For Mentors

Mentorship of early-career faculty is one of the Department's most valued activities. Nearly all of our faculty members will at some point serve as a mentor for their colleagues.

This page provides information and resources for Associate and Full Professors who are a Primary Academic Mentor for Assistant Professors in the Department.

Getting Started With Your Mentee(s)

  • Establish a schedule of regular meetings. We recommend meeting with your mentee at least quarterly. More frequent interactions are beneficial if you are actively working together in research or other projects. If your Division has specific expectations for meeting frequency, follow those.
  • Attend to multiple areas of professional development. This brief guide, Faculty Mentoring - The Basics, offers tips for mentoring Assistant Professors during their first 12-18 months on the faculty, with attention to key areas such as defining a research and scholarship niche and building a professional network.
  • Co-develop expectations for the mentoring relationship. How, and how often, will you communicate with one another? Will your conversations be confidential? What types of support can the mentee expect from you? Should other mentors be engaged to help with certain aspects of the mentee's career development? Early, open, and ongoing dialogue about questions such as these will provide a good foundation for your work together.
  • Help new faculty understand the expectations for their appointment and track. Faculty work roles and activities can differ greatly across the Department. Take the time to understand your mentees' responsibilities (outlined in their offer letter or elsewhere) and orient them to the promotion criteria for their track. At least once a year, review their CVs.

Interacting With Mentoring Committees

  • Once annually, you and your mentee(s) will meet as a pair with one or more members of a Mentoring Committee. These meetings are convened by either the Department or your Division.
  • Mentoring Committee meetings follow a standard agenda. They are designed to give Assistant Professors the opportunity to discuss their work (accomplishments, challenges) with a broader range of senior faculty, often from different divisions and areas of expertise. They give you the opportunity to affirm your mentees' professional strengths and to discuss options for addressing obstacles in their career development.
  • After the meeting, you, your mentee, and the Division Director will receive a brief written summary of the discussion.


Additional Resources For Mentors

Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring. This free, online, self-paced training module is designed to help faculty become more effective research mentors for junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Users engage in self-reflection about their mentoring practices and receive access to a mentoring toolkit. (Developed and hosted by the University of MN's Clinical and Translational Science Institute)

Faculty Success Through Mentoring: A Guide for Mentors, Mentees, and Leaders. This book is a rich combination of findings from the literature and practical tools to assist faculty in implementing, and participating in, successful mentoring programs. (Developed by faculty at the University of MN Medical School)

National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). NRMN is part of the National Institutes of Health's efforts to diversify the biomedical research workforce.
NRMN offers resources that emphasize the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity, and culture within research mentoring relationships. Membership is free. Resources include guided virtual mentorship experiences, mentor/mentee training programs, and grant writing coaching groups.

Phase-Specific Mentorship Resources. The materials on this website are framed around the four phases of a mentoring relationship: Selection, Alignment, Cultivation, and Closure. (Developed by the University of WI-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research)

Do you have a mentoring related resource that you'd like to share with your colleagues? E-mail us at dom-ofad@umn.edu!