Research Mentor Training

Better Mentoring Leads to Better Science

Research mentoring is an essential component of academic and scientific life, but it’s not always easy to navigate, even if you’re an experienced researcher. With a little training, you can make mentoring truly enjoyable and beneficial to everyone involved. UW Madison is home to a nationally renowned, evidence-based research mentor training program, based upon the published curriculum, Entering Mentoring. Through research mentor training you can find out more about the ingredients of effective mentoring and join a community of peers encountering similar challenges. You can gain tools to help you establish expectations, consider issues of human diversity, and develop a reflective approach to mentoring. You can make a difference in a young scientist’s life and at the same time gain a team member who can truly support your work.

Research Mentor Training Opportunities at UW-Madison

The Delta Program, in partnership with the Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement WISCIENCE (formerly Institute for Biology Education) and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research offers the following training opportunities to members of the UW–Madison community:

• Research Mentor Training Seminar (for faculty), usually offered fall and summer
• Research Mentor Training Seminar (for graduate students & postdocs), 1 credit, usually offered fall, spring, and summer
• CIRTL Network online, synchronous training
• Custom workshops can be designed upon request. For more information, contact Christine Pfund at cepfund@wisc.edu.

For current Delta offerings each semester, and to register, go to the Courses and Programs tab and select a semester. To register for the online course, go to the CIRTL Network website. For offerings in the School of Medicine and Public Health, go to: https://mentoringresources.ictr.wisc.edu/TrainingMain.

Information and Resources for Mentors and Mentees

The following websites offer many resources tailored for specific disciplines and specific audiences:

• The Research Mentor Training website offers curriculum information
• The Institute for Clinical and Translational Research website offers links and resources for both mentors and mentees.

The Research Mentor Training Curriculum

Strong mentorship has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, and career satisfaction, and it is also an important predictor of the academic success of scientists in training. Despite its importance in preparing the next generation of researchers, mentoring is still typically learned by example, trial and error, and peer observation. To address this lack of training, a team of educators at UW–Madison developed the mentor training curriculum Entering Mentoring (Handelsman, Pfund, Miller Laufer, and Pribbenow, 2005), which is now used across the country.

Teams have adapted Entering Mentoring for use with a broad range of audiences, including research mentors of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty across the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, as well as the social sciences, medicine, and public health. Many of these are available for free via the websites listed above. Evidence on the effectiveness of the Entering Mentoring approach, including results from a randomized, controlled trial, can be found at the website listed above.