What Mentors Tell Us About Acknowledging Effort and Sustaining Academic Research Mentoring

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Winter 2019) Mancuso, Carol; Berman, Jessica R.; Robbins, Laura; et al.

A qualitative study was conducted to determine what research mentors regard as important practices as well as how to support their mentoring skills and abilities. The researchers asked 22 seasoned mentors about areas they considered needing improvement and about challenges and enablers to sustained research mentoring. Most of the mentors said that mentoring could be improved with comprehensive institutional acknowledgment of their efforts, including recognizing their time and effort spent on numerous in-person and behind-the-scenes activities. The mentors agreed a formal plan to structure research mentoring was essential for promoting the evolution of skills and documentation of time and service. Suggested techniques to support mentors included financial compensation for travel to national meetings, assistance in developing new projects, and consideration of mentoring activities in the process for academic promotion. “A formal written mentoring charter and corresponding continuing education could facilitate acknowledging achievements, time, and service and thus help to sustain academic research mentoring,” the authors concluded.

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