UC Davis faculty member with graduate students

Resources for Mentors

How to Use These Resources

Faculty mentors guide graduate students on their academic and professional growth and support them in finding resources to meet their personal needs and goals. An investment in mentoring enhances graduate student retention and well-being, allowing graduate students to successfully navigate and thrive in graduate programs. Below are tools and resources to assist faculty in their own development as mentors.

Contact Us

If you have questions about particular resources, please contact Elizabeth Sturdy, Director of Mentoring and Academic Success Initiatives. 


Mentoring Guides

  • UC Davis Graduate Council Mentoring Guidelines: Graduate Council recognizes that the mentoring of graduate students by faculty is an integral part of the graduate experience for both. The responsibilities of the faculty mentor are broad and diverse. They include, but are not limited to serving as a role model, advising a student as to course work requirements, and providing formal instruction in a given discipline as well as helping students identify and achieve their individual short and long-term educational goals.
  • How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty: A guide from University of Michigan's Rackham Graduate School that provides an extensive overview of mentoring and general guidelines.
  • The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM: An online guide from The National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine. 
  • Nature's Guide for Mentors: This article outlines the qualities of good mentors and tips for creating a successful relationship with your mentee. 
  • Rethinking Mentoring: This article provides an overview of mentoring, mentoring structures, benefits, and how to set up a successful relationship.

Additional Tools

  • Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA): The MCA is a validated instrument for mentors to assess their own mentoring.  This can help mentors to identify their strengths and weaknesses.  


Communication and Relationship Building

The key to a successful mentoring relationship is to establish expectations early, communicate regularly, and address any conflicts swiftly. We have resources and tools in the following areas to help mentors:

Setting Expectations


Supervising Employees

Communication & Conflict Management

Academic Success and Professional Development

Mentors provide invaluable guidance and feedback on a student’s writing, research, professional development, and teaching. We have resources and tools in the following areas to help mentors.

Graduate Student Research

Graduate Student Writing 

Career and Professional Development 

  • The Mentor Mirror: Created by Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Renetta Tull, the mentor mirror outlines a reverse IDP for mentors to plan how they will promote professional development in their mentees.
  • Individual Development Plan: Fill this out with your mentee to assist them in formulating goals and timelines that best meet their professional and career development needs.
  • CV of Failures: This articles shares how one Princeton professor created a document of his so-called failures to normalize rejection and failure for his students.
  • Creating Developmental Networks: An exercise based on the Developmental Network Model by Professor Kathy Kram, this helps you map out your own mentor network.


Center for Educational Effectiveness: The CEE offers faculty workshops on promoting and supporting effective learning for all students.  The CEE offers TA training and resources for graduate student teaching.

Awareness and Support

The resources below can help mentors provide support to their mentees in an individualized manner.

Historically Excluded & First-Generation Students and Scholars

  • Faculty Resource Guide: A guide for faculty starting to learn about equity, inclusion, justice, and anti-racism.
  • Mentoring BIPOC in a University Setting: A guide from UC Davis graduate student Veronica Padilla Vriesman on mentoring Black graduate students and graduate students of color. 
  • Safe Fieldwork Strategies: An article from Nature on how mentors can support at-risk individuals conducting fieldwork. 
  • Graduate Students of Color Mentoring Program: Organized by the Cross-Cultural Center, this 2-quarter long program pairs a faculty mentor with a graduate student.  Through faculty mentorship and other programming, the GSoC Mentoring Program holistically supports its graduate student participants as they navigate the rigors of graduate school. Contact the Cross Cultural Center for more information.
  • Diversity Initiatives, Literature, and ResourcesLearn more about the initiatives and resources, as well as scholarship on mentoring and diversity, put together by Graduate Studies Diversity Officers.
  • Anti-Racism Resources: Includes lists and resources for understanding anti-racism.
  • Social Justice and Anti-Racism Resources for Graduate Education: a list compiled in 2021 to help support social justice in graduate education.
  • First-Gen Grads: The First-Generation Graduate Student Initiative is designed to address the needs of first-generation graduate students with a multi-pronged approach involving 1) peer mentorship, 2) professional development, and 3) a series of networking events. Contact Josephine Moreno for more information. 


Mental Health and Wellness

  • Responses for Distressed and Distressing Students: A handout that helps faculty know when and where to escalate issues when interacting with students in distress or cause distress to others.
  • Gatekeeping Training Study: Two separate mental health trainings are being offered on campus as part of a study sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs. These trainings are designed to help equip TAs, staff, and faculty with skills and the knowledge they need to comfortably and confidently speak to students about mental health concerns and then refer them to appropriate mental health resources.  
  • Case Management (Student Support): UC Davis non-clinical Case Managers, based in the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA), are here to provide support and assistance to students in need. Anyone can contact a case manager when they are concerned about a student. The student may be in distress due to emotional issues, health, family or personal relationships, grades, academic standing, or other problems.
  • Health and Well-Being Resources for Graduate Students and Their Mentors: This document includes a comprehensive list of mental health and wellness resources on campus.