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IntroSems Plus

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Program Overview

IntroSems Plus is a program that aims to expand and diversify the research pipeline at Stanford by encouraging faculty to mentor undergraduates early in their careers. IntroSems instructors mentor one or more students on a 10 to 11 week research or creative project, usually in the quarter after the student(s) took the faculty member’s IntroSem. The project can be related to the faculty member’s pre-existing work, a continuation of work done in the IntroSem, or can be an entirely new project. Student researchers also complete a reflective digital portfolio that they can use to apply for future research opportunities, graduate programs, internships, and jobs. The IntroSems Program will provide up to $1000 for each selected student.

By joining IntroSems Plus, faculty mentors and student researchers join a dynamic, supportive research community. Each quarter, IntroSems Plus welcomes a cohort of faculty mentors and student researchers alongside our team of peer mentors. Though members of the cohort may be working on vastly different projects, we believe that meeting as a cohort several times a quarter strengthens our community, allows student researchers and faculty mentors the opportunity to find support with others in the program, and gives everyone the chance to hear about a range of projects and opportunities at Stanford.   

A key part of the IntroSems Plus community is our peer mentors. Peer mentors in the IntroSems Plus program serve as additional sources of support for student researchers, providing guidance on various aspects of research and mentorship, giving feedback on digital portfolios, and creating community amongst the cohort of student researchers. The approachability of peer mentors as fellow students combined with their thorough knowledge of the IntroSems Plus program makes them a valuable resource for student researchers. 

Faculty Mentor Role

Through IntroSems Plus, faculty mentors have the opportunity to work closely with and mentor first- and second-year undergraduate students, most of whom are participating in university-level research for the first time. Encouragement from a faculty mentor to participate in a research or creative project can be a transformative invitation for students to see themselves in new ways, particularly for students who have not engaged in formal research before. 

As faculty mentors, your role is to guide students through completing a research or creative project while also helping to develop students’ self-efficacy and sense of belonging as participating members of the university community. Faculty mentors can accomplish this by helping each student identify their goals and aspirations, sharing their own educational and professional experiences, and drawing on their resources and networks as needed to connect students to opportunities that align with their goals.  

Faculty mentors are expected to:

  • Design a research experience that requires no more than an average of 5 hours per week for the student researcher
  • Work with student researcher(s) to create a concrete plan for the quarter
  • Meet once a week with student researcher(s)
  • Attend IntroSems Plus Orientation, Mid-quarter Lunch, and Project Symposium

Student Researcher Role

Student researchers will work with their faculty mentor on a research or creative project for the duration of a quarter, typically the quarter after completing an IntroSem course with their faculty mentor. Each student researcher is also paired with a peer mentor who supports them through navigating and reflecting on this research and mentoring experience. With the guidance of their peer mentors, student researchers work on a digital portfolio throughout the quarter, which they can take with them for future research and academic opportunities. At the end of the quarter, student researchers will present their work at our Project Symposium. 

Student researchers are expected to:

  • Work with their faculty mentor to create a concrete plan for the quarter
  • Attend the IntroSems Plus Orientation and Mid-quarter Lunch
  • Check in at least once a week with their peer mentor
  • Check in at least once a week with their faculty mentor
  • Complete a reflective digital portfolio
  • Present at the Project Symposium 

IntroSems Plus Timeline

  1. IntroSem instructors identify students in their IntroSem courses.

  2. Instructors submit student names and project proposals by the end of the quarter of instruction.

  3. The IntroSems Program reviews proposals and accepts projects based on available spaces.

  4. Student researchers receive two $500 stipends during their quarter of participation in IntroSems Plus. 

  5. All participants (faculty mentors and student researchers) are invited to an orientation at the beginning of their IntroSems Plus quarter and a program lunch mid-quarter.

  6. Student researchers submit a portfolio and present at our Project Symposium at the end of the quarter. 

Application Process

IntroSems instructors who have a valuable ten-week opportunity for one or more current IntroSems students should complete a proposal by the end of the quarter of their IntroSem.

The proposal form asks for the following information

  • IntroSem Instructor Name(s)
  • Instructor Email(s)
  • Nominated Student Name(s)
  • Nominated Student Email(s)
  • Project Description: A brief description of the project you want to work on with your IntroSem student(s) next quarter. Please highlight what the student(s) will learn as a result of this experience.
  • Student Rationale: A brief explanation as to why you identified the student(s) for this project?

Submit an IntroSems Plus Proposal

After IntroSems Plus

Upon completing IntroSems Plus, many students want to continue researching at Stanford.  Below are some opportunities students can pursue to broaden and deepen their undergraduate research experiences.

Learn more about a variety of research opportunities available for undergraduates at Stanford.

Departmental Funding

Many departments at Stanford financially support undergraduates who wish to conduct research with a professor.  A list of department specific details can be found at the link provided below.

Faculty Funding

Faculty can apply for funding for undergraduates interested in working with them.  If you are interested in working with a faculty member on a research project after IntroSems Plus, direct them to the link below, where they will find guidance on how to apply for funding. 

Student Grants

Student grants support student-driven, independent, original scholarly projects under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor. Student grants include major grants, small grants, the William W. and Janet F. Crandall Beagle II Award, and the Chappell Lougee Scholarship (for sophomores). More information on eligibility and how to apply to these grants can be found at the link below. 

Honors Projects

Students who wish to pursue an independent research project on a topic of their choosing can choose to complete an Honors Project, culminating in writing an Honors Thesis their senior year.

Questions?

For more information about the IntroSems Plus program, contact Lauri Dietz at lauridietz@stanford.edu or (650) 497-0964.