Research Mentor Endorsement Form, Expectations, & Resources

Endorsements must be completed and submitted via the links below by 5:00 p.m. on Deadline Date (found below). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed

Instructions for Mentor Endorsement: 

1) Fill out Mentor Endorsement Form. Upon submitting his/her application, the student will email you a link  to this as well.  

2) Please use the applicant’s UCSF email address when prompted.  This allows the applicant and mentor sections of the application to be linked in our system.

3) Upload NIH-style bio to Mentor Endorsement form (not necessary for mentors of students applyign for international clinical rotations).



See the deadlines page for up to date information.

Please note the following points on mentor expectations with regard to the help you provide to students.

Research Mentor Expectations

Mentoring a UCSF Student in Research

Thank you for considering mentoring a UCSF student in research! We have put together this document as a checklist for prospective mentors.

The over-arching responsibility of the mentor is to work with the mentee to accomplish the goals of the project. Mentors should work with students to define specific, measurable goals that are time bound. Students should write down their project goals with the mentor’s supervision, at the outset of the project. Research projects should focus on specific research questions to be answered within the time frame allowed. If two or more students are working on the same project, each of their roles needs to be clearly delineated.

The project should not be purely descriptive unless there is very limited literature in the field of inquiry. For example, projects that are limited to collecting information about attitudes, opinions or practices of healthcare providers, without any plan for studying an intervention, are generally not approved for funding.

The writing of the proposal should convey scientific or scholarly rigor and provide sufficient detail to allow the reviewers to understand the nature of the question(s) or intervention being pursued, relevant background, methodology, and potential relevance/impact. In particular for research projects, the methods section should provide a clear and detailed description of analytic approaches, including statistical methods and justification for sample size if applicable.

The faculty mentor is expected to give the student considerable assistance with the research plan portion of the application. In addition to discussing the project with the student and providing appropriate references, the mentor is expected to read and to help write and revise this section with the student. Student applications are unlikely to be funded without adequate mentor input, so please be aware of the deadlines and make time to meet with students and discuss their proposal ideas.

If questionnaires or other written instruments are used in the project, samples need to be included with the proposal.

It is an expectation that mentors meet with their funded students on a biweekly basis or more often as required by the project, and many mentor-mentee dyads meet weekly, as students tend to need a fair amount of guidance. Research project management is a skill, and we recommend that students be asked to pre-specify a meeting agenda, define the action items, summarize them in an email back to the mentors and then proceed to carry out short-term goals. Meetings should periodically re-visit overall project goals and address overall progress.

Mentors must discuss authorship roles and authorship requirements with students in advance of manuscript preparation. Ideally, such discussions will be explicit among all members of the research team at the outset of the project. In addition, mentors should make mentees aware of the need to acknowledge UCSF RAPtr or program-specific funding in all presentations or manuscripts. 

Mentors are responsible for facilities where the students will work, such as lab space or computer workspace, as well as any and all supplies (reagents, software, poster presentations, journal publication fees, et cetera) needed for the project. There is no separate budget for books, materials, travel, or supplies associated with RAPtr funding, and mentors are responsible for any such costs incurred. (A few students are in specific research programs that can pay for these costs; please check with your mentee.)  We appreciate that this is an additional burden, and ask mentors to think through these costs before accepting a student.

If the project involves human subjects, mentors must have IRB approval prior to the student's proposed start date, and this must be maintained throughout the project period. There can be no exceptions or time extensions for this rule. Lack of IRB approval at the proposed start date for the student will lead to a loss of funding, and possibly full cancellation of the student research grant.

Research Mentor Resources

  1. Mentor Training: UCSF offers a variety of mentor training workshops and courses. The following two programs are good resources for training in mentorship: the UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program ( (link is external)), and the CTSI Mentor Development Program ( (link is external)).
  2. Consultation: We are always available to discuss issues with RAPtr learners, as are leaders of specific research programs such as PROF-PATH. CTSI also offers confidential mentor consultation services. To request a mentor consultation with CTSI, please visit (link is external)
  3. Statistical Consultation:  UCSF learners are eligible for one (1) free hour of statistical consultation with CTSI for any projects based at UCSF and affiliated CTSI institutions. Learners can request these consultation services at (link is external)
    To learn more about CTSI’s consultation services recharge policy, please see: (link is external)
  4. Students have access to software using (link is external). Please visit the website for details.
  5. Students can use My Research to store data


We thank you again for your willingness to mentor a UCSF student in research. We will be pleased to send you a letter documenting your efforts that can be included in promotion materials. We are well aware that faculty at UCSF are extremely busy and will do all we can to make mentorship an enjoyable and productive experience.