This is part of a series of blog posts explaining our push for centering mentoring in academia. We are organizing a meeting in Chicago in June 2019 to take action – you can learn more about the effort here.
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Academics are commonly required to write Research Statement/Statements of Research Interests, for example for applications for faculty positions and other applications, summarizing research accomplishments, recent and current work, and future directions and potential of the work. Likewise those with teaching responsibilities are required to have Teaching Statements or Philosophies.
Increasingly, there are calls for similar statements for mentoring practices to be produced by mentors, and to be included in processes such as tenure packages or NIH grant applications. In “Statements of Mentorship” in eNeuro, Daniel Colón-Ramos writes discussing (and sharing) mentoring statements:
“When it comes to learning, be it in mentoring or regarding new scientific ideas or techniques, I worry about the “blind spots,” that which I do not know that I do not know. The remedy for that, when it comes to scientific ideas, has been open, effective, and critical discussions with my peers. Could our mentoring, similar to our scientific ideas, benefit from the collective wisdom and experience from our colleagues and mentees?”
Colón-Ramos shares his lab’s Statement of Mentorship:
“not as a finished set of ideas, but as a living statement of our lab’s aspirations and to initiate a dialogue around mentorship.“
You can read the Mentoring Statement below, and for interest, there are links to 6 other Mentoring Statements that have been shared by academics:
- Statements of Mentorship by Daniel Colón-Ramos
- Mentoring Statement by Nancy Gershenfeld
- Mentoring Statement by Carolyn Tucker
- My Mentoring Philosophy from BlackScienceBlog
- Mentoring Philosophy Statement by Matthew Ohland
- Mentoring Philosophy by Laura Guertin
- Mentoring Philosophy by Kathleen Barger
Thinking and discussing openly plans for mentoring, and including such plans in tenure and promotion decisions, could be a valuable part of cultivating a culture of mentoring at an institution, which we are interested in discussing more in our upcoming mentoring conference.