5.1 Research Mentor

As described in the section on selecting a Research Mentor, this key faculty member is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the student’s research training. The Research Mentor and student work closely together toward the first major milestone: completion of the qualifying examination. To assist students in being successful, mentors should participate with the student in choosing an appropriate topic, selecting the members of the committee, preparing and reviewing the proposal, and overseeing practice sessions for the examination.

Where necessary, mentors identify additional coursework that would help students to gain the background necessary for completing their research and encourage students to attend relevant workshops and research conferences.

It is critical for Research Mentors to continually monitor the progress students are making towards completing their dissertation. This should include helping students publish sections of their work in peer-reviewed journals and present material at national and international conferences. Other responsibilities are to chair annual meetings of dissertation committees that provide concrete feedback to students as to the progress towards their degree.

While some students hold extramural fellowships, the majority will require financial support from their Research Mentor. It is therefore critical that Research Mentors have resources that are sufficient to see dissertations through to completion.

Once a student has committed to pursue their dissertation research with a particular Research Mentor, that mentor is responsible for providing the following, for the length of the student’s dissertation project:

  1. Stipend that meets the Group annual requirements as established by the Executive Committee in conjunction with the UCSF and Berkeley Graduate Divisions. 
  2. Registration fees and non-resident tuition (if applicable)* as established by each campus in conjunction with the Office of The President. 
  3. Conference registration fee for the annual Group Research Conference
  4. Travel to appropriate conferences and meetings
  5. Expenses associated with research activities
  6. Two weeks annual leave

*Usually only pertains to first year graduate students and continuing international students.

Progress Review

Students arrange to meet annually with their Graduate Adviser and once applicable, their Research Mentor / Dissertation Committee Chair, to review their progress. Students complete an annual Progress Report and other required forms with appropriate signatures and submit them to the Group office of their Home Campus each year in April. Required forms are listed in Required Forms and Documentation (make a link) and are available on the web and on each campus from the Group administrative office.