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Call for Mentors: Stanford ChEM-H Undergraduate Scholars Program

Are you a postdoc who has taken a non-conventional path to your current research? Do you want to mentor a young scientist who, like you, is interested in blending distinct fields of science to ask compelling research questions?


Stanford ChEM-H is soliciting applications for postdoc mentors to join the Stanford ChEM-H Undergraduate Scholars Program. This program aims to provide interdisciplinary research experience to undergraduate sophomores who have declared or intend to declare majors in physical science, engineering, or life science fields and to provide the opportunity to gain depth in a research area complementary to their chosen major. For example, a physical science or engineering major would be placed in a biological or clinical research host lab and a life science major would be placed in a physical science or engineering host lab. Students will be matched with postdoc mentors in the host lab with similar educational roots and attend weekly seminars to support their research experience. 

Students selected to participate in the program will be engaging in a year-long program to support their development as interdisciplinary scientists. The experience will begin with a weekly seminar/discussion series to help students gain basic skills to prepare them to work in the lab, including reading and analyzing scientific literature, preparing a research proposal, and developing a poster and scientific presentation. In parallel, students will begin working with their mentors in host labs during the winter and spring quarters in preparation for full time research over the summer. Read more about the undergraduate student program requirements here.

By engaging students in their sophomore year, putting them through a rigorous selection process, and providing preparation activities outside of the lab, we believe postdoctoral fellows will have a unique opportunity to develop a long-term, productive mentoring relationship.

What to expect of the program:

  • Access to a high-quality Stanford undergraduate mentee for 8-10 hours a week during the academic year and 40 hours a week during the summer 
  • Formal mentorship training through workshops and mentor meetings
  • Access to a peer network, staff, and faculty to provide support and advising to you and your mentee

What the program expects of you:

  • A commitment to mentor an undergraduate in conducting research for 8-10 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week during the summer
  • Integration of your mentee into your lab environment, including opportunities to attend and present at your lab group meetings
  • Input and assistance for your mentee in selecting and analyzing literature, preparation of a research proposal, and development of a poster and final presentation
  • Lead at least one seminar/discussion meeting for the undergraduates during the winter, spring, or summer
  • Attend meetings, mentorship training, and other ChEM-H Undergraduate Scholar events


Applicants must be postdoctoral scholars with current appointments at Stanford in the physical sciences, engineering, or life sciences. Postdocs who are currently working in research labs whose focus is different from their primary field of expertise are encouraged to apply. 

Selection of Mentors

Program mentors will be chosen based on feasibility of proposed project for an undergraduate researcher, commitment to developing mentorship skills, and match with undergraduate applicant interests. A first round of mentor projects will be selected by late September. Undergraduate applicants will be given selected project topics and asked to rank them in their applications, due early November. Initial selection of your project does not guarantee that you will be matched with an undergraduate mentee. Finalists will be notified of mentee matches by mid-December for a January program start.


The 2020 mentor application is now open. Please apply online by 5 pm on August 30, 2019. 


Applications must be submitted through the online portal at and will require the following:

  1. Current CV
  2. Proposed project topic and succint one-paragraph description aimed at a broad audience (500 words or less). Detailed research aims are not necessary, as you will assist your mentee in developing a full proposal during spring quarter. Mentees are expected to have a defined project that they can work on with increasing independence over the course of the program.
  3. Idea for an activity or meeting topic that you would lead for the undergraduate researchers (1-3 sentences).
  4. Signed letter of support from your PI (download template letter)
  5. Answers to the following questions:
    • What is your primary field of training? (Please mention any field transitions that may have occurred between undergrad/grad or grad/postdoc and why you made these transitions.)
    • What is your area of research expertise? (Please mention how this primary area of expertise relates to or diverges from your training.)
    • What is your PI's area of research expertise?
    • Why do you want to participate in this program as a mentor?

Any questions may be directed to the Stanford ChEM-H Academic and Student Services Coordinator, Ramy Abbady:

Previous Research Projects

Visit the links below to see examples of past ChEM-H Undergraduate Scholars research projects.