Based on the value of mentoring with regard to ensuring the success of junior faculty members and enhancing the quality of the professional and personal lives of junior faculty, Instructors and Assistant Professors in the department are expected to have at least one mentor. Associate and Full Professors also are welcome to have mentors.
Although we strongly recommend and encourage all senior faculty in the department to serve as mentors, doing so is not a requirement.
Oftentimes, faculty members will have a cadre, rather than a single, mentor. Different mentors can provide valuable professional and personal guidance in different domains and using different approaches. It often is helpful if the different mentors communicate with each other and this typically occurs with the mentee also involved in the conversation.
Your mentor(s) may be faculty inside the department or both inside and outside the department; it is recommended that at least one mentor is inside the department.
Mentor-mentee assignments will be re-considered annually within the department. Mentor-mentee relationships may not be permanent and change is acceptable. If either the mentor or the mentee desires a change because they are no longer compatible or because there are changes in the goals and interests of either person, they are encouraged to share this directly with the other party. In addition, the person desiring a change is welcome to speak with the Vice Chair for Faculty Development or another Vice Chair or the Chair to receive assistance in making a change. Requests for such changes will be honored.
There are two different avenues for mentor selection within the department: (1) Junior faculty members may choose their own mentor(s) based on similar scientific, clinical, or professional interests and/or someone who has shown particular interest in their professional growth and success; or (2) Junior faculty members who do not select a mentor may be assigned a mentor based on similar scientific, clinical, or professional interests and the needs and goals the mentee has established for their career path.
The mentoring partnerships that form should be trusting and collaborative.
The mentor and mentee may agree to utilize a Mentoring Partnership Agreement to guide their interactions. This agreement should focus on meeting structure; ground rules for the relationship; the mentee’s goals and expected time frame for their attainment; and both party’s commitment with regard to setting priorities and using time productively, planning experiences/activities, developing an advisory board of informal mentors, interacting with senior colleagues, quick starting the promotion/tenure process, enhancing the mentee’s visibility within the community, and increasing the mentee’s understanding of the Emory institutional culture. See attached Mentoring Partnership Agreement.
One key goal of the mentoring relationship is to support the mentee’s increasing career independence. To this end, it is essential that the relationship foster increasing levels of autonomy. For example, the mentor’s involvement should be more pronounced in the early stages of the mentee’s career, however, over time, the mentor should be on fewer of the mentee’s papers/grants and less involved in their educational and clinical endeavors, committee and other service work, etc. Such career independence is essential for professional growth and satisfaction, as well as for promotion.
It is not uncommon for one of the mentee’s mentors to be the person responsible for conducting the faculty reviews associated with the annual Career Development Conference Reports. However, this means that the mentor has a dual role with the mentee and this can be complicated. In situations where this complexity is of concern to either party, an alternative arrangement should be requested to the Vice Chair for Faculty Development or the Chair.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentor
Devote time, energy, and resources to the mentoring relationship
Be knowledgeable about the Emory system and promotion guidelines and share this institutional knowledge
Offer to meet with your mentee within the first 4-6 weeks of the start of his/her appointment and/or of the mentoring assignment and get acquainted and share things in common that make each of you unique and talk about each other’s expectations, time commitments, and other issues and concerns
Continue to meet regularly on a mutually agreed upon schedule to provide guidance and support, follow-up on progress and accomplishments, and address concerns and barriers to progress
Have a shared understanding of confidentiality and honor this understanding
Agree on means of communication to keep in touch
Help establish clear goals and expectations for the mentee’s career trajectory and for the relationship
Stimulate questions about specific career interests
Provide emotional support and advice if needed
Help build specific competencies
Plan experiences and activities
Offer resources to the mentee to assist in career growth and exposure
Promote independence and autonomy for the mentee
Offer the mentee opportunities for networking and career advancement (e.g., offer co-authorship on invited papers or chapters, recommend for appointment to committees, provide opportunities for journal article reviewing)
Provide constructive feedback regarding the mentee’s strengths and potential areas for improvement
Serve as an advocate for the mentee
Meet with the department chair or others in senior administrative positions to help ensure that the mentee has the resources and opportunities needed to excel
Offer guidance to the mentee on the mentee’s mentoring efforts with more junior colleagues
Roles and Responsibilities of the Mentee
In choosing a mentor, interview them to ascertain the goodness of fit
Be a driver of the mentoring relationship
Be prepared for all scheduled meetings with your mentor to utilize allotted time (e.g., investigate potential funding opportunities or committee or community involvements to discuss with the mentor)
Take the initiative to keep in touch and request formal meetings
Describe your expectations about what you want to achieve from the mentoring relationship and identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that you want to gain
Be sure you and your mentor agree on and review and update the goals and expectations for your progress and the mentoring experience
Share your thoughts, plans and goals about your career development with your mentor in an ongoing fashion
Set up and carry out agreed upon activities designed to further your career
Work with your mentor to identify people and information that might be helpful to you
Share your honest self-assessment
Be open to ideas and suggestions offered to you by your mentor
Take full advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow
Follow through with suggestions and recommendations