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Undergraduate Research Mentor Award Nomination Guidelines

Faculty Mentor Award

Nominations for 2020-2021 academic year are no longer being excepted.

Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year will open around Thanksgiving with a deadline of March 5, 2022 at 5pm.

The Office of Undergraduate Research acknowledges the hard work, time, dedication, and guidance research mentors provide to undergraduate students, which often goes unrecognized. Current undergraduate students are asked to nominate one Virginia Tech faculty or graduate student research mentor from any discipline for the award of Outstanding Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor.

In 2021, the OUR received 15 nominations for the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, 8 for faculty members and 3 for graduate students.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Research FACULTY Mentor Award in 2020-2021 was given to Koeun Choi, PhD (Human Development), receiving two nominations. In their nominations, the students described Dr. Choi as patient, supportive, passionate, and empathetic. Here are excerpts from the nominations:

She is so supportive and kind but also extremely knowledgeable. She is constantly teaching us new information and her knowledge is not limited to one field. This combined with her kind and approachable personality makes her the best mentor and professor I have ever had. Dr. Choi constantly goes the extra step to ensure her research assistants are set up for success in the future and always has an open door if we need assistance. Her constant guidance and advice has encouraged me to apply to graduate school.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Research GRADUATE STUDENT Mentor Award in 2020-2021 was given to William Singer (School of Plant and Environmental Sciences). In his nomination, Will was described as patient, engaging and adaptable. Here are excerpts from the nomination:

Even when he has five projects running simultaneously, he carves out time in his schedule to patiently answer questions. Will sets himself apart from other research mentors by knowing when to step back and give me a chance to do things on my own and also when to step in to prevent big mistakes. He takes interest in each undergraduate in the lab and helps steer us towards opportunities that can benefit us.


The OUR is extremely grateful to the hard work and dedication of all undergraduate research mentors.

Information you will need to provide in order to complete the nomination: 

  • Name, academic department, and email address for the research mentor you wish to nominate (faculty member or graduate student).
  • Three (3) adjectives to describe an exceptional undergraduate research mentor.
  • A brief explanation of how the nominated research mentor embodies the definition you provided.
  • A brief explanation of what sets the nominated research mentor apart from all the rest.
  • A brief description of the impact the nominated research mentor has had on you.
  • Basic information about you, including your name, academic rank, major, and email address.

Check out our past mentor awardees here!


If you have any questions about the award or selection process please email Keri Swaby, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research.