibility and project evaluation criteria can be found here.

Application Deadline: annually in October. Applications are to be submitted by the student. Students are encouraged to work with their mentor in preparing and submitting their application.

The Faculty Mentor and the Graduate Student Mentor flyers are linked below. 

Questions? Contact Don Bard, Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities at or (831) 459-5386.