Petit Mentors Overview

The Petit Undergraduate Research Scholars program provides an opportunity for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows (only) to mentor undergraduate scholars for valuable mentoring and project management experience while allowing them to further their research interests.

The mentor project submission process and the undergraduate scholar application process takes place in the summer/early fall of 2021. The 2022 program itself runs from January through December.

Benefits to Mentors:

  • IBB Graduate student/Postdoc mentors receive $2,000 to be used for travel to scientific conferences or materials/supplies for the lab
  • Great CV builder, most employers prefer Ph.D.’s with management/mentoring experience

Mentor Application Guidelines:

  • Meet with your IBB faculty advisor to ask if mentoring an undergraduate is a good fit for you and your lab. Your advisor will be asked to submit a letter of permission as part of your project submission process.

Project Selection:

  • Only projects which allow undergraduates to work independently will be considered, detailed description of the undergraduate's project (as it pertains to thesis work of mentor) must be provided
  • Due to specific funding support for the 2022 class, special consideration will be given to project proposals in the following research areas: automation and supply chain management, biomaterials, cell manufacturing, computational biology and bioinformatics, imaging of living systems, mechanical engineering, regenerative medicine, and systems biology. 
  • Projects will be reviewed by a committee
  • A lab may submit more than one proposal, but each mentor can only submit one proposal

If You are Already Mentoring a Top Undergrad:

  • If you are currently mentoring an undergraduate in an IBB lab who is planning to submit an application to be a 2022 Petit Scholar, you must submit a project proposal during this process describing the independent research project for that mentee and how it pertains to your own thesis work
  • You may indicate on the proposal application whether or not you wish for your project to be considered by other Petit Scholars if your undergraduate is not selected

Other Program Requirements:

  • All mentors must be working currently in IBB labs, advised by an IBB faculty member
  • All mentors must be available to mentor undergraduate scholars throughout the full calendar year, January 2022 through December 2022
  • As a mentor, you will be required to attend an orientation session in January 2022
  • Additionally, mentors may be invited to donor events throughout the year to highlight the program
  • A progress report and evaluation must be conducted on the mentee at the end of spring, summer, and fall semesters

Timeline (?Hot Tip - Don't wait until last minute to begin project submission!)

  • August 23, 2021—mentor project proposal submissions open for all interested graduate students or postdocs
  • September 19, 2021—deadline for: project proposal submissions and faculty advisor permission letter (no exceptions)
    • Plan to begin your project proposal submission early! While your submission is still in "draft" mode, the InfoReady system allows you to send permission letter requests to give your advisor maximum time to complete letter by the deadline!
  • Undergraduates submit scholarship applications through September 19, 2021
  • Newly-named scholars to conduct interviews with prospective mentors in late October 2021
  • Mentors and scholars are matched and notifications sent by early November 2021
  • The program runs from January–December 2022

For general questions about the mentoring program, contact