Undergraduate Research Mentoring

With Critical Race Theory as a foundation, BUILD PODER was designed to support faculty awareness and behavioral change around issues that BP students face as developing biomedical scientists that may be different from the issues that we, as faculty, addressed while undergraduates. We aspire to help faculty understand the historical, social, and individual influences that give our students meaningful experiential knowledge and a complex, perhaps unfamiliar set of issues to contend with. In this way, we hope to develop institutional support for a community enlightened to support all of our promising students by recognizing their unique circumstances and talents.

Mentors whose projects are: (a) related to the biomedical sciences, broadly defined as research about or influencing health or health-related environments, (b) empirical (in most cases, activities like literature review are part of the process, but cannot be the full experience), (c) varied in research experiences and responsibilities, (d) presentable at a professional conference. All mentors who applied to be in the original BUILD PODER application are eligible to be a BUILD PODER mentor. Mentors who apply subsequently (each Fall semester) will be reviewed and invited to attend training in that year to accept students for the following year.

Each year, mentors are required to attend a BUILD PODER mentor training. In the first year, mentor training is a 16-hour program. Subsequently, 4-hour trainings are designed to develop a deeper, more abstract and historically contextualized understanding of how race/ethnicity and other forms of institutional bias influence student opportunities and outcomes.

Community College mentors are, understandably, often pressed for time. Therefore, an alternative 4-hour session will take place with a BUILD PODER mentor trainer(s) at a time that can be negotiated each year. Whenever possible, it is best when Community College mentors can join our regular mentor training to meet with faculty and better understand our BUILD PODER community.