Resources for Mentors
Establishing a Good Relationship and Designing a Project
- In asking, "What is a Mentor?" the authors seek to define this unque role in Advisor, Teacher, Role Model, Friend. National Academy Press, 1997.
- Arguing that "we should train graduate students to be educators as well as researchers," Jo Handelsman advocates for Teaching Scientists to Teach" in "HHMI Bulletin, June 2003," Entering Mentoring, 2005.
Establishing Expectations and Maintaining Effective Communication
A critical element of effective mentor-mentee relationships is a mutual understanding of what each person expects of the other, which often changes over time, and such under-standing is dependent on quality communication.
- Mitchell Malachowski examines "The Mentoring Role in Undergraduate Research Projects," observing that "the career benefits to the mentor from the relationship may be as striking as the benefits that accure to the protege" (CUR Quarterly, 1996).
Elements of Effective Mentoring
Though everyone approaches mentoring differently, there are some common themes that most mentoring philosophies share.
- In "Nature's Guide for Mentors" Adrian Lee, Carina Dennis, and Philip Campbell asser that "having a good mentor
early in your career can mean the difference between success and failure in any
field" (Nature, 2007).
- Jefferey Scott Coker and Eric Davies offer "Ten Time-Saving Tips for Undergraduate Research Mentors" (Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, 2006).
Mentoring Challenges and Solutions
- In “Mentoring Learned, Not Taught – Identifying Challenges” (2005) Jo Handelsman et al. observe that “after we have worked with a student for a few weeks or months, we may begin to see performance issues that didn’t emerge immediately” and offer “some questions for reflection and sample situations to provoke thought about dealing with these very complex, very human mentoring challenges” (53).
- In “Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers: Faculty Mentors’ Perceptions of the Challenges and Benefits of the Research Relationship” (2009) Sharyn J. Potter et al. point out that “many faculty have significant concerns regarding the time, financial commitment, and overall benefit to them professionally of the effort required to mentor undergraduate students through the research process effectively” (18), but she demonstrates that “overwhelmingly, faculty independent of college, rank or gender saw great benefits to mentoring a student engaged in undergraduate research” (26).
Dealing with Ethics: RCR, IRB, IACUC and Beyond
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Institutional Review Board (IRB), scientific misconduct, and conflict of interest among other ethics considerations are areas to think about.
- OSU Policy 4-0201: Requirements for Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)
- OSU Policy 4-0115: Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (IRB)
- OSU Policy 1-0505: Care and Use of Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching (IACUC)
- OSU Policy 4-0125: Complaints of Scientific Misconduct
- OSU Policy 4-0130: Conflict of Interest
- OSU Policy 4-0302: Institutional Radiation Safety
- OSU Policy 4-0303: Institutional Laser Safety
- OSU Policy 4-0301: Institutional Biosafety
Assessing Understanding and Fostering Independence
- In the “Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experiences” (2007) Susan H. Russell et al. argue that “no formulaic combination of activities optimizes undergraduate research experiences, nor should providers structure their programs differently for unique racial/ethnic minorities or women; rather, it seems the inculcation of enthusiasm is the key element—and the earlier the better” (549).
- In “Undergraduate Student Researchers, Preferred Learning Styles, and Basic Science Research: A Winning Combination” (2007) Lori A. Woeste and Beverly J. Barnham note “an enduring question for educational research is the effect of individual differences on the efficacy of learning,” observing that “such differences present a profound challenge for instructional designers because research has shown the quality of learning material is enhanced if the material is designed to take into account the students’ learning styles” (65).
- In “Mentoring Undergraduates” (On Being a Mentor, 2007) W. Brad Johnson considers “the prevalence of mentoring in college, reviews some of the key developmental models bearing on young adulthood, and summarizes some of the salient mentor functions required of the effective college student mentor” (119).