RES.3-006 | Spring 2021 | Undergraduate
MICRO Mentoring Resources and Materials Science Curriculum

Section 4: Fostering Independence


At the end of this section, the mentors will be able to:

  • Build their mentee’s self-confidence to conduct independent research.
  • Assist their mentee in pursuing their future career steps, both short- and long-term.
  • Encourage the undergraduate student in developing a network of mentors they can go to for guidance and help on a variety of issues.
  • Encourage and harness their mentee’s creativity in actively participating in planning their future and that of the research project.


This unit will focus on progressively promoting independent research approaches for the undergraduate researcher as they gain experience and knowledge in the mentor’s research field. The goal of this section is to provide the mentors with means to encourage the undergraduate student to gradually shift towards independent critical thinking and research, to promote a well-rounded experience where the mentee develops a strong fundamental understanding of the research project in which they are involved. We will cover various recommendations to give to the undergraduate researcher to foster their independence and help them develop a deep understanding of their project, such as encouraging them to dive into the literature by themselves, attend poster sessions, conferences, seminars, journal clubs, etc. We will lead a discussion on how mentors learned themselves how to be independent researchers and how they have developed a network of people to support them. Mentors will be encouraged to conduct a similar exercise with their mentees.

Supporting Material

The mentors will be provided with a “mentoring map” worksheet that they will be asked to complete for themselves in order to reflect on the network of resources they have access to. They will then be invited to share the tool with their undergraduate researcher to help them identify resources they already have access to and that they are currently missing.

Course Info
Learning Resource Types
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples
assignment Activity Assignments