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Resources for Mentors

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Mentor 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. Faculty may also register for additional mentor information by subscribing to the graduate mentoring email list.


It is helpful for mentors to have a general understanding of mentoring best practices. The resources below provide mentors with definitions of mentoring, guides on how to be a positive mentor, and how to asses their mentoring:

  • 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.

    Nature's Guide for Mentors
    This article outlines 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.

    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.

    Entering Mentoring
    This material from the University of Wisconsin provides a valuable framework for mentoring relationships, and has many useful exercises. Their 1st edition is available as a free pdf.

  • 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.  


    Center for Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research
    CIMER offers mentor and mentee training and resources for all career stages of post-secondary researchers.

Communication & 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

  • Student Progress Assessment 
    The Student Progress Assessment (SPA) allows major professors and/or graduate advisors to evaluate a graduate student's progress and provide future goals and expectations.  

    Questionnaire for Aligning Expectations in Research Mentoring Relationships
    Managing expectations between mentors and mentees can be challenging and is a common source of conflict in mentoring relationships.  This tool has been designed as a discussion starter for use by research mentors and student mentees. The goal of using this questionnaire is to provide a framework for a fruitful discussion about each person’s expectations, and how to decide on appropriate ongoing actions as the relationship develops.

    Mentoring Compacts
    Faculty mentors may want to consider developing a mentoring compact, which is similar to a syllabus that lays out the expectations and goals for both the mentor and mentee.

    Developing Shared Expectations
    A tool from Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan that provides suggested topics to discuss with mentees.

    Sample Mentoring Agreement
    A sample agreement for mentors and mentees that establishes basic expectations.

    Advice for Structuring the Mentoring Process
    This document outlines how to manage expectations differently for each phase of the mentoring relationship.

    5-15 Template
    This tool helps students prepare content for a meeting with their mentor and it should take roughly 15 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes for the mentor to read prior to the meeting.  The template includes sections on accomplishments, plans, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. This could help structure update meetings, document discussions, and allow for more efficient use of meeting time.

  • Supervising Employees

  • You’re the Boss: Managing Your Team
    This presentation from the Academic Affairs Brown Bag Series provides advice on supervising teaching assistants and graduate student researchers.

    Managing Multigenerational Teams
    This article from Science includes advice on how to manage teams of diverse ages and how to avoid generational bias.

    The Supervisory Role of Life Science Research Faculty
    This article from Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education examines the role faculty play in supervising the research as well as employment. It includes helpful scenarios and best practices.

    Academic Personnel
    Information and links to resources for employing postdoctoral scholars and graduate students as Teaching Assistants, Associate In_, Readers and Tutors; and Graduate Student Researchers.  Additional questions can be sent to Tracey Pereida at

  • Conflict Management

  • Office of the Ombuds
    The UC Davis Ombuds Office is a confidential, independent, impartial, and informal problem-solving and conflict management resource for all members of the UC Davis and UC Davis Health campus communities. 

    Conflict Styles Assessment 
    This assessment helps mentors identify how they respond to conflict and how to be more aware of the implications of each style.

    Mind Matters: Managing Conflict in the Lab
    This article provide strategies to minimize conflicts in a lab environment, but the strategies are helpful for other working environments as well.

    Recognizing and Responding to Bullying and Abrasive Behaviors
    This presentation offered through the Academic Affairs Brown Bag Series provides an overview on bullying and how to respond. 

    Policies and Guidance Related to Bullying and Faculty Behavior
    This document compiles the current policies and UC guidance on bullying.

Academic Success & 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
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Program
    The Office of Research offers a Responsible Conduct of Research program that covers information, training, and tools to address the increasingly complex issues.

    Supporting the Research Process
    A guide from University of Minnesota on how to mentor through the research process.

  • Graduate Student Writing 

  •  Working with Graduate Student Writers Faculty Guide
    Created by Purdue University, this resource guides faculty on how to better support graduate students with their writing.

    Mentoring Research Writers
    A guide from University of Wisconsin-Madison with strategies on how to mentor trainees with their writing, including tips on the drafting and revision phases of writing.

    Preventing Plagiarism 
    Strategies for preventing and detecting plagiarism in student work.

    Writing and Publishing Resources
    GradPathways provides writing and publishing development in partnership with the University Writing Program.

    Professionalism and Ethics Resources
    GradPathways Institute for Professional Development has workshops and compiled campus resources for research skills and ethics.

    UC Davis Library Workshops
    The Library offers workshops on topics such as, citation managers and avoiding plagiarism.

    Citation Styles
    The Library offers guides on how to cite properly for every style.

    Avoiding Plagiarism 
    A video that defines plagiarism and how to avoid it.

  • Career and Professional Development 

  • 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.

    Professional Development Plan
    Use this tool with your graduate students to help them articulate their professional goals and advise them on how to achieve these goals.

    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.

    Career Management Resources
    GradPathways, Counseling Services, and the Internship and Career Center provide workshops, one-on-one advising, and other resources to assist with career exploration, finding positions, and forming networks. 

  • Teaching

  • 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 & Support 

When mentors invest in getting to know their mentees, they can better provide support in an individualized manner and be able to recognize any issues or needs. We have resources and tools in the following areas to help mentors:

  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • 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.  Visit our workshops page to see the current quarter's offerings.

    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. 

    Imposter Syndrome is Definitely a Thing
    An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education with tips on how to discuss imposter syndrome with graduate students

    Wellness and Life Balance
    GradPathways partners with Student Health and Counseling Services to provide workshops on topics such as stress reduction, physical activity and time management. 

    Counseling Services
    Graduate students can meet with Dr. Bai-Yin Chen, a psychologist specializing in college mental health and graduate student concerns and issues, at Graduate Studies.

    Resources for Supporting Grad Student Well-being
    The Inclusive Graduate Education Network's list of resources on mental health and wellness, imposter syndrome, and self care.

    The Imposter Syndrome
    A free guide that describes imposter syndrome and strategies to overcome it.
  • Historically Underrepresented & First Generation Students and Scholars
  • Graduate Student Data and Literature
    Review program-specific demographic, admissions, enrollment, and graduation data, as well as review a wealth of scholarship exists on mentoring and diversity in higher education.

    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.

    Moving It Forward: The Power of Mentoring, and How Universities Can Confront Institutional Barriers Facing Junior Researchers of Color
    From the William T. Grant's mentoring program, comes this guide on the power of effective mentoring in supporting junior researchers of color.