Enrollment to become a mentor for 2024-2025 Mentorship coming soon!
Become a Mentor
The Mentorship Program provides mentors the ability to teach the next generation of young researchers. Our mentors offer direction and support as they guide their student through their independent research project or integrate the student into a part of their ongoing research. They provide an experience that requires the application of knowledge and skills to address challenges in the world beyond the classroom. Over 100 mentors from around the Triangle and beyond volunteer every year to welcome students into their work environment, share their passion for their field of study, and enjoy the unique energy and curiosity that high school students bring through the Durham Mentorship Program and in collaboration with the NCSSM instructional team.
Mentorship 1 (M1) -
Available for all residential and online students!
June 12 - July 21 Students work 40 hours per weekWeekdays 8:00am to 4:00pm
Mentorship 2 (M2) -
Available for Durham residential students!
August - March Students work 6 hours per weekTuesday/Thursdays (1:00-4:00PM)
Mentorship 3 (M3) -
Available for Durham residential students!
June 12 - July 21 & August - MarchSummer 2023 (M1) and Academic Year 2023-2024 (M2) timelines combined
NCSSM Durham is seeking mentors...
To engage NCSSM students as thinkers, makers, doers in an ongoing or independent research project with student deliverables of written proposal and oral and/or poster presentation to the NCSSM community
To offer an experience that requires the application of knowledge and skills to address challenges in the world beyond the classroom
From the Triangle for in person opportunities
In any field of interest from STEM to humanities in a wide range of work environments (including universities, companies, nonprofits)
Requirements for Durham Mentors
Complete the Mentor Enrollment Form for Mentorship (required each year)
Complete mentor compliance process (instructions emailed starting in April)
Includes: 1) Annual Background Check 2) Protection of Minors Training
Ensure a clear timeline and research project in place for active student participation
Begin the process of requesting any necessary on-site items
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits and rewards of mentoring an NCSSM student?
The benefits of mentoring are endless. Here are a few!
Enjoy the energy and curiosity that students bring to your workplace
Impact and train the next generation
Showcase your research/innovation as our students communicate their work to their peers and the community
Introduce and recruit prospective college students and potential employees to your university/company
Provide essential mentoring experience for your staff and for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students
Enhance success in meeting outreach goals and/or funding of grant proposals
NCSSM seeks collaboration and provides Letters of Support to facilitate further opportunities for outreach
What is the student expected to accomplish as part of their research/internship experience?
Students are expected to:
Apply concepts and skills learned in the classroom to be an active participant on a portion of an ongoing project or to develop a project of their own under the guidance and instruction of the mentor
Pursue their curiosity and passion in any variety of the wide range of fields including STEM, humanities, social science
Take ownership of their opportunity (with facilitation from NCSSM Director and NCSSM Instructor)
Complete all course assignments including student deliverables of written proposal and oral and/or poster presentation to the NCSSM community (assessed by NCSSM Instructor, no requirements for grading by mentors)
To develop the soft skills that will be an essential key to their success as they pursue their education and careers
To present their accomplishments to the community at the NCSSM Research Symposium (in spring and/or summer)
To assess student development and learning, NCSSM instructors assess student performance in the following assignments (which vary by program):
Small group and individual meetings with NCSSM Mentorship instructional team
Oral communications such as Elevator Pitch, 10 minute symposium presentation with slideshow
Written communications such as proposal writing, research paper/poster, literature review, etc.
To learn more, see this past publication by NCSSM administrators.
What are the expectations for a mentor?
For all programs, participating mentors are asked to:
Offer direction and support as you guide the student on their own research project or a part of your ongoing research for completion by end of program
Welcome a student into your work environment
Provide safety training and a safe environment for the student on site (and complete Form 2 of the NCSSM Scientific Review Committee paperwork to ensure safety
Permit NCSSM to complete an annual background check for active volunteer mentors at your site
To communicate with the Director of Mentorship and Research as quickly as possible regarding any needs or concerns
To provide brief evaluations of the students' performance and development (two 5-10 minute surveys per student)
Be enthusiastic and willing to share your passion for your field of study
Enjoy the energy and curiosity the students bring
What costs are associated with NCSSM's research/innovation programs?
The program is of no cost to the mentor or student and Burroughs Wellcome Fund, NCSSM Foundation and NCSSM State funds provide funding for programmatic and instructional expertise and support as well as transportation to the mentors’ locations.
What is the time commitment for a mentor?
Opportunities range from 5 weeks (Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:00) in June/July to opportunities of 22 weeks (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00-4:00) from August to March (with a break in Dec./Jan.) in the Mentorship Program.
Can my staff/team be involved in mentoring the student when/if I am busy?
Absolutely, our programs offer a fantastic opportunity for members of your team to get experience in mentoring, a critical skill for their professional development. Team members, often graduate students and postdoctoral fellows commonly serve as mentors for NCSSM students.
What are the procedures for bringing a minor student to my workplace?
Only the following institutions have required regulations that we are aware of at this time:
Requires permission from each volunteer to complete annual background checks for all participating mentors
Minor training is required along with a signed attestation of reviewing the minor training slides
Duke University and Duke Hospitals
NCSSM partners with Duke University and Duke Hospitals to allow for our students to engage in research/internships in person format. If you have further questions, contact Youth Protection Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NC State University
Contact: Stacy Fair, M.Ed.
Director of Youth Programs and Compliance, Department of Risk Assessment
For any other requirements for minors, contact departmental representatives.
Contact: Starr Barbaro, MPA
Protection of Minors Coordinator at UNC, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Address: 100 Europa Drive, Suite 270, Campus Box 5010, Chapel Hill, NC 26517
Phone: (919) 843-8995