June 2, 2017

Faculty Deans & Chairs Supporting SAS

Faculty have many opportunities to support undergraduate scholarly activities at Mason. 

Chairs and Deans can support undergraduate research and creative activities by valuing the time their faculty spend on these activities. 

If you have questions or additional ideas you would like us to add, please email us at oscar@gmu.edu.

Faculty Involvement

Mentoring and research activities

  • Mentoring a student in an individualized scholarly or creative activity, either through the department, an outside grant, or the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.
  • Hiring a OSCAR Federal Work Study Research Assistant (FREE for you), either by posting a position or recruiting in your program.
  • Introducing undergraduate students to an experienced undergraduate scholar, either through your own work or by inviting an OSCAR fellow to present.
  • Posting opportunities for undergraduate research or creative projects on Handshake.
  • Attending a conference, meeting, presentation, performance or other scholarly event with an undergraduate student, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research or a discipline-specific event.
  • Publishing in the Council on Undergraduate Research's CUR Quarterly journal (note Mason's own Dann Sklarew on the Fall 2014 cover!) or other peer-reviewed journal on the process of supporting undergraduate scholarship.
  • Co-authoring a paper or presentation with an undergraduate student.
  • Applying for outside research funding that includes support for undergraduate students:
  • Encouraging a student to apply for an external research project, including NSF REU sites projects.
  • Nominating a student for the OSCAR Student Excellence Award.

Classroom and curricular activities

Community activities

  • Participating in the annual Celebration of Student Scholarship.
  • Serving as a reviewer at your school or college's Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Serving on the Students as Scholars Leadership Council or on a Students as Scholars committee.
  • Attending an OSCAR workshop to learn more about student scholarship at Mason.
  • Sharing information about OSCAR in classes, including showing the website, videos, and student-designed promotional materials.
  • Mentoring other faculty members in undergraduate research.
  • Becoming a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research and your disciplinary division (register for free with Mason's Enhanced Institutional Membership!)
  • Attending a Council on Undergraduate Research national meeting or workshop.
  • Serving as the OSCAR contact for students in your program.
  • Being nominated for or awarded an OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award (or nominating a colleague).

Chair and Dean support

Deans and Chairs have a pivotal role to play in supporting this culture of student scholarship and setting the expectation that mentoring undergraduate research and creative activities is an important use of their faculty's time. The goal is for all departments to identify avenues for participation in the initiative.Therefore, the Students as Scholars QEP Leadership Council recommends that Deans and Chairs, in collaboration with their faculty:

  • Recognize and reward support for undergraduate student research and creative projects in annual faculty reviews and renewal, promotion and tenure decisions. The Faculty Handbook explicitly recognizes "genuine excellence in teaching" as one of two primary bases for tenure and promotion, and departments are encouraged to consider faculty support for undergraduate student research and creative projects as a component of demonstrating teaching effectiveness.
  • Emphasize undergraduate student mentorship as an important faculty role in recruiting new faculty.
  • Identify how adjunct and term faculty can support student scholarship in ways that are appropriate to their responsibilities.
  • Create strategies that allow faculty to count mentoring undergraduates as part of their teaching load.
  • Encourage faculty to request support for undergraduates in their grant applications.
  • Invite OSCAR staff to speak at faculty meetings and share information about our programs.
  • Nominate faculty for the OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award, and their students for the OSCAR Student Excellence Award.
  • Initiate a fund for material or travel grants for faculty to help offset the costs of supporting an undergraduate student.
  • Encourage community and industry partners to sponsor undergraduate student scholarly projects.
  • Include measures of success in mentoring undergraduate scholarship when summarizing unit accomplishments (e.g. number of RS courses taught, the number of faculty who have supervised undergraduate research, number of publications and presentations with undergraduate co-authors).
  • Feature faculty-undergraduate projects on websites, alumni news, and other publicity materials.

-adopted Spring 2012