Faculty Mentorship Program

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We believe that a strong and vibrant mentorship program is an essential driver for faculty success.

Our goal is that all faculty members will have the mentorship they need to successfully pursue their intellectual passions, advance in their academic medicine careers, and become future leaders at the University of Minnesota.

Our Mentorship Program for Assistant Professors has two core components:

  1. Ongoing engagement with a Primary Academic Mentor and Clinical Mentor (for faculty with patient care responsibilities).
    • These mentors are assigned in a faculty member's offer letter but can be changed at any time as a mentee's professional interests and work roles evolve.
    • Usually, these mentors are from the same division as the mentee. Their primary roles are to support the assistant professor's ongoing career development (in clinical care, education, research and scholarship, and service) in accordance with the mentee's work roles and faculty track.
    • Assistant professors meet regularly with their Primary Academic Mentor and Clinical Mentor. Typically, this is arranged by the mentee and mentor.
  2. Annual meeting with member(s) of a Mentoring Committee.
    • At least once annually, Assistant Professors also meet with one or more members of a Mentoring Committee, convened by either the Department or Division.
    • Mentoring Committees give Assistant Professors the opportunity to discuss their work (accomplishments, challenges) with a broader range of faculty, often from different divisions and areas of expertise. Before the meeting, mentees are encouraged to identify priority topics for discussion. They also provide an updated CV and complete an online Individual Development Plan.
    • Primary mentors participate in Mentoring Committee meetings along with their mentees. This ensures that the discussion benefits from their nuanced understanding of their mentees' goals and needs

For Mentors

Mentorship of early-career faculty is one of the Department's most valued activities. Nearly all of our faculty members will at some point serve as a mentor for their colleagues.

This section provides information and resources for Associate and Full Professors who are a Primary Academic Mentor for Assistant Professors in the Department.

Getting Started With Your Mentee(s)

  • Establish a schedule of regular meetings. We recommend meeting with your mentee at least quarterly. More frequent interactions are beneficial if you are actively working together in research or other projects. If your Division has specific expectations for meeting frequency, follow those.
  • Attend to multiple areas of professional development. This brief guide, Faculty Mentoring - The Basics, offers tips for mentoring Assistant Professors during their first 12-18 months on the faculty, with attention to key areas such as defining a research and scholarship niche and building a professional network.
  • Co-develop expectations for the mentoring relationship. How, and how often, will you communicate with one another? Will your conversations be confidential? What types of support can the mentee expect from you? Should other mentors be engaged to help with certain aspects of the mentee's career development? Early, open, and ongoing dialogue about questions such as these will provide a good foundation for your work together.
  • Help new faculty understand the expectations for their appointment and track. Faculty work roles and activities can differ greatly across the Department. Take the time to understand your mentees' responsibilities (outlined in their offer letter or elsewhere) and orient them to the promotion criteria for their track. At least once a year, review their CVs.

Interacting With Mentoring Committees

  • Once annually, you and your mentee(s) will meet as a pair with one or more members of a Mentoring Committee. These meetings are convened by either the Department or your Division.
  • Mentoring Committee meetings follow a standard agenda. They are designed to give Assistant Professors the opportunity to discuss their work (accomplishments, challenges) with a broader range of senior faculty, often from different divisions and areas of expertise. They give you the opportunity to affirm your mentees' professional strengths and to discuss options for addressing obstacles in their career development.
  • After the meeting, you, your mentee, and the Division Director will receive a brief written summary of the discussion.

Additional Resources For Mentors

Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring. This free, online, self-paced training module is designed to help faculty become more effective research mentors for junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Users engage in self-reflection about their mentoring practices and receive access to a mentoring toolkit. (Developed and hosted by the University of MN's Clinical and Translational Science Institute)

Faculty Success Through Mentoring: A Guide for Mentors, Mentees, and Leaders. This book is a rich combination of findings from the literature and practical tools to assist faculty in implementing, and participating in, successful mentoring programs. (Developed by faculty at the University of MN Medical School)

National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). NRMN is part of the National Institutes of Health's efforts to diversify the biomedical research workforce.
NRMN offers resources that emphasize the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity, and culture within research mentoring relationships. Membership is free. Resources include guided virtual mentorship experiences, mentor/mentee training programs, and grant writing coaching groups.

Phase-Specific Mentorship Resources. The materials on this website are framed around the four phases of a mentoring relationship: Selection, Alignment, Cultivation, and Closure. (Developed by the University of WI-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research)

Do you have a mentoring related resource that you'd like to share with your colleagues? E-mail us at dom-ofad@umn.edu!

For Mentees

All Assistant Professors are supported by the Department of Medicine's Faculty Mentorship Program. The program has two complementary components:

  • Ongoing engagement with a Primary Academic Mentor and Clinical Mentor
  • At least one meeting per year (typically September-December) with members of a Mentoring Committee convened by either the Department or your Division

Getting Started With Your Primary Mentor(s)

Establish a schedule of regular meetings.

  • You might informally interact with your primary mentor in the clinic, hospital, laboratory, or hallways. While these conversations are valuable (particularly for getting timely input on pressing issues), it is also essential to have more focused, comprehensive discussions about your goals, needs, questions, challenges, and overall career progression.
  • If your primary mentor is actively working with you in research or other projects, you are likely to meet weekly or biweekly. But remember to set aside some meeting time to explore other essential career development topics.
  • If your primary mentor's research or clinical interests do not overlap with yours, you might meet less often. We recommend meeting at least quarterly. If your Division has specific expectations for meeting frequency, follow those.

Plan ahead to make the most of your mentoring interactions.

  • Consider using this sample meeting agenda to help you prepare for discussions with your mentor. This tool can also be used to capture ideas and action items generated during the meeting.
  • This article from Academic Medicine offers strategies for "mentoring up" -- an approach in which a motivated mentee takes ownership of and directs the mentoring relationship, making the mentor's job easier and the relationship more satisfying and productive for both.

Know your track and routinely update your CV

  • All Medical School faculty are appointed on a specific track. The criteria for promotion in each track differ, so you should become familiar with these. Periodically review how well your activities and accomplishments are aligning with your track's expectations.
  • A CV is the primary record of your professional experience and achievements as a faculty member. Thus, you should keep this document up to date, periodically reviewing it with your mentor. Faculty CVs are also sent to the Dean's office annually and must be in the Medical School CV format. Tip: Record new activities on your CV immediately when they start or finish!

Mentoring Committees

A team of accomplished mid-career and senior faculty serve on the Department of Medicine's mentoring committees. Their investment of time and talent reflects a sincere commitment to helping our early-career faculty thrive.

This page provides information and resources for faculty who are currently serving on DOM Mentoring Committees:

  1. Committee for Assistant Professors on the Tenure-Track or Academic Track (Research Focus)
    Meeting Agenda
    Meeting Summary form
    Diagram of Committee Processes
    For questions about your roles, please contact dom-ofad@umn.edu
  2. Committee for Assistant Professors on the Academic Track (Clinical or Education Focus)
    Orientation Slides
    Meeting Agenda
    Meeting Summary form
    Diagram of Committee Processes
    Staff Support List

For questions about your roles, please contact dom-ofad@umn.edu

Additional Resources for Mentoring Committee Members

Faculty track statements