Mentor Guide

Lunch and Lab with a Grad Mentor Guide

General Information

Program intent:

  1. Get undergraduate students to think about attending graduate school
  2. Help them plan early enough so that they are adequately prepared to apply when they are ready
  3. Let them learn from current graduate students’ experiences
  4. Expose them to the workings of a research lab

The program will run during the fall term, September-November and during the winter term, January-March.


  1. Matches will be made based on preferences. Note: sometimes there is an imbalance of students, for example, undergrads may request a master’s mentor, but only PhD mentors are registered.  Matches are made based on best availability.  You will be provided with the name and email address of the undergraduate student you have been paired with.  For departments where there are fewer graduate students registered than undergraduates, it may be necessary to set-up a group meeting, or to arrange multiple individual meetings.
  2. It is up to you to initiate contact to set-up the meeting.  First email contact should be made within two days of your assignment, and the  meeting should be set within two weeks of the contact.  If you don’t hear from your undergrad within one week of contact please email [email protected].
  3. Once your meeting is set, email [email protected] to say when your meeting will take place. $10 Blue Bucks for each meal will be added to your MCard.
  4. Please share the “Guide for U-M Students” (a printed copy of this is also available in 145E Chrysler Center) and the areas of specialization with your mentee.  If you know of materials in your department that would be a useful supplement, feel free to share them.

Some topics you may want to cover over lunch:

  1. How graduate school differs from undergraduate studies
  2. Benefits of obtaining a graduate degree
  3. Preparation timeline, graduate program options, deadlines, and key web links (shown inside brochure)
  4. Tips for selecting research advisors
  5. Advice for preparing graduate school applications
  6. Funding
  7. Student life


  1. Provide your undergrad with your email address in case there are further questions.  You and your mentee can determine if you want to stay in touch with each other beyond the first meeting.  You will only be paid for the original lunch though.
  2. Give your mentee a tour of your lab (if applicable)—explain the research, and answer any follow-up questions
  3. Both you and your mentee should complete the online survey