Mentor Funds Spending Guidelines

Honors College mentor funds are designed to support, advance, and promote undergraduate research at the University of Arkansas. The examples below illustrate ways in which you can use your mentor funds to help achieve these goals while helping yourself professionally. We realize that supervision of research and other forms of teaching are inextricably linked, so the mentor funding may be used for things that also support instruction, so long as you can demonstrate that it does support, advance, and promote undergraduate research.

Yes! You may use your mentor funds to purchase the following:

  • Allowable expenses include equipment that is essential to undergraduate research, such as computers, printers, iPads, iPad minis, e-Readers, and essential accessories (excluding data plans/charges for iPads and other e-Readers).
    Note: You cannot use mentor funds to purchase standard equipment that is normally provided by the university. You cannot use mentor funds to buy new hardware if you have current equipment that serves this purpose.
  • Specialized research related software, such as statistical software (ex: SAS), survey software (ex: Survey Monkey), or other relevant software
  • Travel and registration fees related to undergraduate research, such as conferences, workshops, short courses, seminars
  • Travel needed in the performance of undergraduate research, such as a site visit or research in an archive
  • Travel related to the development of potentially new undergraduate research areas or topics
  • Professional development related to current or potential research areas
  • Faculty travel for course preparation or course research related to future or current student research
  • Costs associated with holding colloquia, workshops, and webinars related to undergraduate research
  • Student and mentor tickets for performances (plays, literary readings, concert, operas, etc.) related to the students' research areas
  • Honoraria for guest instructors and speakers
  • Receptions (excluding food and drink expenses) to discuss research or potential research topics and opportunities
  • Printed or electronic materials, such as books, journals, patents
  • Research related DVDs, videos or other media
  • Materials, supplies and specialized equipment used in support of undergraduate research
  • Lab animals in support of undergraduate research
  • Personal protection equipment for undergrad researchers (lab coats, goggles, etc.)
  • Research poster presentation materials
  • Hourly pay for undergraduates working on research
  • Hourly pay or stipends for postdocs, graduate students and other research assistants facilitating undergraduate research
  • Abstract and paper publication fees
  • Faculty or student professional society dues required for presentation and/or publication in a research conference, or needed to receive the member's price when it will reduce the conference or publication fees by more than the required dues

Sorry, you cannot spend your mentor funds on these:

  • Cell phone equipment and accessories (including service charges)  
  • Food and drinks (non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages) 
  • Furniture, including lab furniture and specialized furniture 
  • Clothing, other than personal protection equipment 
  • Tuition and related costs
  • Testing fees
  • Items that are typically general office supplies, even when used in research - printer ink, projector bulbs, portfolios, binders, name tags, whiteboards, pens, etc. 
  • Faculty salaries
  • Items that should normally be provided by the department, such as whiteboards and smart boards 

Processing Expenses

When submitting these expense transactions in BASIS, please provide a brief justification to help the approvers understand how the expense relates to current or future undergraduate research. If you have any questions about whether the requested expense is allowable use of mentor funds, please contact Claire Luchkina before submitting through BASIS.

Questions?  Contact Claire Luchkina in the Honors College.