Thursday, November 18, 2010

Opportunity for Graduate Students to Serve as a Mentor to Elliott School Undergraduate Scholars

Coffee, Inspiration and a Stipend: Become a Mentor to an Elliott School Undergraduate Scholar!

With Thanksgiving break on the horizon and finals coming up after that, it can be difficult to see past the next econ problem set, let alone remember what inspired you to choose a career in International Affairs in the first place. Let us refresh your memory…Become a mentor to an Elliott School Undergraduate Scholar!

We are looking for graduate students to serve as mentors for promising undergraduates participating in the Elliott School Undergraduate Scholars program. Through this exciting initiative, top undergraduates work with a faculty advisor to conduct independent research on an international affairs topic and produce a 30-page paper. The Undergraduate Scholars, who also receive a research stipend, meet weekly to learn research skills and explore possible outlets to further their research (such as publication, conference participation, graduate study, Fulbright grants, and career paths).

In addition to working with a faculty advisor, another highlight of the program is that each Scholar is paired with one or two graduate student mentors. Mentors will discuss their research and professional interests in the international affairs field and serve as a research and career resource. We will do our best to pair Scholars with mentors whose expertise or interest is relevant to the research topic. Even when a Scholar’s project does not fit the mentor’s professional or academic focus, the relationship can still be meaningful.

Although the relationship with the Scholar is the main benefit of graduate student participation, mentors will also receive a stipend of $200 and gain experience that they can include on their résumés.

Mentors will meet their Scholars at a kickoff reception on January 24. Each mentor/Scholar pair will have coffee together (paid for with the Scholar’s research stipend) and stay in touch throughout the spring semester as the Scholar’s project develops. At certain points in the semester, the undergraduates will share drafts of their papers. There will be a breakfast get-together for all mentors and Scholars on February 28, and then there will be a final research symposium on April 11 at which Scholars will present their research and mentors will serve as moderators.

In addition to the coffee date, mentors should plan to attend these events:

Please attend one training session.

Mentor Training Session – Wednesday, January 12, 8:00 to 9:00 am, Academic Advising Conference Room (1957 E Street NW, Suite 302); Light breakfast provided

Mentor Training Session – Tuesday, January 18, 5:00 to 6:00 pm, Academic Advising Conference Room (1957 E Street NW, Suite 302); Snacks provided

Kickoff Reception – Monday, January 24, 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Lindner Family Commons, 1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor

Scholar/Mentor Breakfast Get-Together – Monday, February 28, 8:00 to 9:30 am, Academic Advising Conference Room (1957 E Street NW, Suite 302); Light breakfast provided

Final Research Conference – Monday, April 11, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Lindner Family Commons, 1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor

If you are interested in applying, please email the following to by December 6:

1. A paragraph explaining why you are interested in serving as a mentor.
2. A list of the countries/regions and the functional areas in which you have expertise and/or interest
3. Your résumé.

If you have questions, please contact Annie Vinik, Associate Director of Academic Advising & Student Services.* Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a graduate student who served as a mentor last year, please contact one of the lead mentors, Anna Applefield ( or Nathalie Allam (

*Please note that Annie will be out of the office until Monday, November 29 and will respond to your email the week after Thanksgiving.

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