10 Components of Successful Research Mentoring Programs

10 Components of Successful Research Mentoring Programs

Mentorship has long been a critical element of faculty development. Historically, new faculty reached out to senior faculty within their department to get support on career growth. While some departments and research offices offer training tools or additional support, the ad hoc nature of these relationships means they are largely unstructured. As a result, early-career faculty have varying experiences and support networks.

Now, chief research officers (CROs) are increasingly aware that faculty do not always receive the mentorship and support they need from their department. This is particularly worrisome, as competition for funding has increased (as has the complexity of the process to secure grant funding). This impacts new faculty career development and ultimately affects faculty members’ ability to develop research opportunities.

More on this topic

This resource is part of the Build a Comprehensive Faculty Research Development Program Roadmap. Access the Roadmap for stepwise guidance with additional tools and research.

This resource outlines the ten components of effective research mentorship programs that all CROs and research offices should consider. Explore the components below or download the full study to learn more.

Focus on specific groups of faculty that might struggle to find a good mentor within their department. Read more.

A defined time frame ensures a structured environment and clarifies the level of commitment. Read more.

An application requirement ensures mentee buy-in and commitment to the program. Read more.

Allow mentees to select their own mentor, but also be prepared to assist mentees in finding a well-matched mentor. Read more.

Develop a matrix of mentors to connect mentees with a support network and access to a variety of perspectives and experiences. Read more.

Set clear expectations at the outset and hold mentees and mentors accountable. Read more.

Consider providing participants with seed funding—or at least extra research services—to encourage them to find and apply for external funding. Read more.

Provide resources such as worksheets and planning tools that mentee-mentor pairs can complete and discuss. Read more.

Create mechanisms to track progress and activity to ensure a productive and worthwhile experience for mentees and mentors. Read more.

Collect participant feedback and implement changes to the program. Read more.

See how the University of South Alabama used this resource to improve their grant program

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