The power of mentors is in their capacity to awaken a truth within us, a truth we can reclaim years later by recalling their impact on our lives. - Parker Palmer
 
     
 
Chapter 1: Mentors and Tormentors
 
     
 

     It was a dark and stormy night. Ramona Stevens looked at her watch. It was 9:00. If there were no more computer glitches, if the rat that ran across the toe of her boot – one of the regular escapees from Roy Beauchene’s nutrition lab below – did not reappear tonight, if she could endure two more hours without food or sleep, she would be able to finish and mail the grant proposal by the midnight deadline. She knew which door to knock on at the post office by 11:00 p.m. to get today’s postmark. Her colleague, JoLynn Cunningham, had told her which hangar to approach at the airport to catch the Fed Ex plane to DC. She hoped she would not have to fling herself at a taxiing airplane to get this proposal out in time.

     Ramona found this new research direction especially energizing. Her doctoral work at MIT had focused on detecting pathogens, such as anthrax and smallpox, for biological weapons defense. There she had begun work with new diagnostic sensors to detect deadly viruses. Now as a post-doctoral fellow at Manning University, Ramona worked with genetically engineered white blood cells that worked much more quickly and accurately to detect biological agents like sarin. The importance of this work had given her the late night energy to be within two hours of completing her proposal. But tonight’s work was made more difficult by her mentor Nick’s words as he left the building for the day. “You must be doing something wrong. I’ve never had to work a night or weekend in my 30 years here.” At his departure she had muttered, “Of course not, you have me working for you.”

 
 
 
Research Ethics
 
 
Chapter 1: Mentors and Tormentors
Discussion and Reflection Questions
Integration Questions
References and Resources
 


This chapter addresses mentoring and supervisory relationships. Upon your completion of this chapter, we hope that you can identify appropriate expectations and roles in mentoring for responsible conduct of research. We also hope you learn about the mandate that mentors and institutions have for the ethical training of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

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