Library Research Mentorship Program

The Science, Engineering, and Social Sciences Libraries Division at Columbia University Libraries seeks applicants for the Library Research Mentorship Program. This program is a paid research mentorship in which students complete independent research projects with the support of a librarian and then install a display about their research in a library.

A cohort of up to five first-generation, low-income students and students of color will be selected and paired with librarian mentors, who will collaborate with the students on using Columbia University Libraries collections to conduct research on topics of the students’ choice. Students will then work with their librarian mentors to create a small exhibit based on their research to be displayed in a library space.

This program is open to students enrolled in undergraduate and master’s programs. The purpose of the program is to support first-generation, low-income students and students of color in developing library-based research experience while also fostering welcoming library spaces by displaying student work. The Library Research Mentorship Program is funded by a Libraries Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award.

Priority will be given to applicants who apply by September 25th, 2023 at 12pm (midday/noon) Eastern time. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled or October 15, 2023, whichever comes first.

Five positions will be available starting in Fall 2023 and continuing into Spring 2024. Program participants will start in October 2023 and will be expected to participate in the program until May 2023 (the end of the Spring 2024 semester).

The program will be conducted primarily on Columbia’s Morningside Campus with some remote work expected.

$20/hour

The schedule is flexible and will include an average time commitment of 5 hours per week, but varies week to week. This will include regular workshops with librarians to learn or refresh research skills, one-on-one meetings with a librarian mentor, and independent work on the research project and exhibit.

October 2023: Program begins

October-December 2023: Research instruction from librarians, student research begins

January-March 2024: Students continue research and develop their displays

April 2024: Install displays in libraries and opening event for displays

April-December 2024: Installations displayed

  • Attend research workshops, cohort meetings, and one-on-one research mentorship meetings
  • Conduct independent research project under the supervision of a librarian
  • Design and implement a poster or other small public display based on research project
  • Average of 5 hours per week
  • Ability to form and articulate a research question that can be explored through Columbia University Libraries’ resources and services
  • Experience or interest in using library databases or other collections to conduct a literature review
  • Experience or interest in presenting research in a visually engaging manner to a public audience
  • Have a preliminary research question related to a science, engineering, business, math, or social science topic, broadly defined
  • Must be enrolled in a Columbia University Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program through the end of the Spring 2024 semester and self-identify as a first-generation, low income student or a student of color

Priority will be given to applicants who apply by September 25th, 2023 at 12pm (midday/noon) Eastern time. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled or October 15, 2023, whichever comes first.

Fill out this application form to apply for this position

The form will ask you to submit a resume or CV and a one page cover letter that explains the research question you would like to pursue through this program, as well as how you meet the Required Qualifications above.

We expect to notify successful applicants in October 2023.