The Mentored Undergraduate Researcher program within the School of Education at Brigham Young University provides opportunities for undergraduate students to work with faculty mentors on joint research projects. For more information, see the MUR Program Description.
Since requests for students often exceed the funds available, because the university is increasing emphasis on the importance of mentoring undergraduates, and to better build on the long tradition of this program in the School of Education, a set of criteria has been established to guide decisions about which proposals will be funded. These are not exclusionary criteria, but guidelines for prioritizing proposals as they are submitted:
- Nature of student involvement: What experiences will the MUR receive? Priority will be given to projects involving students in varied project activities and research-related duties and to those that include students in some of the analysis and synthesis of information (not exclusively data entry types of activities, for example).
- Quality of mentoring environment: What is the quality of the mentoring relationship? What level and nature of support will the student receive from the faculty adviser? How much direct involvement will the student have with the faculty member?
- Products and outcomes: Will a publishable journal article result from the student's involvement in this research experience? If not, what other outcomes or products will result from student efforts? What level of visibility will the McKay School of Education receive from the publication or product? Some preference may be given to projects that result in articles published in professional journals or in products on which the student is acknowledged as a co-author (or has received some similar recognition for his or her work).
- Faculty need: Does this project represent a new or innovative line of research or scholarly work? Has the faculty member received student assistance for the same or a similar project in the past? Does the faculty member have continuing faculty status (CFS)? Does the faculty member need research support to develop a solid line of research? Preference may be given to younger faculty without CFS who plan to use this project to help them develop a research agenda. Preference may also be given to innovations or to faculty who have not had much undergraduate student assistance in previous years.
- Nature of the project: What is the nature of the project (original research, product development, or curriculum development)? Preference may be given to research efforts since the funds come from the McKay School's research account. Does the research or scholarly/creative work contribute to the development of knowledge or practice in the field?
- Other resources available: Does the faculty member have access to other sources of funds for the project? The Mentored Undergraduate Researcher funds may be seen as seed monies for developing additional research proposals or obtaining alternate sources of support (e.g., ORCA Environments for Mentoring, external funds, Dean's Research grant monies, external publishers).
- Reporting and previous outcomes: Has the faculty member submitted a report pertaining to the use of previously awarded MUR funds? Have previous funds resulted in a product or publishable article? Has the student been involved or included in the authorship of the article or product development?
Orca mentoring principles: The following principles created by the Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) for Mentoring Environments grants will also be considered in reviewing faculty proposals:
- Students should have access to faculty (and/or mentoring teams) for sufficient time to allow development of personal and professional relationships.
- Students should be involved in programs and processes wherein scholarship and/or forms of academic activity constitute the core of their experiences.
- Students should be given opportunities for growth for developing skills and increasing responsibility during the project or experience.
- Students should be provided opportunities and examples for integration of spiritual and secular understanding.
- Mentored experiences should be pertinent to future situations of the students and ideally would assist them in attaining the "next level" of their chosen disciplines.
- Mentoring environments may facilitate faculty development and should contribute to the university in meaningful ways.
- Where appropriate, students should become co-authors or co-creators of some significant work.
See the Faculty Application Process for a description of how to submit an application for faculty participation in the MUR program.