Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards

Application Information


The Office of Undergraduate Research offers two faculty awards designed to honor the practice of mentoring undergraduate research and scholarship at the University of Houston. The awards are intended to recognize demonstrated excellence in supporting undergraduate researchers, to encourage mentoring relationships with undergraduate students, and to convey the campus' high regard for such contributions made by the faculty of the academic and research community.

These awards are granted to faculty members who mentor undergraduates outside of the classroom, and who are committed to undergraduate research, which extends above and beyond a course experience. The selection committee defines mentored research as faculty members advising and working one-on-one with students on personalized, creative, enriching projects.

The University of Houston embraces its mission of providing a broad range of educational programs and services at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. One area of importance entails increasing the participation of undergraduate students in the research component of the university's mission. The Faculty Awards for Mentoring Undergraduate Research encourage faculty to support the university's mission and enhance research opportunities on campus for undergraduate students.


The Early Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research celebrates the mentorship efforts at the University of Houston of junior faculty who are in the earlier stages of their careers. Candidates must be full-time tenured or tenure track faculty members from any department at the University of Houston main campus, and in one of the following categories:

1. Be within eight years of their terminal degrees independent of rank

2. Have a rank of Assistant Professor

3. Have a rank of Associate Professor without tenure

This one-time cash award of $1500 is available to faculty who are making a significant impact in their field by supporting and mentoring undergraduate students in research and scholarship endeavors. Applicants must have demonstrated mentorship involvement for at least three years at the University of Houston main campus.


The Lifetime Faculty Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research is a career award for individuals whose efforts in undergraduate mentorship at the University of Houston have been exceptional over a large number of years. This one-time cash award of $3000 is open to tenured full professors and associate professors who have made a lasting commitment to undergraduate research within their respective departments, and have served at the University of Houston main campus for at least 10 years. 


Nominations for both awards should present evidence that the nominees have made significant contributions to advancing undergraduate research and scholarship on the University of Houston main campus. Applicants should not include mentorship that took place outside of the University of Houston, nor should candidates include information on undergraduate research courses they have taught. This means candidates should not include information on senior design courses and course projects within their application materials. The Office of Undergraduate Research’s faculty selection committee reviews the nominations. The strongest nominations will demonstrate a commitment to undergraduate research through specific examples such as peer-reviewed publications involving undergraduates, student presentations, showings, or performances, awards or scholarships, and evidence for the continuing success of mentored students in the research endeavor (where the students are now if possible). The selection committee reserves the right to be flexible in the selection process and may determine which category an applicant will be judged. The committee may also award as many or as few awards as they see fit. For instance, in one application cycle they may award multiple junior awards and no senior award. Should you feel your undergraduate mentoring activities are particularly strong, but your position and time at the University do not allow you to qualify for either award, please contact Stuart Long.


Nomination forms for 2014 are available below. One .pdf file of all nomination materials and letters of support must be emailed to Karen Weber at the Office of Undergraduate Research by February 3, 2014 at 5 p.m. 


Nomination package. The nomination materials should be created on single-sided paper, using 12-point font size, and assembled in the following order:

  1. Nomination form. Download department chair nomination form online. Include completed form with application materials. Department chairs must state on their nomination form whether the nominee is applying for the early career or lifetime award.
  2. Brief curriculum vita of the nominee, no more than two pages in length.
  3. Listing of mentored undergraduates – name of student, dates or timeframe worked with student, title of project, and current position of student if possible. Please include all students mentored since the beginning of academic career at the University of Houston. Download the mentoring chart, and include the completed chart with pdf of application materials. 
  4. On a separate page, list all publications and presentations that involved undergraduates, designating the undergraduate researchers involved in each project by underlining their names, and separating out the articles by indicating if peer reviewed or not. List student honors associated with the experience such as PURS, SURF, and other research awards or scholarships. Include with pdf of application materials. 
  5. Description of mentoring activity, no more than one page in length. Explanation from nominee on how he or she works with students in regards to undergraduate research and mentorship. The nominee should explain specifically how he or she mentors students, and identify what types of activities undergraduates are involved in when working under his or her mentorship.
  6. Three letters of support include: Chair of department's letter - letter from chair of department describing nominee's impact on field or department with emphasis on evidence of nominee's contribution to undergraduate research and mentoring; Two (and only two) letters of recommendation from students who have worked with the nominee. Only these three letters of recommendation will be accepted with the nomination. 


Nominations must be submitted electronically as a .pdf file. Please make a single .pdf file (labeled with the last name of the applicant) containing items outlined above and in the exact order indicated on the list: nomination form, C.V., list of mentored undergraduates, listing of publications and presentations, description of mentoring activity, and three letters of support. Please include the nominator's address, email (if available) and phone number on the nomination form as requested. Email the nomination packet to Karen Weber, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Dr. Stuart Long at (713) 743-4445 or Karen Weber at (713) 743-3367.


2013  Rakesh Verma - Lifetime Mentoring Award 

Professor, Computer Science

2013  Maria Victoria Tejada-Simon - Early Mentoring Award 

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

2012  Lynn Voskuil

Associate Professor, English

2011  Gangbing Song

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

2010  Rigoberto Advincula

Professor, Chemistry

2009  Keith Hollingsworth

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

2008  Margot Gayle Backus

Associate Professor, English

2007  Kenneth Brown

Professor, Anthropology 

2006  T. Randall Lee

Cullen Distinguished Professor, Chemistry