Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award

Want to honor a faculty member who helped you learn the value of research?

If so, click on the nomination form link below.

2020 Awards

Michael Lemke Natural Sciences
Carolee Rigsbee Business/Professions


The Undergraduate Research Support Program sponsors a faculty mentor award based on student nominations.  A panel of faculty and students will review the nominations and select 3-4 awards, from different areas.  The mentees will present the award to the mentor at an Awards Ceremony in the spring.

Taylor and Michael

Call for Nominations

This award is intended to recognize demonstrated excellence in mentoring undergraduate researchers over a sustained period of time. At UIS, undergraduate research is broadly defined to include scholarly and creative activities. UIS values mentoring of an undergraduate research student as an intensive teaching experience. This campus award is one way that UIS recognizes the quality of faculty mentoring of undergraduate research students. In particular, this award program:

  • Celebrates a faculty member who actively mentors undergraduates in research—someone who helps undergraduate students to explore, inquire and engage in new knowledge creation by providing meaningful guidance and support,
  • Recognizes a continuous, long-term commitment to undergraduate student research.

Award: A Plaque and recognition letter from Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Institutional Effectiveness. There will be up to four awards annually, with one each in different categories: Social Science, Natural Science, Business/Professions, Humanities/Arts.

Criteria: The nominees will be evaluated for excellence in three areas:

  1.    Academic development of the student
  2.    Quality of life for the student
  3.    Professional development of the student

Nomination Form

More details of these areas are available below.  The nomination form is available here.

In the case that no nominee is found excellent in all three areas, an award will not be given. Any mentor who has received the award will be ineligible for the next two years.


Nominees are UIS faculty members who

  • Have advised and supervised a significant number of undergraduate student researchers over a sustained period of time,
  • Have promoted the dissemination of knowledge by publishing, exhibiting, or presenting with their students, or by encouraging students to publish, exhibit, or present independently,
  • Have not received the award during the previous three years, and
  • Are themselves scholars, researchers, artists or professionals with a demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly, or professional growth of their undergraduate students.

Nomination Process:

  • Nominations can only be initiated by undergraduate students.
  • Self-nominations will not be considered.
  • The student mentee must complete the nomination form with the following information:
    • Student Information: Name, Major, Year, and Contact Information
    • Student Research Experience (s)
    • Mentor Information: Name, Department, and Contact Information
    • Student Statement: I have/had faculty as research mentor for _____ semesters.
    • Nomination Draft: A short letter describing how the faculty mentor helped the student in the areas of 1. Academic Development, 2. Quality of Life, and 3. Professional Development. The student should provide at least one-paragraph description for each of these three areas of evaluation. Be sure to review the detailed descriptions of the criteria below.

Evaluation Committee

The Evaluation Committee shall include both students and  faculty members in equal percentages ( 50% each). The committee members will be selected by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Institutional Effectiveness, with the recommendations of the members of the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee.

We hope you will consider nominating your deserving faculty mentor for this prestigious award.  The deadline for receipt of nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 20, 2020.  Nominations should be completed with this online form. For questions regarding the awards or award processes, please contact Dr. Sudeep Sharma (206-8275, sshar5@uis.edu) or the Director of Undergraduate Research Support Program (PAC 383), ursp@uis.edu.

Detailed Criteria

  1. Academic development of the student: Nominated faculty has substantial influence on the academic and professional pursuits of the student that may include support for or co-authorship/co-production of funded research, publications, creative performances and products, and presentations at regional, national, and/or international conferences or performance venues.


  1. Quality of life for the student: Nominated faculty provides supporting environment for students and cares about their psychological health and subjective well-being. S/he always have the best interests of the student at heart, and have as his/her primary goal assisting the student to create a pathway to success.


  1. Professional development of the student: Nominated faculty helps students acquire the skills and resources necessary to succeed as professionals in their fields. S/he, as a positive role model, prepares the student as a professional with deep personal integrity, high ethical standards, a solid commitment to inclusion and diversity, and achievable standards for personal excellence. S/he advances and enriches students’ long-term professional development—whatever career path the student may choose.

Prior Awardees

2019 Awards

Lan Dong Humanities
Tiffany Saunders Social Sciences
Amy McEuen Natural Sciences
Jennifer Martin Business/Professions

2018 Awards

Andrea Scarpino         Humanities

Elise LoBue                  Social Sciences

Glenn Cassidy              Business/Professions


The Council on Undergraduate Research has determined that a campus award recognizing the quality of faculty mentoring of undergraduate research students is a mark of excellence. At UIS, student mentorship by faculty is mentioned in Faculty Personnel Policy, but there is no process for evaluating the mentorship efforts of faculty for tenure and promotion review. Mentoring of an undergraduate research student is an intensive teaching experience which needs to be recognized and rewarded.


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