The chemistry faculty at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are passionate about undergraduate research, and therefore we have been running an REU program since 2001.
We provide a stimulating, supportive, and inclusive research environment in which a diverse group of students is encouraged to solve scientific problems that are within their scope. The faculty at UC has put effort into making the department both diverse and inclusive, and as part of the REU program, we invite a faculty member from an underrepresented group to our program in the summer. This visiting faculty serves as an informal mentor to students in the program and conducts research collaboratively with one of our faculty members. The department provides the visiting faculty a stipend, housing and an opportunity to conduct research with a collaborator of a choice at UC, and to bring their own undergraduate students.
Each visiting faculty has provided valuable input during the sessions of our Professional Development Program of the REU program. The visiting faculty have added diversity to the department and have also made a significant difference in helping REU students from smaller institutions adjust to life at a larger institution.
In addition, the visiting faculty mentors have made it possible for the UC faculty to build ties and collaboration with smaller PUI and HBCU institutions.
For more details take a look at this article on the concept of visiting faculty mentor http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed086p565