Selecting a Mentor
Your Associate Director will help you find a mentor. Please contact him/her for assistance. You may use e-mail or contact them by phone. Please see the right side of the page for the contact information of the Associate Directors. If you experience difficulty in contacting your Associate Director, please contact Jessica Hitt-Laustsen at
Some of the best ways to find a mentor and a project are:
Complete the MSA interest form
tells us a bit about your background and your interests.
One of the Associate Directors will then
contact you and help connect you with a potential mentor.
Ask upper classmen in your Advisory College about
projects that worked well and would benefit from having an additional student
If you already know a discipline that strongly
interests you (e.g. Neurology), then you can email the MSA Department Contacts.pdf
to help you find a mentor within that discipline.
Ask faculty who you interact with in your classes or
foundations about their work and whether they would be interested in taking on
Look over past projects
for ones that
seem interesting to you.
Then fill out
the MSA interest form and we’ll help you get connected.
Two approaches that don’t generally work well are:
1) To send a ‘cold’ email to a potential
mentor. Most mentors are very busy and
are not likely to respond. An email that
comes from one of the Associate Directors or from one of the Departmental
Contacts introducing you to a potential mentor is much more effective.
starting to look for a mentor while you are waiting for ‘your idea’. Many students are not really sure what they
want to work on in the early months of medical school. It’s better to start to work with a good
mentor and develop and a project now than to hope for a great idea to come
The goal of these pursuits is to help you identify a project in an area of your interest and to select a mentor who can support you in pursuing and completion of your project.
Questions for your potential mentors:
Is your area of interest and theirs mutually compatible?
Have the mentor describe their research activities and their interests.
What is a typical day like for your potential mentor?
Have they mentored student scholarly projects before?
Will they have time over four years to mentor you if you choose them as your mentor? Make sure to discuss your anticipated timeline. (Are you planning on doing intensive work over summer (between phase I and Phase II)? Slow and steady, or back end push in phase IV?)
Review your discussion with your area of interest advisor.