The University of Houston embraces its mission of providing a broad range of educational programs and services at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Supporting undergraduate participation in mentored research is an important component of the university's mission. The Office of the Provost in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Research offers Undergraduate Research Mentor Awards to honor the dedicated practice of undergraduate mentorship at the University of Houston and to encourage faculty to support that aspect of the university's mission. These awards are presented to faculty honorees at the annual Provost Faculty Awards ceremony.
The Undergraduate Research Mentor Award recognizes excellence in supporting undergraduate research and conveys the campus' high regard for outstanding contributions made to the academic and research community. Award winners advise and work one-on-one with students on personalized, creative, enriching projects; they are committed to providing undergraduate research experiences above and beyond the classroom. This award replaces the two awards offered previously: the Early Mentoring Award and the Lifetime Career Award.
The Undergraduate Research Mentor Award celebrates the mentorship efforts of University of Houston faculty at all stages of their careers. This 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.
Candidates must be full-time tenured or tenure track faculty members from any department at the University of Houston main campus who have demonstrated mentorship involvement for at least five years at the University of Houston main campus.
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.
Nominations for this award should present evidence of 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 demonstrate a commitment to undergraduate research through specific examples, such as peer-reviewed publications involving undergraduates, student presentations, showings, performances, awards or scholarships, and evidence of continuing success of mentored students (including where the students are now, if possible). The selection committee reserves the right to be flexible in the selection process, subject to funding availability. Recommendations from the selection committee are forwarded to the Office of the Provost for review and final approval.
Nominations may be made by department chairs, faculty members, or students who have worked with the nominee.
Nomination forms for 2016 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 1, 2016 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:
- Nomination form – Download nomination form online.
- Brief curriculum vitae of the nominee – No more than two pages in length.
- List of mentored undergraduates – Create a document that includes: student name, dates or timeframe worked with student, title of project, and current position of student, if possible. List all students mentored since the beginning of academic career at the University of Houston.
- List of all publications and presentations that involved undergraduates – Designate the undergraduate researchers involved in each project by underlining their names. Indicate whether the articles are peer reviewed or not. List student honors associated with the experience such as PURS, SURF, and other research awards or scholarships.
- Description of mentoring philosophy – No more than one page in length. Explanation of how nominee 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.
- Four letters of support – one (1) letter from the 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 (2) letters of recommendation from students who have worked with the nominee; one (1) letter from the nominator (if he/she is not the department chair). If the nominator is the Chair, this letter can come from a colleague, or another student who has worked with the nominee. Only these four 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: (1) nomination form, (2) C.V., (3) list of mentored undergraduates, (4) listing of publications and presentations, (5) description of mentoring activity, and (6) four letters of support. Please include the nominator's name, title, email, and phone number on the nomination form as requested. Email the nomination packet to Karen Weber, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
2015 Albert Cheng - Lifetime Mentoring Award
Professor, Computer Science
2015 Samina Salim - Early Mentoring Award
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology
2014 Jeffrey Rimer - Early Mentoring Award
Ernest J. and Barbara M. Henley Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
2014 Carla Sharp - Early Mentoring Award
Associate Professor, Psychology
2013 Rakesh Verma - Lifetime Mentoring Award
Professor, Computer Science
2013 Maria Victoria Tejada-Simon - Early Mentoring Award
Assistant Professor, Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences
2012 Lynn Voskuil
Associate Professor, English
2011 Gangbing Song
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
2010 Rigoberto Advincula
2009 Keith Hollingsworth
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
2008 Margot Gayle Backus
Associate Professor, English
2007 Kenneth Brown
2006 T. Randall Lee
Cullen Distinguished Professor, Chemistry