Dear Office of Undergraduate Research Community,
Due to the growing concerns with regards to global pandemic, new variants like Omicron, learning that the University of Utah hospitals are reaching capacity, as well as public health mandates, the Office of Undergraduate Research is reaching out to OUR community to convey that we will continue to do our part to support public health, wellness, and research. We recognize the significance of research during a pandemic – the role of undergraduate researchers who work in collaboration with faculty and staff to collectively foster a thriving research and intellectual community – are central to creating community, solving problems, and facilitating solutions.
- OUR encourages weekly testing, vaccinations, and mask wearing to support collective well-being, to learn more about this visit: https://coronavirus.utah.edu/
- We also recognize that different labs and medical environments have specific requirements regarding PPE – we encourage you to consult with your department leadership for guidance.
- We encourage mentors and undergraduate researchers evaluate public health response and appropriately adjust research processes, expectations, and timeline if necessary to support tele-research and the above mask mandates and ensure public safety – safety of research teams, staff, students, and communities’ researchers are researching with.
- OUR offers great content including the Undergraduate Research Education Series – please check out our web-based content. More forthcoming with regards to researching during a pandemic.
- OUR is committed to supporting research communities, therefore we are available. We do have an in-person presence. OUR staff are present in the office in SILL during normal business hours with staff also providing web connection Monday – Friday, 8AM – 5PM.
- Check out the abundance of teaching resources available with the Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence, Digital Learning, and University Connected Learning.
- We encourage OUR community to take advantage of the virtual office hours with OUR peer mentors and staff;
Your safety and wellness matters and so does the wellness of OUR. If you have any other suggestions as to how OUR can support and foster a human centered, publicly well environment, I welcome your suggestions. OUR team also welcomes dialogue if you would like to brainstorm or discuss how research may be adapted for ongoing public health measures.
OUR will regularly update the research community about our COVID-19 operational policies, on our website.
Stay up-to-date with the Office of the Vice President for Research to learn more about research opportunities and recommendations.
Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
The above information was summarized from the following resources:
- The University of Tennessee Knoxville Office of Undergraduate Research
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs Center for Student Research
- NORDP’s Mentoring in a Time of Crisis and Uncertainty
- The Research Skill Development Framework
- *Special acknowledgements to Dr. Rachel Hayes-Harb & Megan Shannahan
Suggestions for Remote Research Mentoring
The transition to remote research has presented many challenges to both researchers and their mentees. Beyond transitioning the research itself to a new format, mentors and mentees have had to consider how to modify the mentoring aspect as well. Colleagues from around the country have pulled together lists of suggestions from their faculty about how to adapt in-person mentoring practices to a virtual format. We’ve summarized the most common suggestions into the list below. No matter what stage of the mentoring process you are in, we hope this list will be helpful to you as you hone your own remote mentoring practice.
Helpful suggestions for transitioning to remote research mentoring:
We recognize that traditions of research and mentoring vary widely across disciplines. In order to provide a more inclusive list of suggestions, we want to hear from you! How have you adapted your mentoring practice and/or research for remote undergraduates? Do you have any suggestions we can share? Let us know, using the form below. We’ll update this page with your input.