Mentor–Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty Mentors Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is eligible to be a mentor?
Koret Scholar faculty mentors must have one of the titles below, or be part of a research group that allows for research funds to be provided. Graduate students are also eligible, but their award will be in the form of a fellowship.

Senate faculty (Professor series)
Researcher (Researcher series)
Teaching Professor
Adjunct Professor

I have previously mentored a Koret Scholar. Can I mentor again this year?
Yes, mentors are eligible to mentor from year to year.  During any one year, faculty mentors are allowed to mentor up to five Koret Scholars and graduate student mentors are allowed to mentor one Koret Scholar. 

How is the mentor letter of support submitted?
The student applicant uploads a pdf version of the letter of support to their online application. If mentors do not wish to provide student applicants with the letter, they should let us know well before the application deadline--by Friday, October 26 2019 at the latest. In such cases we will arrange an alternate submission approach. 

How many total scholarships are available? 
In 2019 we awarded 64 scholarships--42 were faculty-mentored projects and 11 were graduate-student-mentored projects. Some faculty mentored multiple Koret Scholars.

Is this supposed to be an independent research project led by the student, or is it more broadly designed to facilitate student participation in ongoing research
Either pathway to student participation is acceptable. It could be something originated by the student or something that you have going on that the student could play a role in. 

How will the mentor funds be disbursed?
Faculty and post-docs: $500 will be allocated to their research accounts. Under the terms of the grant, this funding should be used in support of any research project that involves undergraduate student participation. It does not have to be the same project as that under consideration with the Koret application. As 2019 is the final year of the Koret grant, faculty or post-doc funds in research accounts will need to be spent or moved.  

Graduate students: You will receive a $2,000 fellowship for mentoring a Koret Scholar. The fellowship will be awarded through financial aid and your student account; although no taxes are withheld, it is considered to be taxable income by the IRS. If you are currently participating in a GSRship/TAship, you are still eligible for this fellowship. If you have an unpaid UCSC balance, the fellowship will be used to pay off the unpaid balance first.

Do you have any guidelines or expectations for mentoring throughout the program? 
When a faculty member is a mentor, we expect that mentoring would occur in the context of a 2- or 5-credit independent study, with contact or checking-in as appropriate. Graduate student mentors will not sponsor an independent study, but would like to hear in your letter of support of a plan for guiding the student through the research experience. 

If you have additional questions, please contact Don Bard, Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities at