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Undergraduate Research

For Mentors

Mentors inspire, guide, and encourage undergraduate researchers to achieve their goals wherever their scholarly journeys lead. Without you, our students would miss out on many learning and enrichment opportunities. 

What Is Expected of a Mentor

  • Assist your student in development and articulation of the project idea and plan. (Please note: the student is the primary author of the proposal but should work in collaboration with you through the editing process.)
  • Help your student understand the methods and concepts of research and scholarship within your field.
  • Guide and train your student in the skills and/or techniques needed to complete the project (including compliance with human subjects/IRB and animal care and use).
  • Be available during the project period. You and your student should establish ground rules and expectations during the planning stage. 
  • Oversee and manage account expenditures. Mentors and students are responsible for overages.
  • Ensure your student meets the program requirements, terms and conditions.

Mentors anticipating sabbaticals and/or extended leave during the Magellan Scholar project period must identify a secondary mentor during this absence or consider alternatives.

Research Contracts
Some mentors have found it helpful to develop a research contract that can assist in establishing duties, expectations, and deadlines. This contract template [doc] may be helpful and can be modified to fit your needs.


Your Application Responsibilities

You will need to help your student as they prepare their project description, budget, and other application materials

Formal Project Proposal

You will need to submit the formal proposal (project description, budget form, and mentor forms) through USCeRA.

Help submitting
See our Guide for Magellan Scholar mentors: forms and USCeRA submission [pdf].

Trouble submitting?
Call Julie Morris at 803-777-4649.

The 5 p.m. deadline is for submission of the completed application and proposal into USCeRA. Electronic signatures from the chair and dean can be submitted later. 

Fall Deadline

October 11, 2023, at 5 p.m.
Announced: December 13
Grants start January 2024

Spring Deadline

February 7, 2024, at 5 p.m.
Announced: April 12
Grants start May or August 2024


College of Education - Columbia

  • Requires an internal review of your proposal five business days before the stated deadline.
  • Contact Queenie Bell at as soon as you intend to submit.

College of Nursing - Columbia

Arnold School of Public Health

  • Requires submission into USCeRA 1 full business day prior to the deadline.
  • Contact Charlotte Stalvey, with questions.


Commonly Asked Questions

Visit the Using Your Money page for details on managing the Magellan Scholar grant.

Please contact Julie Morris in the Office of Undergraduate Research to discuss the situation and options (; 803-777-4649). I'm here to help support you and your student throughout the process!

No. Magellan Scholar awards are made to a specific student, and no other student may be supported through the grant.


If the project involves vertebrate animals, it must have approval through the Animal Care and Use Committee and the student must have appropriate training. If the project already has approval, the student must be added. Contact the Department of Animal Resources, 803-777-8106, For USC Aiken, contact the Sponsored Research Office.

If the project involves humans (including but not limited to interviews, surveys or review of personal/private information), mentors must review the Student Research guide. Based on this guidance from the Office of Research Compliance, most student driven projects will not require further review. Faculty oversight and student training through the CITI Human Subjects modules are required. Some projects may also require use of the Undergraduate Research Consent Form. A template is available on the Student Research page. If a student is "engaged in the research" on a mentor's project requiring IRB oversight (new or approved protocol), the student must be added. Contact the Office of Research Compliance (803-777-7095) with questions.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.