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You can get a mentor who is a professional scientist or engineer in industry or government through MentorNet. Apply online at at anytime during the year. Open to Dartmouth men and women undergraduates, graduates, post docs and junior faculty.

Women in Science Project
6243 Parker House, 2nd floor
(Located in a two-story white frame house)
Hanover, NH
Phone: (603) 646-3690
Email: WISP@Dartmouth.EDU
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Mentors' Roles and Responsibilities

Preparing to Be a WISP Mentor

  1. mentors submit project descriptions on-line.
    1. See: Writing Project Descriptions
  2. WISP will compile an on-line listing of all project descriptions, and web authentication will be required to access the system. Interested students learn about the program and receive more information with instructions in early October. This is Round One (of two).
  3. Students have two weeks to contact mentors, interview with mentors, and submit completed applications.
    1. See: Suggestions for Interviewing Students
  4. mentors have the same two weeks to interview students and submit their preferences to the WISP office.
  5. mentors and prospective interns will be asked to submit top choices to the WISP office indicating with whom they’d most like to work.
  6. An internship selection committee matches prospective interns with mentors, trying to match everyone with their first or second choice
  7. Matched mentors and interns are notified in late October.
  8. A second round of interviewing, matching, and notification follows in November for those internships that were not matched and/or for newly added internship opportunities. This is Round Two. 
    1. Note: If you will not be on campus for Round One interviewing, we suggest that your project description be part of Round Two.
  9. Matched mentors and interns are notified in late November.
  10. Internships begin the first week of January (unless the intern is a sophomore and arrangements have been made to work spring and summer terms).
    1. WISP pays interns an hourly wage of up to 10 hours/week for 10 weeks @ $8.00/hour for two terms.
    2.  Any mentor willing to financially support their intern, please contact WISP. Your generosity enables more students to participate. mentors interested in taking a second intern are asked to support that intern’s wages ($1600 maximum) from their own funding.

After Matching, Expectations for Mentors (and/or Assistant Mentors)

  • Contact your intern before fall term ends to initiate the relationship and complete a waiver and release form. The internship work begins with the start of winter term in January and continues through May (sophomores can work any two terms between winter and summer that works with them and the mentor).
  • Contact the WISP office sooner rather than later if you are having any issues that could affect the intern’s ability to meet and complete internship expectations.
  • New mentors and assistant mentors should plan to attend the January orientation dinner.
  • Sign a biweekly student time sheet for interns who are expected to work 6 - 10 hours per week. If you are planning an absence, designate an alternate signer (assistant mentor, co-mentor, grant administrator, etc) to sign in your place.  This prevents the buildup of past-due timesheets. The WISP office will process and track all time sheets. Do Not allow your student to submit timesheet to payroll office herself.  It must go through the WISP office.
  • Guide interns in developing a culminating poster of their work to be presented at the annual Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Symposium in May and prepare interns to communicate their work to a lay audience.
  • Complete program evaluations at the conclusion of the internship.

Advice from experienced mentors on insuring the best candidate for the internship

Assess compatibility, commitment, and motivation during the interview process.

  • Experienced mentors say that enthusiasm for the project was a great indication that the intern would make a good commitment
  • Think through your student's roles and responsibilities beforehand.  Students respond to a structured role
  • Ask about course load, extra-curricular activities and sports. First-year students are often challenged by time management and unrealistic expectations

Structuring the Project

  • Articulate realistic expectations with your intern. Be flexible to the need to adjust those expectations over time.
  • Involve student in a credible research experience adapted to student's level of ability.  An internship should have clear objectives at least for the student.  Beware of only giving "busy work."
  • Acquaint student with any special safety rules and regulations in your lab or research space.
  • Make interns feel welcome and comfortable at the start; make them feel a part of your lab group.
  • Mentor your intern: cultivate a relationship beyond lab supervising; take interest in their academic foundation year at Dartmouth, as well as their future in science.
  • Communicate regularly and clearly with an intern about expectations, progress, and encouragement; be a good listener. Give and ask for feedback.
  • Spend at least 2 hours per week (or 20% of their lab time) in direct contact with an intern instructing, advising, coaching, giving feedback, and talking about science in general; involve an “assistant mentor” for day-to-day supervision.
  • “Design project around student’s interests — helps to insure that they have a stake in the project; help to meet their long range goals, ask them how much they feel they can do. I’m always surprised and impressed by the capabilities of Dartmouth undergrads.”
  • “Look for someone who is not only smart, but seems mature and knows how to focus and work.”
  • “Set realistic goals and trust in an intern’s ability to do well.”

Last Updated: 7/25/14