All students interested in a mentorship, should consult with the Mentorship Director who will make decisions about selection for the program and placement with mentors. The Mentorship Director can help the student focus on his or her area of interest prior to completing the application. The Mentorship Director maintains a list of previous mentors by discipline and particular fields of research. If a student is interested in working with a particular mentor, the student should discuss this possibility with the Mentorship Director.
All students who wish to participate in the mentorship program must fill out the online mentorship application. The application asks for specific information about the student’s interests and goals. Once the application has been submitted, the Mentorship Director will review it for approval. Approval depends on meeting three primary criteria:
Demonstration of a clear and specific interest in a particular field of study.
Good academic standing including no more than two grades of 80 or below and no failing grades on the student’s most recent grade report
A class schedule with at least four hours per week of open time
Students must also maintain an exemplary conduct report in order to participate in a mentorship. Students who are not approved for any reason my reapply as necessary. The deadline to apply is generally two weeks after the beginning of the semester in which the mentorship is scheduled to occur.
Once the student’s application has been approved, the Mentorship Coordinator will arrange an interview between the student and the potential mentor to discuss mutual interests and feasible projects. As the student visits with his/her potential mentor, the student must keep in mind the amount of work and time involved in the research project. The mentor and student should consider the student’s schedule and the guidelines of OSSM before committing to work together.
If the student and the potential mentor agree on the mentorship, a work schedule will be established and the proposal will be discussed. If the student and the potential mentor are not compatible, additional interviews with potential mentors will be arranged by the Mentorship Director.
Once a mentorship has been approved, and a mentor selected, it is the responsibility of the student to complete and submit the following to the Mentorship Proposal and Mentorship Consent Form to the Mentorship Director.
Once a mentor has been selected, the student, with input from his/her mentor, is required to write a mentorship proposal. It should contain a description of the project including the hypothesis or justification, goals and methods. It should also state the extent of the commitment including a time line of the project and the amount of time per week it will require. It should also describe how the final project will be presented and any other specific goals or expectations set by the mentor.
After the mentorship has begun, the student must submit periodic progress reports to the Mentorship Director. The report should detail all major developments in the project and any major changes from the project proposal.
The consent form is a formal document which the student must sign. If the student is under 18 years of age, his/her legal guardian must also sign the form. The consent form notes the personal commitment and responsibility of the student toward the mentorship and outlines OSSM’s limited liability in case of accident.
At the completion of the mentorship the student must submit a written report and an oral presentation summarizing the project. The paper will be due to the mentorship director before the last day of classes of spring semester. The paper must be read and approved by the mentor before being submitted.
The oral presentation can be in the form of a poster or a seminar. Students who wish to present their project as a poster will participate in the Graduate Research Education and Technology (GREAT) Symposium at the OU Health Sciences Center. The symposium is usually held at the beginning of the month of April. The abstracts for the symposium are usually due in February.
Seminar presentations will be held on the OSSM campus. Students will be responsible for scheduling their own presentations. All presentations must be completed before the last week of classes of spring semester. Following the oral presentation, the student should be prepared to answer questions from the audience. The mentor is not required to attend the presentation but they are welcome and encouraged to attend. The mentor should approve the presentation before it is given.
Students can receive ¼ unit of credit per semester of participation in the mentorship program. To receive full credit, the student must meet the requirements established in the proposal, and submit a satisfactory written and oral report.
If the student withdraws from their mentorship prior to the end of the semester no grade will be reported. However if the student’s mentorship is not completed or terminated by the end of the semester, the mentorship student’s transcript will indicate a grade of ‘unsatisfactory’.