Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Mentoring FAQs


What are the expectations for me as a mentor?

Having a mentor is an excellent opportunity for Mary Gates Scholars to learn and grow with guidance and support. Since mentor involvement depends on individual students and projects, we expect your scholar to share their needs with you at the beginning of the project to clarify expectations on both sides. To this end, it’s a good idea to look at your student’s application essay. Additionally, we would expect you to be available to your scholar as needed in order for them to have the support necessary to gain the skills and hone the abilities they has set up for their goals. More information on mentor expectations and guidelines can be found here.

As part of the requirements of the award, scholars and mentors are asked to complete a mid-quarter survey for each quarter of they receive an financial award from MGE. The purpose of the surveys is accountability and feedback. We ask for feedback to address needs during the award period and gladly accept suggestions to improve our program.

Is the award to be spent on tuition and fees?

If a student receives an award, they will have the funds directly deposited into their student account. These funds are unrestricted and we receive no reports on its use. Students on financial aid may find that the award replaces loans. If your student is on financial aid, we advise them to check with the financial aid office for information on how the award will affect her/his financial aid package.

My student was awarded a scholarship, but I have not heard from them. What should I do?

Please try to contact your student directly. If this does not work, please let the Mary Gates Endowment for Students office know and we will follow-up. You can reach us at

For Mentors of Leadership Scholars

What is the purpose of the Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship?

The Mary Gates Leadership Scholarship is designed to foster the civic education of University of Washington undergraduate students. Named for former Regent and civic leader, Mary Gates, the Leadership Scholarships honor the commitment, responsibility, and courage that characterized her life of leadership and service to the community. Through Leadership Scholarships, we aim to invest in students, helping them to develop their leadership capacity – vision, initiative, commitment, skill, and values – in an endeavor that delights and inspires them. We seek applicants who are imaginative and passionate about their endeavors, and who can envision how they can stretch, grow, and contribute through this opportunity.

A student has asked me read their application essay. What are you looking for in an essay?

Our website offers guiding questions for applicants to think about in writing a successful essay:

What will the student need to do for the required Spring Celebration?

Students will need to register for the annual spring Leadership Celebration event, where they have the choice to present their project to attendees in a variety of formats (Ex: poster, oral presentation, lightning talk, etc.). More details will be sent to both you and your mentee as the Celebration approaches.

We are happy to answer any specific questions so please do not hesitate to contact the Mary Gates Endowment staff.

For Mentors of Research Scholars

What is the purpose of the Mary Gates Research Scholarship?

Mary Gates Research Scholarships are competitive awards available to enhance the educational experiences of UW undergraduates who are engaged in research with University faculty. The intent of these scholarships is to provide support for outstanding students, enabling them to learn research methods and explore current research questions and challenges in a variety of disciplines. Funds from the Mary Gates Endowment for Students are dedicated exclusively to students; they may not be used to defray the costs to departments for things such as equipment or supplies.

A student has asked me read their application essay. What are you looking for in an essay?

Our website offers guidelines for applicants in writing an application essay. These guidelines can be found at:
Applications are evaluated using the criteria explained here:

What will the student need to do for the required Undergraduate Research Symposium?

Students will need to apply to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which takes place every year in mid-May. The application deadline is in February. In February, the Office of Undergraduate Research holds information sessions for students to discuss the Symposium and writing abstracts. In the spring, the Office of Undergraduate Research has sessions on poster and oral presentations. Mentors are expected to provide support to their mentee as they prepare their abstract and preferred presentation method.

Are there opportunities for funding travel expenses for scholars presenting work?

The Undergraduate Research Program offers opportunities for travel grants for currently enrolled Undergraduates who have a poster, paper, or creative scholarly work that has been accepted for professional presentations. Travel must be completed before graduation. Please visit for more information.