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Mentoring

Mentoring

We are including mentoring for all PhD students in Public Policy.  The main responsibilities of the mentors are to serve as role models, to provide career advice, and to support the mentee’s professional advancement. The main responsibilities of the PhD students being mentored (the “mentee”) are to accept responsibility for their own intellectual and professional independence, to build on their strengths, and to bolster their weaknesses. The mentor and the mentee will cooperate to carry out the following plan:

Assess the Mentee’s Strengths: All mentees will begin by articulating their long-term career goals and writing a self-assessment in which they lists their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the following core competencies:

  • Domain Knowledge: The mentees must accumulate a knowledge base of their own disciplines. They must expand their ability to frame testable hypotheses and to analyze and interpret experimental data.
  • Transdisciplinary Knowledge: The mentees must learn the fundamental concepts of related natural and social science disciplines in order to perform effectively in a knowledge-to-action network.
  • Research Skills: The mentees must enhance their ability to conduct independent research. They must learn to identify important gaps in scientific understanding. They must broaden and deepen their expertise in research techniques, experimental design, experimental protocols, and laboratory safety.
  • Communication Skills: The mentees must hone their skills in writing, speaking, teaching, negotiating, resolving conflicts, and managing the news media.
  • Professionalism: The mentees must learn to exhibit professionalism within the immediate workplace, within the institution, within the scientific community, and within society. 
  • Leadership and Management Skills: The mentees must learn to manage time, manage projects, manage people, and collaborate effectively. The mentees must also learn to motivate and inspire others and to serve as a role model.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research: The mentees must learn to make ethical and legal choices, understand publication practices and responsible authorship, and understand the basics of intellectual property, patents, and copyright. 

Survey the PhD Student’s Opportunities: The mentor will engage in discussions with the mentee to generate a list of opportunities consistent with their career goals. The university will provide many of these opportunities such as grant-writing workshops, science workshops for networking with professionals, support for travel to conferences to improve communication skills, internships, teaching seminars, teaching experience, etc.

Create an Individual Development Plan for the Mentee:The mentee will create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) in cooperation with the mentor. The plan will build on the mentee’s strengths and bolster their weaknesses. It will establish and prioritize specific goals related to each core competency and specify short-term objectives to achieve each goal. The plan will also specify target dates for achieving each goal. All students must complete the IDP annually, Fall Quarter.

Provide Advice, Feedback, and Opportunities: The mentor will advise the mentee about how to perform effectively. The mentor will provide honest feedback, both positive and negative, to help the mentee establish realistic goals. The mentor will provide the mentee with opportunities that increase the visibility of their knowledge and skill.

Implement the Mentee’s Individual Development Plan and Revise It As Necessary:The mentee will put their plan into action. The mentor will arrange private quarterly meetings with the mentee to review progress and to discuss revisions of the plan if the mentee’s goals should change. Once a year, both the mentor and the mentee will write independent evaluations of the mentee’s progress toward their goals.