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.
Mentoring During COVID-19
We encourage all faculty mentors to reach out to their graduate students regularly and be a source of support during this stressful time. Visit our Mentoring During COVID-19 page for suggested topics to discuss with your mentee with links to relevant resources. The NIH also recently offered a helpful webinar Supporting Yourself and Your Trainees During the Coronavirus Pandemic, which focuses on mental health and can be applied across discipline.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maximizing Mentoring Relationships
Led by Sharon Milgram of the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education, this workshop provides best practices in mentorship including topics such as setting expectations, stereotype threat, and imposter syndrome.
Culturally Aware Mentorship
Offered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences training community, this webinar discusses the impact of cultural awareness on effective mentorship.
Tips for Effective Conversations with Trainees
Discusses best practices for communication with mentees.
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:
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.
This document outlines key areas every mentor and mentee should consider and discuss to ensure their expectations are aligned.
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.
Developing Shared Expectations
A tool from Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan that provides suggested topics to discuss with mentees.
Advice for Structuring the Mentoring Process
This document outlines how to manage expectations differently for each phase of the mentoring relationship.
5-15 TemplateSample Documents
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.
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.
Ad advising statement outlines how a faculty member approaches the mentoring relationship and establishes expectations for the mentee. An example is provided here.
Sample Mentoring Agreement
A sample agreement for mentors and mentees that establishes basic expectations.
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: The Missing Link to Diversifying the Academic Workforce?
This article discusses the role of faculty mentors as supervisors and best practices for running a lab.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Communication Hacks for Promoting Learning
This document outlines tips and questions to use for having a difficult conversation or offering support to a mentee.
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.
Strategies for preventing and detecting plagiarism in student work.
RESOURCES FOR YOUR STUDENTS
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.
The Library offers guides on how to cite properly for every style.
A video that defines plagiarism and how to avoid it.
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.
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.
RESOURCES FOR YOUR 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.
- faculty workshops on promoting and supporting effective learning for all students. The CEE offers TA training and resources for graduate student teaching.
Awareness & Support
Resources below can help mentors provide support to their mentees in an individualized manner:
- Historically Underrepresented & First Generation Students and Scholars
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.
My Sister’s Keeper: A Qualitative Examination of Mentoring Experiences Among African American Women in Graduate and Professional Schools
Diversity Initiatives, Literature, and Resources
Learn more about the initiatives and resources, as well as scholarship on mentoring and diversity, put together by Graduate Studies Diversity Officers.
RESOURCES FOR YOUR STUDENTS
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 the GSADC, (email@example.com), 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. 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
RESOURCES FOR YOUR 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.
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.