Research Mentor Training

Research mentor training is an evidence-based, interactive workshop designed to help mentors develop skills for engaging in productive, culturally responsive, research mentoring relationships—relationships that optimize the success of both mentors and mentees.

The training uses the Entering Mentoring curriculum which was developed at UW–Madison by Drs. Jo Handelsman, Christine Pfund, Sarah Miller Lauffer, Christine Maidl Pribbenow, and Janet Branchaw. It has been shown to improve the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of mentors working with mentees across career stages. The training draws from participant experiences and provides a space and intellectual framework to explore mentoring challenges, try out strategies, and learn from colleagues. During the workshop mentors articulate their mentoring philosophy and develop a mentoring expectations document.

The training addresses the following themes:

  • Aligning expectations
  • Addressing equity and inclusion
  • Articulating your mentoring philosophy and plan
  • Assessing understanding
  • Cultivating ethical behavior
  • Enhancing work-life integration
  • Fostering independence
  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Promoting mentee research self-efficacy
  • Promoting professional development

Research Mentor Training is offered for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty by WISCIENCE in collaboration with the Delta Program. Workshop seminars are offered in the fall, spring, and summer. Graduate students have the option to enroll in Integrated Science 660: Research Mentor Training Practicum and earn 1 credit for their participation. On average, 150 grad students, postdocs, and faculty participate in the seminar each year.

Participant testimonials

“I was excited to take this seminar, but was still a little skeptical that a whole class could be formed around learning to be an effective mentor, as I had thought that was only something that could be learned through experience. How wrong I was! Though I still believe there is no better teacher than actually serving as a mentor and seeing what works and what doesn’t over time, this class exposed me to many new ideas and concepts surrounding mentorship that I would not have considered otherwise, and provided effective strategies for improving my own mentoring. I will encourage everyone I know who is a grad student or postdoc with an undergrad student to take this class!”

“What a great opportunity to network with fellow graduate students embarking on our first foray into mentoring research students. This course was a wonderful learning opportunity that opened my eyes to the complexity of research mentor training.”

“I found all aspects of the training useful. I never mentored before, so this class provided a good framework and made me aware of things I need to think about when I am interacting with my mentee.”

Learn more about Research Mentor Training offerings.