Daffodils on the UC Davis campus

Graduate Mentoring Initiative (GMI)

graduate mentoring initiative logo


Graduate Studies has launched the Graduate Mentoring Initiative (GMI), a new mentoring program designed at fostering an engaged culture of faculty-graduate student mentoring across all academic disciplines. 

The mission of GMI is to develop and sustain a faculty mentor training program that showcases lived experiences and resources at UC Davis, as well as to promote our own recognized and renowned mentors as campus leaders who can engage with their colleagues in promoting the value and impact of positive mentoring experiences.  UC Davis faculty, appointed Mentor Fellows, will lead the mentor program for the campus. This faculty-led model really facilitates discussions amongst faculty on best practices, helpful tools, and ways to grow and develop as mentors.

The program was developed in consultation with an advisory board of faculty, graduate students, and staff and piloted to a group of faculty across disciplines during Spring Quarter 2021. The content uses the “Entering Mentoring” curriculum from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research as a base for the sessions.

Program Sessions

The program consists of six interactive sessions that faculty will participate in as a series with their cohort. The topics include:

  • Aligning Expectations
  • Maintaining Effective Communication
  • Addressing Equity and Inclusion
  • Enhancing Mentee Work-life Integration
  • Promoting Research Self-Efficacy
  • Articulating a Mentoring Philosophy 

Mentor Fellows

Each GMI session is led by a UC Davis faculty facilitator, or mentor fellow, who will lead discussions.

Program Details and Application

Dates: Thursdays from April 14th to May 19th 
April 14th, April 21st, April 28th, May 5th, May 12th, May 19th 
Faculty must be available to attend all six sessions.

Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm
Location: 1230 Walker Hall
Deadline to apply: April 1, 2022

Apply to the Spring 2022 Graduate Mentoring Initiative

Cohort Size

The cohort will be limited to 20 participants. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into the program. There will be a waitlist enabled and used as needed.


Applicants must be a member of a UC Davis graduate group or program and should be a member of the Academic Senate or have the following Academic Federation titles: Adjunct Professors, CE Specialists (with Educator without Salary appointment), and Professional Research series (with Educator without Salary appointment).


Elizabeth Sturdy, Director of Mentoring and Academic Success Initiatives

Graduate Mentoring Initiative Testimonials

“I think the program reinforced the kind of core values that I've held regarding my mentoring approach and it has equipped me with concrete tools and strategies to further improve the way I communicate with my mentees as well as enhance their sense of self-efficacy.” - Kevin Gee, Associate Professor, Education 

“The workshop forced me to think more critically about my mentoring philosophy and to develop tools for matching my philosophy to my actions. I think that’s been the biggest challenge for me - finding specific ways to mentor according to my philosophy, and the workshop helped a lot!” - Corrie Decker, Associate Professor, History

“What stood out to me the most from the program is understanding that each student is unique and mentoring must be tailored differently to each student based on their background, preferred communication style and career goals, among others.”- Gerardo Mackenzie, Associate Professor, Nutrition