YSP Research Mentors

Research Mentors


For 56 years, YSP has brought high achieving high school students to campus to introduce them to careers in scientific research. This would not be possible without the guidance and support YSP participants get from their UC Davis research mentors. 

Program Details

The 6 week program runs from late June to early August. Exact program dates for the coming year can be found on the “About” tab on this website. During the first two weeks, students attend a morning lecture series and work in their labs in the afternoons. During the final four weeks, each student works full time in the lab. At the end of the program, students present their research findings in an open symposium.

Interested in Hosting a Participant?

This year we have different tiers at which you can offer your support as a research mentor. We welcome participation in more than one tier if you are interested in working with the Young Scholars Program in multiple ways. If you are interested in working with us at any level, please email Director Megan Bettis at mmckenzie@ucdavis.edu for sign-up links.

Tier 1 – “Dinner with a Scientist”

The goal of “Dinner with a Scientist” is to expose students to different research that is happening across the UC Davis campus. Over a virtual dinner, give a 10 minute research talk followed by Q&A with a small group of students. Throughout the evening we’ll rotate through four groups of students (30 minutes per group). We hope to have three “Dinner with a Scientist” events throughout the summer:

  • Thursday, June 24 from 6:00-8:30pm
  • Thursday, July 8 from 6:00-8:30pm
  • Thursday, July 22 from 6:00-8:30pm
Tier 2 – Mini Class

The goal of the mini class is to provide a more in-depth exposure to a particular area of research happening on campus. We hope to offer at least two different week long mini-classes. Each mini class will meet for five days for 2.5 hours (12.5 hours total). A YSP counselor will serve as a TA to assist you. We can offer $1000 in research support funds. Mini classes will be held:

  • Week of June 21 from 9:00-11:30am
  • Week of June 28 from 9:00-11:30am
Tier 3 – Research Mentor

The goal of the research placement is to immerse students in a research project. As a research mentor you would work with the student in a remote format. In addition to mentoring students through the research project we also ask that you help them as they write their final paper and develop their research presentation. We can offer $500 in research support funds.

University Policies for Working with Minors

In a continuing effort to meet university policy expectations (http://manuals.ucdavis.edu/PPM/290/290-32.pdf) we are required to fingerprint any adult who supervises a high school student in their lab. If this is your first experience with us, we will work with you to insure that this process causes the least amount of disruption to your busy schedule. If you’ve worked with us previously, you will likely not need to be fingerprinted again. All of the costs of the fingerprinting will be covered by UCD-YSP. Please do not let this be a deterrent to your participation. Fingerprinting has become a regular expectation in any program where adults work closely with minors. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Program Director, Megan McKenzie Bettis at mmckenzie@ucdavis.edu.  

If you are unable to participate in UCD-YSP this summer but know a researcher or new faculty member who may be interested, please forward this email or reply with their contact information. You are our greatest asset in recruiting new faculty mentors and the opportunities you provide allows us to offer a high quality program for our participants.

Support For Research Mentors

Prior to the start of the program, we will provide you with a short virtual training on how to work with high school students most effectively. During the program, your student’s YSP counselor will check in with you and be available to contact if any questions or concerns arise. 

If you would like more information about the program, please feel free to contact Megan Bettis, look through the rest of this website, or follow YSP on social media. 

Facebook: UC Davis Young Scholars Program 

Intstagram: @ucdavisysp

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