What do you think of when hearing the word mentor? One all-knowing and wise faculty member who will show
you the ropes?
The reality is that we are likely to have many mentors over the course of our careers. These
relationships ideally benefit the mentor and mentee as the mentors provide support to help you be a whole person
— professionally and personally — throughout your career.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a two-way, action-oriented activity. Seeking and providing mentoring should be a mindset rather than a one-time event. Mentoring is critical to your long-term faculty success, generating positive impacts on research
output, teaching, and mental health.1
Mentorship relationships can form through formal and informal mechanisms.
Informal mentorship relationships develop organically through regular interpersonal interaction, whereas formal
mentoring programs are offered by an institution or other entity. Both are helpful and important, but formal
mentorship programs offered at an institution also ensure that all faculty have access to mentorship, normalize the
activity, create a cultural expectation of mentorship, and strengthen the overall commitment to mentoring throughout
1 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2019. The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25568.