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McNair Research Timeline

As a McNair mentor, you will be asked to begin working with your scholar at least once a month during the spring semester and once a week between June and July or until the scholar’s project is finished. Methods and research design will differ in accord with the discipline and nature of research being conducted. However, it is recommended that mentors follow this general outline:

Spring Semester

  1. Meet a minimum of once a month with scholar.
  2. Get to know scholar: Research and graduate school interests.
  3. Begin discussing possible research questions. The research question and design should be such that it can be completed during an intensive eight-week period in June and July.*
  4. Require student to create an annotated bibliography in preparation for the literature review.

Spring Interim

  1. Scholar participates in Spring Interim Research Methods Workshop, led by two faculty members, one in the hard sciences and one in the social sciences.
  2. Meet with scholar and offer guidance on proposal (containing research question, hypothesis, research design, literature review, and timeline).
  3. Read and offer feedback on proposal and timeline. Submit online approval.


  1. Meet with scholar at least once a week. These meetings should be in person whenever possible. Note: Scholars are expected to treat their McNair obligations as a full-time job, dedicating 30 hours per week to research.
  2. Read and provide written feedback to rough draft. Submit online approval.
  3. Attend, when feasible, scholar’s power point presentation on findings (mid-July).
  4. Read and provide written feedback to final paper due at the Summer Semester. Submit online approval.

Additional Commitments to Scholar

  1. Provide scholar with guidance on research poster.
  2. Recommend graduate programs to which scholar should apply.
  3. Write recommendations for scholar when appropriate.
  4. Attend the McNair Scholars Showcase at the end of September.
  5. Encourage scholar to submit abstract to professional conferences.


* We realize that eight weeks is a very short time frame. For this reason, many of our scholars either begin working with their mentor up to a year in advance and/or continue working with their mentor long after the internship is completed. It is not uncommon for our scholars to complete an independent study related to their McNair research project during the semester following their internship. We have even had scholars who go on to publish articles with their mentors long after they have graduated from UWO. What we ask is that, “for the purpose of McNair,” the 20-page research paper be completed in the summer months. Please feel free to address this issue with us.