Questions about mentoring
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Questions about mentoring. Think of an ideal mentor from your past. What made them so effective? What are some strategies to avoid as a mentor? Where can you find a mentor?. Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs: Considerations for Future Faculty.

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Questions about mentoring

Questions about mentoring

Think of an ideal mentor from your past. What made them so effective?

What are some strategies to avoid as a mentor?

Where can you find a mentor?


Mentoring graduate students and postdocs considerations for future faculty

Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs: Considerations for Future Faculty

Laura Harrington – Associate Professor, Entomology, Cornell University

Christine Holmes – Director of Postdoctoral Studies, Cornell University

Colleen McLinn – Program Director, CU-CIRTL


What is mentoring

What is mentoring?

"Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be."

-Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring


Objectives for this cirtlcast

Objectives for this CIRTLCast

After this session, you will be able to:

  • List key traits and practices of an ideal mentor

  • Describe mentoring pitfalls and brainstorm solutions


Outline

Outline

  • Finding a good mentor

  • Fostering a better experience with your current mentor

  • Preparing to become the mentor

  • Mentoring needs at different stages: graduate students vs. postdocs

  • Questions and discussion

  • Resources to learn more about mentoring


Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor

Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor


Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor1

Considerations when seeking a faculty mentor

  • Be proactive. Take control of your own education and opportunities.

  • Consider:

    • The career stage of the faculty member

    • What expectations they have for you

    • Opportunities available

    • Their policies on authorship/credit

    • Degree of autonomy


Fostering a better experience with your current mentor

Fostering a better experience with your current mentor

  • Be aware of common pitfalls:

    • Shared position between two supervisors

    • Lack of clearly defined expectations

    • Individual differences in communication or learning styles


Four major communication styles

Four Major Communication Styles

Figure 4.1

The Now Habit at Work, by Neil Fiore


Fostering a better experience with your current mentor1

Fostering a better experience with your current mentor

  • Turning things around if necessary

    • Be proactive

    • Provide feedback professionally

    • Stay calm

    • Listen to the other person’s needs

    • Ask for what you need

Good Resources:

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

Nonviolent Communication: The Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg


Fostering a better experience with your current mentor2

Fostering a better experience with your current mentor

  • Find mentoring elsewhere (formal or informal)

    www.academiccoachingandwriting.org


If the mentoring relationship needs to be severed

If the mentoring relationship needs to be severed…

  • Confidential resources (use for advice)

    • University Ombudsperson

    • Human Resources

    • Graduate School Offices

  • Not confidential (use to help take action)

    • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Department Chair


Preparing to become the mentor

Preparing to become the mentor

What do you wish you had known?

“To lay out expectations for the relationship at the very beginning.”

“To not do everything for my mentee - to encourage them to be in charge of their own experience.”

“To have the courage to say this is no longer working for us - to end the relationship even if it is your own graduate student.”

“To not suffocate my mentee with too much advice.”

“Not all mentors can be confidential - you have to be careful what you say and really know who you can trust.”

– Cornell faculty


Questions about mentoring

Scenarios for Discussion

  • You are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plagiarism in the lab. You…

  • You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentee is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab with your funding. You didn’t know this. You…

  • You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one-month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in South America without telling you. You…

  • Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via email and phone calls. They are clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You…


Questions about mentoring

Scenario A

  • You are mentoring a postdoc who thinks he/she has discovered a case of plagiarism in the lab. You….


Questions about mentoring

Scenario B

  • You find out from a colleague that your postdoc mentee is getting ready to publish a paper. It is from work they did in your lab, but you are not aware of the publication. You…


Questions about mentoring

Scenario C

  • You have a graduate student mentee who is funded by NIH/NSF. You leave on a one-month research trip and return to find that the student left the lab to go surfing for the month in South America without telling you. You…


Questions about mentoring

Scenario D

  • Your mentee approaches you after avoiding your efforts to reach out for weeks via email and phone calls. The mentee is clearly distraught and tells you that they feel like you don’t respect them. They say that you are often condescending in subtle ways towards them. They think you are discriminating against them because they are openly gay. You…


Things to consider as you become the mentor

Things to consider as you become the mentor

  • What is your mentoring philosophy?

  • What are your core values, strengths and weaknesses coming into a mentoring relationship?

  • What responsibilities do you have as a mentor?

    • time investment

    • effort

    • confidentiality

    • accountability


What skills do mentors need

What skills do mentors need?

  • Effective and timely communication

  • Clearly articulating expectations

  • Provide constructive feedback verbally and in writing

  • Hiring and interviewing skills

  • Stress relief and anger management strategies

  • Strategies for resolving conflict


Mentoring tips

Mentoring Tips

  • Establish the nature of your relationship and expectations you both have

  • Set up regular meetings with your mentee

  • Listen fully without judgment

  • Maintain confidentiality at all times

  • Get feedback from your mentee


Mentoring tips1

Mentoring Tips

  • Cultivate a non-intimidating environment – go for coffee/meals or a walk while you talk

  • Be flexible

  • Offer “insider advice” – what you wish you had known, where to get resources or help, who are key contacts to meet on campus

  • Keep notes and refer back to them to refresh your memory before meeting with the mentee


Consider the stage

Consider the stage

Answer in the chat window:

How do the mentoring needs of postdocs differ from those of graduate students?


Mentoring graduate students

Mentoring Graduate Students

  • Encourage them to write as they go along

  • Assess progress biannually or annually

  • Help students network:

    • Encourage meeting attendance

    • Make introductions to colleagues

  • Encourage opportunities for them to practice presenting research

  • Send around position ads so they can see what skills employers are seeking


Mentoring postdocs

Mentoring Postdocs

  • Help them to understand the bigger research endeavor

  • From the start, decide what is their research that they can take with them vs. lab research

  • Model lab management skills

  • Provide opportunities to practice teaching skills

  • Offer strategies on dealing with difficult students

  • Include them in manuscript and grant-writing process

  • Encourage them to seek professional development opportunities

  • Send them position advertisements

  • Help them move to their next step


What questions do you have

What Questions Do You Have?


Resources to learn more

Resources to Learn More

  • Individual Development Plan for postdocs:

    • www.faseb.org/portals/0/pdfs/opa/idp.pdf

  • Manuals from Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan):

    • How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students at a Diverse University

    • How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty in a Diverse University

  • Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, 2nd edition, Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2006)

    • Chapter 5: “Mentoring and Being Mentored”


Resources to learn more1

Resources to Learn More

  • Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering

    • Download free from National Academies Press

  • On the Right Track: A Manual for Research Mentors

    • Purchase from the Council of Graduate Schools store

  • Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM, Donna J. Dean (2009) - Order from AWIS or Amazon

  • Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train the Next Generation of Scientists HHMI website (free) or Amazon

  • Research Mentor Training and Research Mentoring

  • Tomorrow’s Professor Blog


Closing thoughts

Closing Thoughts

  • Effective mentoring recognizes the need for lifelong learning

  • Effective mentoring recognizes that development occurs in stages

  • Effective mentoring is customized for the individual

  • Effective mentoring is facilitated when the protégé is proactive

    Source: National Postdoc Association


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