Faculty Advisor Role

The Academic Internship Program is a Special Studies Course, AIP 197.  As such, a faculty advisor is required for all students participating in an AIP internship. Faculty Advisors help students create a structure to investigate a particular research question related to the internship, and guide students in developing a paper or project to address their research interest.

The faculty advisor plays a critical role in the AIP experience. Faculty advisors help students choose a research topic, develop the research question, and choose a relevant bibliography. They provide feedback on the draft and consultation throughout the writing process.

  • Developing and approving the research paper topic or project proposal:  AIP has general paper/project requirements that students must meet but it is the faculty advisor who establishes the specific discipline-based criteria for the AIP paper. Prior to the start of the internship, students submit a Learning Agreement indicating the proposed research paper topic or project. The Learning Agreement also includes a description of the internship and is signed by the student, faculty advisor and internship site supervisor.
  • Providing guidance during the writing process: Faculty advisors assist students in finding appropriate resources and revising the research paper as necessary. Students are required to connect with the faculty advisor at least three times during the quarter to discuss progress on the research paper and internship.
  • Evaluating the research paper: The faculty advisor reads, evaluates, and grades (Pass/No Pass) the AIP paper at the end of the quarter.

Time Commitment

AIP requires students to communicate with their faculty advisor a minimum of three times per quarter. The initial meeting should be in person. Additional meetings can take place in person, over the phone or via email. If a faculty advisor requires more frequent meetings, that should be communicated to the student and noted on the Learning Agreement.  In addition to helping the student brainstorm a topic for the paper, the faculty advisor should be available to help the student narrow the topic into a research question and provide feedback on the draft. Faculty advisors also read and evaluate the research paper, and submit a grade to AIP at the end of the quarter.

Who Can Serve as a Faculty Advisor?

AIP faculty advisors must have a current teaching appointment for the quarter of the student's internship. TA's and staff may not serve as faculty advisors. AIP does not provide compensation for the faculty advisor role, but does notify department chairs of faculty serving in this role.  Faculty should include participation as an AIP faculty advisor on their UCSD BioBib, and may contact AIP to request a list of students with whom they have worked.