Faculty Mentoring Overview

Mentoring is an essential component of academic life at all levels.

"Everyone needs a mentor and everyone should be a mentor; this is how we build community….”
- Christy Mahon, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Early- and mid-career DFMCH faculty have requested a formal mentor program to navigate the scholarly activity and publication pathway. There are many mentoring models available and there is no simple “one size fits all” solution. Most successful faculty have a network or community of mentors to address the many components of academic life.

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) has online training modules and suggestions for academic faculty mentees and mentors. All UMN faculty are members of the NCFDD. To activate your membership, simply click on the “Become a Member” button, select the University of Minnesota from the dropdown menu, and proceed as directed. Sign up for the “Monday Motivator” to receive regular tips that address faculty life by email.


Mentoring for academic faculty extends beyond the scholarly and research domains. Effective and efficient mentoring for clinical care, teaching, service, leadership, and wellness is also critical for a successful academic career, and most faculty members will likely have a network of mentors who assist with the various aspects of faculty life.

  • View monograph from Boston Children’s Hospital to help direct your career mentoring plan

The Family Medicine and Community Health Mentor Program is available to support scholarly activity through trained mentors who can communicate the “how to” of developing a “research question” and subsequent manuscripts for publication. While the classic dyad mentor-mentee model may work for some, the networking model is an alternate pathway that allows you to base your mentoring agenda on your current needs.

  • View flowsheet to help you visualize your mentoring needs
  • View worksheet to evaluate your personal support network

Mentor and mentee training

Mentor and mentee training

Mentors and mentees take self-study courses to learn the expectations of a mentoring relationship.

For mentors

Training is available to orient new and seasoned mentors to a standardized process through a University of Minnesota online module.

Mentors should enroll in the online course “Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring,” which is a free professional development course designed to prepare faculty from a range of disciplines to be effective research mentors for early career faculty.

The content is organized into five modules and takes about two hours to complete. The course is set up so learners can proceed through the five modules sequentially in one sitting or complete the individual modules in smaller time blocks. Mentors have ongoing access to the course toolkit containing helpful resources, including all those referenced during the course.

Register for the "Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring" course

For mentees

Mentees can use the education module aimed specifically at the mentee group available from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). Learn more about NRMN's Research Mentee Training

It may also be useful for mentees to take the "Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring" course to develop uniform expectations for both groups.

Additional online training opportunities are available for mentors and mentees through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). All UMN faculty are members, so simply click on the “become a member” button, select the University of Minnesota, and proceed as directed.

Mentees choose their mentors

Mentees choose their mentors

Mentees choose their mentors based on shared interests and perceived strengths. There is some data suggesting that mentees are more successful with mentors who are close to their stage of development and have recently experienced early career scholarly challenges.

Mentees can take the following steps in choosing a mentor:

  1. Pick a mentor based on your interests and the interests of the mentor.
  2. Contact the mentor to see if he/she is available, and set up an initial meeting. Some mentors may be at their maximum mentoring capacity, so you may need to select an alternate choice.
  3. After your mentor has been chosen, register your mentor choice by e-mailing Bill Roberts, MD, MS, rober037@umn.edu.

Mentoring meetings and evaluation

Mentoring meetings and evaluation

Mentor-mentee pairs should meet regularly. Mentees are expected to request regular meetings with the chosen mentor. Assistant professors should meet quarterly, and associate professors should meet biannually.

Mentee evaluation and progress reports should be completed and filed with the department for each meeting.

Annual evaluations are also made by mentors and mentees by filling out the following forms:

Contact us

If you have questions or need more information, contact Bill Roberts, MD, MS, rober037@umn.edu.

Purpose

Mentors are family medicine faculty who are associate professors or professors. They serve two broad functions:

  • To help the mentee learn the scholarship and publication process to prepare for career advancement
  • To help the mentee develop a sense of academic competence and identity

A mentee should pick a mentor(s) based on shared interests and perceived strengths, rather than being assigned to a mentor. There is some data suggesting that mentees are more successful with mentors who are close to their stage of development and have recently experienced early career scholarly challenges.

View slides: Mentoring Overview from an Expert in the Field by Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH

Connect with the UMN Medical School Master Mentoring Program