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Undergraduate Research

Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers in the Era of COVID-19

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Continuing to mentor undergraduate researchers during the current pandemic may not be a difficult decision for faculty in some disciplines. In other disciplines, particularly those that rely heavily on face-to-face interactions (e.g. social sciences, lab sciences), taking on an undergraduate student as yet another lab member, or devising a project that does not require close contacts with other people may be next to impossible.

If you are still wondering why you should consider mentoring undergraduate researchers or are not sure how to help guide undergraduate students through their research endeavors, here is an online Mentoring Undergraduate Research Handbook that was developed by faculty at Georgia College and State University. Although somewhat specific for faculty in liberal arts, the main points made in the book apply to all of us.


Additional Mentoring Resources


Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Resources for Virtual Mentoring


CUR Resources for Virtual Research Programs and Conferences

  • CUR Covid-19 Forum: Virtual Conferences; recorded discussion of virtual conferences (e.g. logistics of organizing; ways to create high-quality value for students; strategies to enhance opportunities for inclusion and equity; summer research programs).
  • CUR COVID-19 Forum: Summer Programming and Student Employment; recorded discussion of reasons for supporting, advocating, and/or maintaining a summer research program; types of possible structures (face-to-face, hybrid, virtual) and what these would look like; potential timelines; planning issues; ways to create and sustain community and prevent student and faculty burnout in a virtual program.
  • CUR Covid-19 Forum: Virtual Research, Creative, & Scholarly - Part 1
  • CUR Covid-19 Forum: Virtual Research, Creative, & Scholarly - Part 2; recorded discussion (in two parts) of conditions for continuing virtual undergraduate research; when to stop, suspend or delay; how to help students reach out to faculty; how to promote and manage online research collaborations with students; how to adjust projects to be productive in a virtual environment; how to establish realistic timelines; if face-to-face is allowed and required, how to ensure safe protocols.


Virtual Research Projects, Initiatives, Open Datasets, Resources

To identify or devise undergraduate research projects that are compatible with COVID-19 safety measures and minimize face-to-face contact, the following list contains virtual research projects/initiatives in which Southern Miss undergraduate students might be able to participate and datasets to which they have access. Many projects will need to be adapted and/or expanded to be suitable for upper-level college student and/or Honors thesis research. Please email Sabine.HeinhorstFREEMississippi if you have additional suggestions that can be added to the list.






Social Sciences




Nursing and Public Health






Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri for all questions about DCUR

The University of Southern Mississippi
Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
118 College Dr. #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



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Contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in your area of interest for questions related to conventions of presentations in your discipline.

Contact Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri or Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for questions related to abstract submission or registration, UGS schedule or program, judging or moderating.

Contact Dr.%20Kelly%20Lester, Professor%20Allen%20Chen, Professor%20Jared%20Hollingsworth or Dr.%20Nicholas%20Ciraldo for questions related to the Arts Showcase.
Contact the Center%20for%20Community%20Engagement%20for all questions about community-engaged projects.