University of California, San Diego


October 28, 2005


SUBJECT:    Faculty Mentor Program

I wish to invite not only your application for an undergraduate research assistant during Winter and Spring Quarters, 2006 through UCSD’s Faculty Mentor Program, but also your participation in initiating the use of a powerful, new communication Web site designed to specifically facilitate and improve this process.

(http://ugresearch.ucsd.edu), this site allows you to easily post undergraduate research position(s) and quickly receive direct student applications electronically, along with any supporting documentation you may require (e.g., letters of recommendation). The site also contains a variety of personal (streaming video) faculty experiences with undergraduate researchers that you should find both explanatory and interesting.

UCSD’s Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) has been in existence for over 20 years and helps enrich our students’ undergraduate educations by engaging them, during their junior or senior year, in faculty-supervised research activities. Such introductory activities, we believe, will encourage entry into Ph.D. programs leading to careers in research and university teaching.

Participating FMP students commit a minimum of 10 hours/week to faculty-assigned research for which they receive eight units of 199 Independent Study credit -- four units during winter, four during spring. In addition to assisting their professors, FMP students submit a research proposal and subsequent paper analyzing some facet of their mentor’s work. At year’s end, participating students present their research at the annual Faculty Mentor Program Research Symposium to which faculty mentors are invited.

I strongly encourage you to request a research assistant using UCSD’s new Undergraduate Research Center. In general during any given year, nearly 200 faculty and research scientists directly facilitate undergraduate student research experiences through FMP and, as a result, more than 200 students across a variety of disciplines become directly involved in the research process. I believe, as do so many of you, that we each bear a personal and professional responsibility to directly assist in the preparation of tomorrow’s research leaders. Such preparation, for many of our future Ph.D.s, will begin with the opportunities you will provide in the months ahead.

Please access the Undergraduate Research Center Web site to establish your account, as well as to obtain a more detailed description of the process through which faculty interview and select student assistants.

If you have further questions or suggestions concerning the program, please contact me at Ext. 4-1774 or dartis@ucsd.edu.

David Artis, Ph.D.
Academic Enrichment Programs