Special Issue: Continuity of Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Face of Uncertainty (Fall 2022)

Current events have highlighted the fact that life is full of uncertainty. How do mentors support undergraduate research during global crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, social and racial injustice, and major natural disasters? How can mentors and mentees work together to create continuity, make decisions, and build resilience during unprecedented disruption, even while working remotely? How can student researchers cope with difficult circumstances and possibly even thrive while facing the unknown? Studies of such unique challenges bring an opportunity for learning from various mentoring undergraduate research models, and mentoring relationships among students, faculty, and staff.

In the PURM 2022 Special Issue on Continuity of Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Face of Uncertainty, we invite pieces from mentors and students that explore mentoring in a time of uncertainty, which also provides dynamic mentoring opportunities.

Topics might include but are not only limited to:

● Descriptions of unique disciplinary challenges which have been affected by current events in different ways

● Exploration of how mentoring approaches have shifted during unprecedented changes

● Exploration of new opportunities for mentoring which arise when uncertainty becomes accepted as part of the research process

● Discussing the unique impacts of COVID-19 on mentoring undergraduate research and shifting mentoring adaptations in local and international contexts

● Discussion of how mentors may utilize the Salient Practices of Undergraduate Mentoring (Shanahan et al., 2015) differently during periods of uncertainty (e.g., Hall et al., 2020)

● Description of strategies used to teach the necessary research methods for the discipline and how data collection was adapted during times of uncertainty

● Discussion of equitable and inclusive mentoring in times of uncertainty

PURM is an open-access, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed online journal supporting the mission of undergraduate research and the programs that strive to provide undergraduate students opportunities to participate in scholarly activities with faculty mentors. PURM’s unique focus on the process of undergraduate research and mentoring rather than the products of these activities provides a space for the growing undergraduate research community to share experiences, opportunities, concerns, and challenges in a rigorous, professional venue.

Submissions may have a student author or co-author, and should address continuity of mentoring undergraduate research in the face of uncertainty, either through a theoretical, empirical, review, experiential dialogue, or viewpoint perspective. For more information about the types of articles accepted by PURM, please visit the website at: https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/for-authors/.

To be considered for the Special Issue of Continuity of Mentoring Undergraduate Research in the Face of Uncertainty, to be published in Fall 2022, manuscripts must be received by July 1, 2022. Full submission guidelines may be found at https://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/for-authors/. Any questions regarding PURM, the submission and review process, or article inquiries for the Special Issue may be directed to Dr. Sabrina Thurman (sthurman2@elon.edu), Dr. Titch Madzima (tmadzima@elon.edu), or Dr. Mussa Idris (midris@elon.edu). All other inquiries may be directed to Dr. Qian Xu, Editor-in-Chief of PURM (qxu@elon.edu).


Hall, E. E., Bailey, E., Higgins, S., Madzima, T., Nepocatych, S., Wittstein, M. W., & Ketcham, C. J. (2020, July 6). Lessons learned from mentoring undergraduate research this summer: Salient practices of undergraduate research mentoring. Center for Engaged Learning. https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/lessons-learned-from-mentoring-undergraduate-research-this-summer

Shanahan, J. O., Ackley-Holbrook, E., Hall, E., Stewart, K., & Walkington, H. (2015). Ten salient practices of undergraduate research mentors: A review of the literature. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 23(5). https://doi.org/10.1080/13611267.2015.1126162