Leadership Prize awardees will research important issues and develop viable and testable ways to address significant problems. Mentors will help students develop high-quality proposals based on well-defined and important research questions. Once a proposal is funded, mentors will provide prize awardees with research guidance and support, help them identify needed changes in their plans, and help them evaluate the efficacy of their work. After a proposal has been accepted, mentors will work with prize awardees for three semesters over the students’ junior and senior years.

Who is eligible to serve as a mentor?

We believe that it is only possible to give such high quality mentoring to a limited number of students. Therefore, we would prefer that mentors supervise only one Leadership prize awardee at a time. However, given the value of having our best faculty mentor our students, we will accept having mentors supervise two Leadership Prize projects at a time, if necessary. Furthermore, typically only full-time faculty or staff holding faculty rank may be Leadership Prize mentors. However, in exceptional cases, applicants may request that the proposal warrants some other member of the Elon staff on long-term contract serve as mentor; such applications will be fully considered on their merits.

Mentor Responsibilities

  • Mentors will assist applicants in developing an application that describes the issue to be researched, the reasons why the issue warrants intense attention, a plan for a scholarly, in-depth examination of the issue which develops a sophisticated model of causes and context, and a three semester plan of action. Mentoring thus includes: (1) helping students develop appropriate disciplinary or inter-disciplinary skills and knowledge; (2) assisting students in finding and using appropriate resources; (3) helping students coordinate the various activities they proposed and holding them accountable for meeting deadlines in a timely manner; and, (4) guiding students in the work habits necessary for success (planning, flexibility, disciplined work patterns, etc.).
  • Mentors will hold regular, substantive meetings with their students during the regular academic year. Typically, mentors should meet with their students on the average of at least once each week. Meetings should be substantive and should require preparation on the parts of both student and mentor. In these meetings, mentors should review the student’s progress, address current areas of concern, and provide guidance for subsequent activities.
  • Mentors will help prize awardees comply with Leadership Prize expectations, policies, and deadlines, and communicate effectively and in a timely manner with the Leadership Prize director.

Mentor Compensation

We understand that mentoring Leadership Scholars provides significant intrinsic motivation, but we also recognize that doing so involves a significant commitment of your time and energy. To compensate mentors, at least partially, for their dedicated service, we will offer mentors the choice of taking their compensation either as a cash payout or as bankable teaching release time. If the mentor chooses a cash payout, the cash amount will be the overload rate for two credits of LED 498 each semester for total of six semester hours over the life of the project.