Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

Faculty Mentor

All student applicants must be sponsored by a CSU faculty member who is committed to serving as a CDIP Faculty Mentor throughout the students’ doctoral education and job search process for faculty positions.

Who can serve as a CDIP Faculty Mentor?

Only full-time tenure-track/tenured faculty members at one of the CSU campuses can serve as CDIP Faculty Mentors. Ideally, the Faculty Mentor is in the same or related discipline as the applicant’s, but it is not a requirement.

How can applicants find a faculty member to sponsor their applications?

Students who have current or former academic ties to CSU campuses typically approach their academic advisors, course instructors, research supervisors, or honors or master’s thesis advisors to find a potential CDIP Faculty Mentor.

Students with no formal or informal ties to CSU can search for potential mentors by reading descriptions of research and teaching expertise of faculty in the departments related to their disciplines on their faculty websites and contact them directly.

Applicants can also contact the CDIP Campus Coordinators for a list of faculty members at their campuses who are former CDIP participants. Many of these faculty members are supportive of the CDIP and are eager to serve as mentors themselves.

What is the Faculty Mentor’s Role? 

Mentorship by CSU Faculty Mentors is an integral part of the CDIP, both at the time of the application and during the program. The objectives of the mentor/student interaction are (a) to assist the student in his/her doctoral program and (b) to help the student understand the workings of higher education institutions and the faculty labor market specific to particular disciplines.

Areas of mentoring typically include collaboration in research, teaching, and professional service as well as guidance for development in instructional activities, research training, and professional networking and service. If possible, an application supported by multiple CSU faculty mentors is highly desirable. 

At the time of application

Faculty Mentors are required to assist students’ application process in at least two key ways.

First, the mentors develop a Collaborative Plan of Support (CPS) with the applicants (please refer to Application Information for instructions of writing a CPS). The contents of the statement may vary depending on the prior contact that the student may have had with the faculty and the extent to which the student is fully acclimated to the demands of a doctoral program. For example, applicants just beginning a doctoral program may benefit from more regular interaction than a student already at the dissertation stage.  

Second, the mentors need to provide one of the three reference letters for the application that explains their assessment of the student applicants’ potential to succeed in their doctoral programs and commitment to applying for a CSU instructional faculty position after obtaining their doctoral degrees. The reference letter should also describe how faculty mentors plan to support the applicants through the CPS.

During the CDIP funding

When student applicants are selected to participate in the CDIP, they are referred to as CDIP Scholars. Faculty Mentors will work with Scholars to implement the activities they proposed together in the Collaborative Plan of Support. Regular contacts and interactions will facilitate successful implementation.

The coordination and relationship between the CDIP Faculty Mentor and the CDIP Scholar’s doctoral advisor is not a required element for participating in the CDIP and for a successful CDIP application. In fact, it varies greatly among the CDIP Scholars. For some scholars the CDIP Faculty Mentors work closely with the doctoral advisors, collaborating on research and/or serving on the Scholars’ dissertation committee, while for other scholars there is minimal contact or relationship between the CDIP Faculty Mentor and the doctoral advisor. Regardless, it is strongly recommended that the doctoral advisor is informed of the Scholar’s participation in the CDIP and, whenever possible, given opportunities to coordinate the mentoring activities.

Advisement of a student and acceptance into the CDI Program does not a guarantee future CSU employment for the student. Therefore, faculty members, department, and/or other campus representatives should be certain to avoid implying or representing any such commitment.