Nature's guide for mentors

Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 07/2007; 447(7146):791-7. DOI: 10.1038/447791a
Source: PubMed


Having a good mentor early in your career can mean the difference between success and failure in any field. Adrian Lee, Carina Dennis and Philip Campbell look at what makes a good mentor.

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    • "In sum, mentors make decisions regarding what postdocs learn, in which fields they focus and what opportunities they have after their postdoctoral assignment. With regard to psychosocial functions, mentors are expected to inspire feelings of belonging (Brown et al. 2009) and feelings of purpose, given that the mentors' own enthusiasm about their research is mentioned as one of the most important factors of successful mentoring (Lee et al. 2007). Especially with regard to career functions, postdocs heavily depend on their mentors, as universities still lack professional human resource practices (Symanski 2013), which may alternatively provide at least some of these functions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Employer branding for universities is an under-researched but highly important topic because it supports universities in the global competition to attract and retain the best academic talents. Academic work differs from corporate work with regard to, for example, task portfolios, autonomy, salaries, and reward systems. Thus, results of previous research gained from corporate settings about successful employer branding is not easily transferable to the university context. This study is the first to examine which employer branding attributes attract international postdoctoral scholars to academic positions. The results from an experimental metric conjoint design with 285 international postdoctoral scholars identify the relationship quality with a scientific mentor and scientific autonomy as the most important attributes. Furthermore, the availability of research scholarships, general training opportunities, and tenure track positions significantly increases the attraction of an academic position for postdoctoral scholars. In line with approaches on employer branding segmentation, we further show that job attributes differ in the strength of their positive influence on postdocs’ probability to apply for an academic position resulting from gender differences, field of research and geographic origin. In the conclusions of the paper, we discuss the implications of our findings for universities that aim to build a sustainable employer brand.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Business Economics
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    • "A fortunate graduate student sums up the enormous difference a mentor's commitment to a student makes, by saying, ''For me there is a difference between a supervisor and a mentor. With the latter you find that you are not simply a student with a research project, but a student with a career in front that the mentor helps you start'' (Lee et al. 2007). In order to help faculty learn to do more than just supervising or advising, some writers have proposed the use of a written agreement or contract to facilitate the development of a graduate student's goals and also help both parties develop an ongoing relationship (Howard Hughes 2004; Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 2006, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of public confidence in scientific findings and trust in scientists cannot be overstated. Thus, it becomes critical for the scientific community to focus on enhancing the strategies used to educate future scientists on ethical research behaviors. What we are lacking is knowledge on how faculty members shape and develop ethical research standards with their students. We are presenting the results of a survey with 3,500 research faculty members. We believe this is the first report on how faculty work with and educate their PhD students on basic research standards. Specifically, we wanted to determine whether individual faculty members, who are advisors or mentors, differ in how they implemented components of responsible conduct of research (RCR) with their PhD students. Mentors were more likely than advisors or supervisors to report working with all of their PhDs, who graduated in the last 5 years, on the 17 recognized critical components of RCR training and research skill development. We also found about half of the faculty members believe RCR is an institutional responsibility versus a faculty responsibility. Less than a quarter have had opportunities to participate in faculty training to be a better mentor, advisor, or research teacher, and about one third of faculty did not or could not remember whether they had guidelines related to their responsibilities to PhD students. We discuss the implications of our findings and focus on ways that PhD research mentoring can be enhanced.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Science and Engineering Ethics
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    • "With practice, and a variety of experiences, the capabilities of a supervisor has to do this can be expected to grow. As such, experience, an ongoing professional commitment to development, and engagement with reflective and reflexive practice, all represent hallmarks of excellence (Lee, Carina, and Campbell 2007). Evidence of such attributes represents one aspect of the supervisory relationship. "
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    ABSTRACT: One issue universities face is the need to demonstrate excellence in postgraduate research supervision at the individual, faculty and university level. While poor supervision might become obvious over time, with grievances, withdrawals and poor completion times and rates, this paper focuses specifically on identifying and demonstrating supervisory excellence. Currently, the amount and range of evidence used to support claims of supervisory excellence tends to be limited, leaving supervisors, faculties and institutions in a position where demonstrating excellence remains difficult. This paper proposes two inter-dependent ideas which, considered together, help to redress this problem. The first is a 'map' for the collection and use of evidence of supervisory excellence. The second is a 'template' for a 'supervisory excellence report'. The 'map' details the organisational elements, uses of data, and data types which can be considered. The 'report' explains one simple and potent way to organise and present these data for multiple purposes. Together they constitute a much-needed framework for promoting and recognising excellence in the supervision of research students. Yes Yes
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