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Mentorship Guidelines

The GGE Mentorship Guidelines were prepared by the EGSA Mentorship Committee as part of the overall student review of the Ecology Graduate Group conducted during the 1997-98 academic year. Specific recommendations found in the document were drawn from committee members’ own experience, informal discussions with other graduate students, and from interviews with six GGE faculty members selected for their reputation as good mentors. Two additional faculty members helped with comments on the final draft. The guidelines were formally adopted by the Executive Committee of the GGE in Spring 1998.

GGE Mentorship Guidelines (pdf)

"Natures Guide to Mentors" (pdf) - Nature: June 2007. Having a good mentor early in your career can mean the difference between success and failure field. Adrian Lee, Carina Dennis and Philip Campbell look at what makes a good mentor.

"Entering Mentoring”, University of Wisconsin (see upper right).

Comments/Advice from Mark W. Schwartz, Former GGE Chair:

  1. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they establish the kind of mentoring relationship that they want with their major professors. Frankly, many of us did not receive any mentorship training, and we may or may not be good at it. Thus, students should take control of the situation and talk to us about their mentorship expectations.
  2. Mentorship relationships can take many forms, but everyone deserves to have frank and clear conversations with their major professors about the following topics:
    1. The frequency of one-on-one meetings.
    2. The frequency and nature of lab meetings.
    3. Expectations regarding seminar attendance.
    4. Expectations regarding attending national meetings.
    5. Expectations regarding society membership.
    6. Expectations of professional conduct, in general.
    7. Academic issues: classes, advice on committee membership, etc.
    8. Authorship of papers produced by the student.
    9. Money.
    10. Professional placement and job opportunities.
  3. The student should also get a clear vision of the role that their major professor expects of them in the lab and professionally. In turn, the faculty should clarify their role as advisor, in defining a research agenda for the student.
  4. Finally, the faculty mentor and the GGE have the capacity, willingness, and obligation to help students work through academic issues. In addition, people have personal issues. Although these are personal, they often have an impact on our professional progress. There are University resources available for those who need them. The graduate group is willing to support students in everything from casual consultation to facilitating professional counseling. Students should find someone they can go to if these personal issues become overwhelming. The GGE can help.

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