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Student Research League Faculty Mentor
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Student Research League (SRL)

SRL Home

SRL Official Rules

2020 Registration

Faculty Mentor Duties / Information
Evaluation Process

Presentation Materials

Past Team Champions

Past Competition Questions



  1. Have the students read through past competition questions and winning solutions. Discuss what made the paper a strong one and what could be improved.

  2. For many students this competition may be their first time researching and writing a scientific research paper. Faculty Mentors may want to consider:

    • Scheduling a meeting with the Team Member(s) and a research librarian at the college to discuss various sources for scientific data and articles as well as job and career information. Since the topic of the Challenge Problem is not known until the competition period begins it is important that the Team Member(s) know where to look for reliable sources.

    • Scheduling a meeting with the Team Member(s) and an English Professor (or a member of the Writing Center if the college has one) to discuss APA format/style so they know what the expectations are for the paper.

  3. Discuss with the students how they are going to work as an effective team. This may include time management, Team Member roles/responsibilities, and how to keep open lines of communication throughout the process.


Once the competition begins, the Faculty Mentor may not provide any assistance that directly relates to the solution of the problem.


  • perform research on the specific topic for the Team
  • provide a list of specific resources the Team should use
  • provide or suggest a specific mathematical model to use for the solution
  • write any portion of the paper
  • discuss the question or solutions with any other Faculty Mentor or Team Members until the competition is completed


  • meet with the Team to discuss their 'plan of attack'
  • facilitate brainstorming sessions without contributing specific suggestions of your own
  • keep in contact with the Team to make sure they are on task and on time
  • help them make contact with people that may have information relating to their solution (they may work with a mathematician to verify their work is sound as long as that person does not make specific changes to their work)
  • go through a checklist for the submission (content - all components of the paper are covered, format - APA, etc.)
  • read through the paper to make sure it is appropriate and make general suggestions as long as they do not directly involved the specifics of the solution
  • make sure the Team submits their entry in the correct formats and with the correct file names by midnight of the last day of competition.

All questions (or clarifications that need to be made) during the competition must come from the Faculty Mentor and must be sent to the SRL Coordinator at Please allow up to 4 hours (or overnight) for responses from the Coordinator.

Faculty Mentors should check their emails at least once a day during the competition in case there is an urgent issue regarding the rules or clarifications about which all Teams need to be informed.


Complete an Evaluation Survey about your experience as a Faculty Mentor. The survey is intended to improve the Student Research League.

Make sure that the Team Member(s) provide feedback to the SRL Coordinator.

You will be contacted in mid-June with results of the first round of evaluations. It is important that you verify the information for your team so that all names are correct for printing of Certificates of Entry as well as any award announcements.

It is important that you have contact information for your Team Member(s) over the summer and in the fall (especially if the students will not be at your college duing those times). You will want to forward the feedback information they will receive for their entry from the first round. If your team makes it to the National Finals, they will also receive feedback (in early fall).

Winners will be asked to provide a photo of the winning team, so you may consider taking photos (candid and posed) of the team during the competition. The top three National Finalists will have to submit their transcripts to the Faculty Mentor and then the Team Member(s) and Faculty Mentor must all sign an affidavit verifying that the eligibility requirements were met by each Team Member.

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