two young female students and their mentor working in a laboratory
Modeling and Mentoring the Life of a Researcher

Previously: Moving from Onboarding to Independence

Beyond cultivating the skills of a researcher in your mentee, you are also modeling and teaching your mentee about the life of a researcher. (Kram, 1983, p. 614; Ritchie & Genoni, 2002) Discuss career options with your mentee and how the various choices they will make in their remaining undergraduate studies can contribute to different career paths. Talk about how graduate school plays into the pursuit of those different career paths. When possible, give your mentee a firsthand perspective of core professional responsibilities common in research careers in some of your day-to-day tasks such as reviewing journal articles, running staff meetings, or applying for grants. Sharing your own process of adapting to research in the context of social distancing can be especially helpful.

  1. Have a meeting, or a series of meetings with your mentee, on “what a typical _________ looks like”
  2. What a typical day looks like for you
  3. What a typical semester looks like for you
  4. What a typical grant writing process looks for you

Up next: The Emotional Health of Your Mentee