Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor is an essential and key first step towards any research or project.  How do you find the right mentor?

1. Use Search Engines:

  • Databases of all UCSF faculty and their research interests: LabSpotProfiles 
  • For learners interested in Clinical and Translational Research - a database of faculty who mentor clinical and translational research projects here
  • For learners interested in the Molecular Medicine Pathway - a database of faculty who mentor biomedical bench research projects here
  • For those interested in Global Health research - a searchable database of faculty who are doing Global Health research here

2. Consult Faculty:

  • School of medicine students, particularly those interested in year-long research programs, consult with RAP'tr director Dr. Urmimala Sarkar (see Dr. Sarkar's bio here) or associate director Dr. Dan Lowenstein (see Dr. Lowenstein's bio here). To consult with Drs. Sarkar or Lowenstein, or another faculty director with expertise related to your interests, fill out the letter of intent for yearlong research, available starting October 20.
  • For students interested in Pathways to Discovery, the directors of Global Health, Health Professions Education, Health & Society, Clinical and Translational Research, and Molecular Medicine can provide direction and support. To meet with a director, please contact them by email. PTD Contact Info

3. Meet Potential Mentors:

  • Interview several faculty members before choosing a mentor
  • Fixed research questions or project goals are not needed before meeting with a potential mentor  
  • Faculty have ongoing projects and should be asked to
    • help identify the right "fit" of a student with a project 
    • suggest one or more projects
    • explain in broad terms what each would entail
    • suggest a small amount of reading appropriate to each project (a portion of a grant application; articles s/he has authored)
    • describe how your project fits in with other work by the group
    • identify group personnel who will work with you on a daily basis