The SURE Program is a student-oriented program, meaning that project proposals are conceived and written by students. Faculty serve as mentors and should provide students with advice and feedback while they are formulating and writing their project proposals. Below is some basic information about the SURE program that is relevant to faculty mentors and recommendation writers.
Mentoring a SURE Applicant
If you are willing to serve as a SURE faculty mentor, you should be prepared to actively interact with your SURE student for 10 weeks over the summer. It is preferable that both the student and the faculty mentor will be co-located during the project period, however, there may be cases in which this is not practical nor ideal. Because research and scholarship models vary across the disciplines, we understand that student-faculty collaborations will take different forms.
SURE students will require constant oversight and feedback, and the faculty mentor is responsible for ensuring that the project is successful and progressing as proposed. Before agreeing to serve as a faculty mentor, you should assess how other scheduled professional and personal summer activities might impact your ability to be an effective and attentive mentor.
Payments to SURE Faculty Mentors
SURE faculty mentors receive a modest sum of money for being a faculty mentor. The stipend does not serve as hour-for-hour compensation, but is meant to acknowledge the faculty member's effort and leadership on the project. Faculty mentors may opt to receive payment as research funds, money for travel or supplies, or as a stipend. Receipts must be submitted by September 30, 2014 in order to receive reimbursement. Please note that stipends are considered taxable income. Faculty mentor payments are calculated each year depending on funding and number of applications. In 2014, full-time faculty mentors will receive $3500 and part-time faculty mentors will receive $1750. Part-time mentoring assumes the SURE student spends considerable time working independently but interfaces with the mentor (in person or remotely) regularlyto go over activities andto discussprogress on the project and determine next steps. A full-time mentor provides oversight and/or works directly with students > 35 hours/week. To be considered a full-time mentor, you cannot be teaching concurrent with the SURE project.
Mentoring more than one SURE Applicant
Faculty may agree to serve as a mentor for more than one SURE applicant, but cannot be paid an additional stipend.
Letters of Recommendation from Faculty Mentors
If you have been asked to serve as a faculty mentor, you will be required to write a letter of recommendation for the SURE applicant. Your letter will be important in evaluating the feasibility of the project and the student's qualifications. Please make sure you include a discussion of your planned mentoring activities and what you will do to oversee the project. This is especially important to include if the student will be traveling to do field work or archival research and you will not be physically co-located.
Other activities associated with SURE
Faculty mentors are strongly encouraged to participate in the community-building/leadership activities with their students. At the end of the summer, the faculty must complete a 15-minute online evaluation about the programming and the undergraduate research experience (this is in lieu of the summary).