Faculty Mentorship Program

A strong and vibrant mentorship program is an essential driver for faculty success.

Our goal is to provide all faculty members in the Department of Medicine with 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.

DOM Faculty Mentorship Program for Assistant Professors

Our Mentorship Program for Assistant Professors has three components:

  1. Pairing with a Primary Mentor from their home Division to help new faculty members acclimate to their work roles, define annual goals, develop an academic focus area, and advance towards promotion.
  2. Engagement with a Scholarship Committee (required for tenure track and other research-intensive Assistant Professors) to help them refine their emerging research ideas, build teams, present/publish findings, and acquire grants.
  3. Annual meetings with their Primary Mentor and representatives from the Department’s Career Development Committees (CDC). CDC meetings are designed to encourage regular reflection on career goals and provide an informal check-in on each faculty member’s professional development and wellbeing. They also provide a forum for confidential discussion of equity and inclusion, work-life integration, and other critical features of the institutional environment.

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Resources 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 monthly, and no less than quarterly. More frequent interactions are beneficial if you are actively working together in research or other projects.
  • Attend to multiple areas of professional development. This brief guide, Mentoring Meeting 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 Career Development Committees

  • Once annually, you and your mentee(s) will meet as a pair with one or more members of the Department’s standing Career Development Committees. These committee meetings are convened by the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development and follow a standard agenda.
  • Career Development Committees 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 also 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

Mentorship Training. The University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) offers a variety of online and hybrid training opportunities to help faculty become more effective research mentors for junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate/undergraduate students.

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.

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!

Resources For Mentees

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.

Plan ahead to make the most of your mentoring interactions.

  • This example, Mentoring Meeting Agenda, can help you prepare for discussions with your mentor. This tool can also be used to capture ideas and action items generated during the meeting.
  • Consider creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and sharing this with your mentor. IDPs are a great tool for helping you become an effective manager of your own career: they encourage you to reflect on – and explicitly define --- your values, aspirations, short and longer-term goals, timelines for goal achievement, professional development needs, and challenges. We recommend drafting an IDP within the first 9 months of your faculty appointment, then reviewing/revising it every 6 months with your primary mentor.

Know your track and routinely update your CV

  • All Medical School faculty are appointed on a specific track: Clinician Track, Academic Track, or Tenure 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 pulled annually by the Dean's office from Works, a web-based tool for reporting and keeping up-to-date records of your professional activities. Tip: Enter new activities into your Works profile immediately when they start or finish!

Interacting with Career Development Committees

  • Once annually, you and your primary mentor will meet as a pair with one or more members of the Department’s standing Career Development Committees. These committee meetings are convened by the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development and follow a standard agenda.
  • Career Development Committees give you the opportunity to discuss your work (accomplishments, challenges) with a broader range of senior faculty, often from different divisions and areas of expertise. We recommend using this reflection guide to help prepare for the meeting.
  • Before the meeting, you will be prompted to provide an updated CV and complete an online Individual Development Plan (IDP), which also asks you to identify up to 3 questions or high priority topics for discussion. After the meeting, you, your mentor, and your Division Director will receive a brief written summary of the discussion.

Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

This mentoring award is given annually to a Medical School faculty member who has served as an exceptional mentor to other faculty. The award recognizes the process by which faculty serve as role models for each other, promoting the professional development of others and creating a supportive, positive working environment. All full-time Medical School faculty members (including faculty at affiliate sites) are eligible for nomination.
Past DOM recipients of the Carole J. Bland Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award include: