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Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program Faculty FAQ

Preferably you as the faculty mentor. The request forms are going to ask for information the student might not know. Plus, you are requesting the student as a URF, not the other way around. However, it might be a good idea to sit down with the student and fill the form out together as there will be information you need from the student (GPA, ID number, etc.).

After the request form has been submitted, the Coordinator of Undergraduate Research will send the form to your department chair/associate dean for approval and will then seek final approval from the college dean. (Keep in mind this process will work a bit differently depending on your college.) Once final approval has been given, the Coordinator will then submit a PAR to start the hiring process.

The PAR will move through financial aid, human resources, and payroll. The HR portion of this usually takes the longest amount of time.

If a student has not worked on campus before they will be sent an email to initiate a background check through HireRight, so the student needs to be watching for that email. Then, once they’ve passed the background check, they will then receive an onboarding email. The length of the onboarding process will be determined by how long it takes the student to complete. It’s a good idea to encourage the student to look for this email and do what it's asking as quickly as possible. Onboarding is done almost entirely online; however, the student will need to visit HR in person to fill out their I9 form.

The Coordinator will receive an email when a student has been approved to work and will then pass the information along to the you, the student, and whoever else needs to know. 

If you’re looking to know if the request has been approved or if you’re not sure where in the hiring process the URF is, you can contact the Coordinator of Undergraduate Research. They will be able to tell you if the request has been approved or not and where in the hiring process the URF is. However, the Coordinator will not know anything else, such as how far through onboarding the student is, etc. The suggestion will be to contact the office your application is sitting with (Financial Aid, Human Resources, etc.).

At the beginning, no? However, there will be an evaluation you’ll need to fill out in the Spring of the student and their work. It is highly recommended that you fill this evaluation out as soon as possible and get it submitted as some of the colleges will not let you have another URF until the evaluation is completed.

An application will also need to be submitted for the Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship. The URFs should be able to complete the application themselves, but it would probably be a good idea to help the student work through it.

In addition, if you want the student to apply to present at outside conferences, that’s additional paperwork you and the student will need to do.

There is a form specifically for grant-funded URFs. Instead of providing department codes accounts line, you’ll just need the grant information.

Honors students are required to complete two semesters of an unpaid URF. After those two semesters, an honors student can continue to engage in the fellowships and be paid to do. Please make sure you ask your student if they’re an honors student – sometimes they forget to mention it.

There is a request form specifically for honors students who are to remain unpaid. This way we can keep track of them, but they don’t get mixed in with the URFs who are paid.

If you are the time entry supervisor for your URF, then you’ll have to approve their timesheet. Information on how to do that is here. Scroll down to the faculty section and find ‘Time Approval.’

If your URF quits at any point, please inform the Coordinator of Undergraduate Research. They will take care of canceling the URF with Human Resources. You might want to pass the information along to your department chair/associate dean and your college dean.

If you haven’t heard from your URF, reach out to them and let them know if they aren’t working/communicating with you, their URF will be cancelled. If you don’t hear back or the student wishes to quit, let the Coordinator know and the URF will be cancelled. You might want to pass the information along to your department chair/associate dean and your college dean.

If you find the student is not working their appropriate number of hours per week, let the Coordinator know.

This is an easy fix. An email needs to be sent to someone in payroll, saying the time supervisor needs to be changed along with the following information: student’s name, ID number, and the name of the new supervisor. You should be able to send this email yourself, but the Coordinator can do it as well. They’ll just need that information.

Unfortunately, if the pay rate needs to be changed, a new PAR will need to be filed, which can take some time to process. Please let the Coordinator know what the pay rate should be and they will submit the new PAR.

Absolutely! However, a PAR will need to be filed for each individual student.

Yes, some faculty mentors will work with the same student for three/four years.

This depends on how involved you plan to be. Keep in mind there is the request form and the evaluation you need to fill out, but beyond that your level of involvement is up to you and the student. You’re guiding the student through the research – some students will have more experience than others so that will affect your involvement. Ideally, you’re helping students prepare for the Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship in the Spring as well. However, faculty are busy and not every faculty member is going to feel comfortable helping with posters and presentations. If you can, please help your student as much as possible.

Being a URF mentor can be personally fulfilling, but taking on URFs can add to your workload and stress. Keep in mind these students can often add value to your research project through their contributions and unique perspectives. Mentoring provides additional outlets for you to teach, research, and make connections to your students outside of the classroom.