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Tips for Finding a Mentor

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 Zachary Lundquist at or 303-724-4161.

Finding A Mentor on the Health Sciences Library’s Mentored Scholarly Activity Guide has some help and guidance for finding mentors.  Meeting with a librarian may also be helpful.​

Some of the bes​t ways to find a mentor and a project are:
  1. Complete the MSA interest form in Canvas. This 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.
  2. Search the PROFILES database using key words:
  3. Ask upper classmen in your Advisory College about projects that worked well and would benefit from having an additional student join in.
  4. If you already know a discipline that strongly interests you (e.g. Neurology), then you can email the MSA School of Medicine Department Contacts or Children's Hospital Department Contacts to help you find a mentor within that discipline.
  5. Ask faculty who you interact with in your classes or foundations about their work and whether they would be interested in taking on a student. 
  6. 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 a​pproaches that DO NOT g​enerally 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.
  2. Delay 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 along.
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.
Qu​estions 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. I.e., 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.

Making the Most of your Mentor...