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Uduak Inyang-Udoh

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Mentoring Plan for PhD Students

Communication and Meetings

How would you describe your advising style? Does your approach vary over the course of a student's progress within their degree?

I give attention to mentoring and equipping each student with needed resources early on with a view to having the students quickly 'take ownership' of the projects they are working on. Senior graduate students are encouraged to co-mentor undergraduate and new graduate researchers. I promote bringing new ideas, expanding ideas for research as well as supplementary activities such as applying for fellowships. Although working on distinct areas, PhD students working with me are strongly encouraged to share ideas and collaborate on similar aspects. Finally, my advising style recognizes the differences in preferences of each student, for example, in scheduled meeting times, and how often students need meetings, and so on.

What is the best way/technology for students to contact you? Are there time frames in which students should expect to hear from you?

Emails and office phone calls are the best. For emails, my response time depends on the email content. Also, responses may be slower when emailed outside of business hours.

How often do you plan to meet with students one-on-one (be as specific as possible, it's okay to describe multiple styles that may vary with student needs)? Is an agenda required? How long are meetings?

I believe the need for meetings vary from student to student: so I am flexible to arrange meetings, depending on the student's need, from at least, once to, at most, four times every 2 weeks, each with a duration of 30mins to an hour. 

Do you have regular group meetings? What does student participation look like in a group meeting?

There are monthly group meetings to enable students present their work and get feedback form me and peers. There are also group meeting convened, as need be, for presentation rehearsals/practice.

Research and Teaching Expectations

Describe your students' primary area(s) of responsibility and expectations (e.g., reading peer-reviewed literature, in-lab working hours, etc.).

I expect students to take relevant courses, read research papers and acquire other skills relevant to their research. Students are also expected to carry out pertinent experiments and write research paper manuscripts. Except when paper manuscripts are actively under preparation, I highly recommend brief bi-weekly reports that summarize the work done in the 2-week period and outlook for the next 2 weeks. I provide the format for such reports. Reports may also take the form of presentation slides.

How do you decide authorship and/or authorship order?

Authorship and authorship order is based on contribution. Since I expect my students to take ownership of the projects they work on, they would normally be the primary authors on ensuing publications. 

Do you ask students in your group to serve as a GSI over the course of their program?

I encourage my students to serve as GSI at least once, and more than once if their career aspiration lies in the academia.

Do you have general expectations for graduation?

In addition to departmental requirements such as course credits I expect each student to contribute to 3-5 peer reviewed publications.

Are you supportive of your students going on internships? If so, is there a time of year that is best? How many internships can they do?

I am supportive of students pursuing summer internships, but I prefer them to spend at least half of their summers on campus doing research.

Opportunities for Feedback

How do you provide students with feedback regarding overall progress, research activities, etc.?

I provide feedback primarily during weekly or bi-weekly meetings.

How far in advance of a deadline should a student expect to provide written work for feedback, such as publication drafts?

I prefer to receive a publication draft, at least, month before the deadline.

How do you solicit feedback from your students?

I solicit feedback regularly during 1-on-1 weekly or bi-weekly meetings as well as during group meetings.

Conference Attendance

Which meetings do your students generally attend? What funding is available to attend these meetings?

ACC and MECC. I encourage students to apply for travel grants. Generally, the lab funds or supplements (when a travel grant is available) travel costs for any student who has a paper accepted to one of these venues.

Time Away from Campus

Discuss expectations regarding vacations and time away from campus and how best to plan for them. What is the time-frame for notification regarding anticipated absences?

Students are encouraged to take vacation time during the year to be refreshed and see family/friends. I am flexible about when this time is taken as long as it is communicated in advance and it takes cognizance of upcoming deadlines.

Are there specific standard times that students in your group generally take vacation?

During the academic holiday break between the fall and winter semesters and during parts of the summer.  

What do you do to facilitate students taking time off (e.g., do you proactively encourage people to take vacation after major deadlines)?

After major publication submissions, students are expected to take one week off from research work

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