|Mentor competencies||Mentor best practices||Mentee competencies|
|Discuss with your mentees how you can best support their training and ability to succeed.||Identify and offer opportunities for training, information gathering, collaboration, and networking.||Self-assess your capabilities and determine areas in which you need support. Discuss a plan for filling gaps with your mentor.
Advocate constructively for your training needs.
|Conduct an effective onboarding process. E.g., make sure students have access to training resources and equipment.||Promote a lab dynamic that integrates newcomers into the group and helps orient them in the lab/department/institute.||Seek support from your mentor and others if you are asked to do something that you don’t know how to approach.|
|Enable/support trainee learning and growth in experimental design, execution, troubleshooting, responsible research conduct, and mastering the literature.||Foster mentee research interests, creativity, and independence.||Assume responsibility, shared with your mentor, for intellectual ownership of your project and research directions.|
|Enable/support trainee growth in scientific writing and oral presentations.||Help trainees identify and attend meetings where they can present their work.||Take advantage of opportunities to practice and get feedback on your communication skills.|
|Enable/support trainee growth in working with others.||As appropriate for their project and goals, encourage mentees to collaborate, develop relationships beyond your lab, and mentor others (e.g., a UROP or MSRP student).||Take advantage of opportunities to learn from, work with, or mentor others.|
|Communicate the strengths and limits of what you can offer as a mentor.||Connect mentees with resources for their research and/or professional development beyond your lab.||Recognize the limits and strengths of what your mentor can offer, and work with your mentor (and others) to identify external training or sources of support, as necessary.|
Refer to the Mentoring Resources page for supporting materials and training opportunities.
- Student and postdoc IDP processes
Potential pitfalls for mentors
- Belittling a trainee’s knowledge instead of offering resources to help them learn.
- Reacting in a hostile manner if a trainee underperforms when evaluated against your expectations.
- Only providing opportunities that align with mentees’ current strengths.
- Expecting trainees to come to you proactively with their needs in lieu of you checking in with them.