Mentoring is a great opportunity for faculty to develop strong, positive relationships with students to generate enthusiasm about research and foster academic growth. Faculty mentors are key to student success, opening paths of communication that encourage students to do their best and uphold principles of scientific honesty, accuracy and reliability.
In a general sense, a mentor is someone who takes a special interest in helping another person develop into a successful professional. A good mentor seeks to help a student optimize an educational experience, assists in socialization into a disciplinary culture, and prepares the student to find suitable employment or placement. This often extends well beyond formal academia and continues into and throughout a student’s career. You can learn more about the mentor-mentee relationship and responsibilities here.
Below are additional resources to help you improve your effectiveness as a faculty mentor.
- Macrina, F. L. (2014) Scientific Integrity(4th edition), Chapter 3: Mentoring. Washington, DC: ASM Press.
- Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Chapter 7: Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities
- How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty (University of Michigan)
- The Merits of Training Mentors (Science 2006)
- Mentoring and Research Misconduct: An Analysis of Research Mentoring in Closed ORI Cases (August 2008, Science and Engineering Ethics 14(3):323-36. David E Wright, Sandra Titus, and Jered B Cornelison)
- Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train a New Generation of Scientists (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- Nature’s Guide for Mentors. This report is full of participant quotes and advice from mentors and trainees alike. Table 1 in the paper has a self-assessment. Useful hints include insights into personal characteristics, teaching/ communication skills, tips for mentors, the importance of building communities, promoting skill development, and networking skills.