Mentor Letter

Please consider proposing to work with a Space Grant Undergraduate Research Intern:

This memo is to solicit your participation as a mentor in an undergraduate research program sponsored by the University of Arizona/NASA Space Grant Consortium. As you may know, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) is Home Department to Arizona's Space Grant Program, and each year LPL faculty and researchers comprise a core group of our "Research Mentors".

Students will be hired to work for the academic year—10 to 20 hours per week—at a $12.00 per hour wage. The objectives of this undergraduate research internship experience are to 1) support and encourage undergraduates who are interested in STEM careers by giving them opportunities to engage in valuable, inspiring research projects while being paid for their efforts; and 2) to provide opportunities for STEM majors to broaden their educations with a research experience. Feedback from previous research interns and their mentors has been extremely positive, and many of our interns (~30-40% who are not graduating seniors) continue to work with their mentors after their Space Grant support expires.

Researchers with research opportunities should fill out the Mentor Application Form. We look for a "NASA connection" (interpreted broadly) to the research. In addition to providing opportunities for upper division science and engineering majors, we are particularly looking for people to mentor students who are new and "testing the waters" in STEM majors. The goal of Space Grant is ultimately to build our nation's STEM workforce -- a positive and exciting internship experience can play an important role in ensuring students remain in the STEM pipeline. We also encourage you to consider working with more than one student.

This internship is funded by NASA Space Grant, and whenever possible, through the generous contributions of mentors. The UA/NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Research Internship program works hard to engage the largest number of students possible. Each year, we are able to extend the internship funding base to a larger group of undergraduates through much appreciated financial assistance provided by mentors who are able to full-fund or split-fund their interns. Interns may work between 10 and 20 hrs/wk ($12.00/hr plus ERE). On average, they tend to work 13 hrs/wk. Thus, full-funding an intern for 30 weeks, at 13hrs/wk amounts to $4,758, while split-funding the costs amounts to $2,379. In all cases, both the proposed projects and the students are selected by the Steering Committee for appropriateness to the program and to achieve overall program balance.

This is an opportunity for you to make an important contribution to encouraging UA students, and a select number of Pima College students, to pursue STEM while benefiting your own research program. Our aim is to support high caliber research experiences; students should be active participants in significant aspects of the work. It is also important that research interns be supervised by principal researchers and not be relegated to oversight by technicians. The competition among students for internships is keen. If you participate in the program, we will make every effort to match you with a smart and motivated student.

An undergraduate research experience can be a crucial factor in encouraging future scientists and engineers. It also serves an important role in promoting a deeper understanding of what work in the various STEM fields actually entails. All interested researchers are strongly encouraged to participate. Applications are due online by the posted due date. Inquiries or ideas may be discussed on the phone (621-8556) or in person at the Space Grant Office (room 349 of the Space Sciences Building).

In addition, if you know any motivated students interested in a research experience, please encourage them to apply for internships. You may direct questions to Michelle Coe, Arizona Space Grant Manager, at (520) 621-8556 or by email at PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOnpucGJyQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+em5wYnJAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg==.