The mentor/trainee relationship begins when an experienced and an inexperienced researcher agree to work together. Each brings something to the arrangement and each expects to get something out of the arrangement .
What makes a good mentor?
- Accessibility—both in time and attitude
- Patience—allows for mistakes and growth
- Respectful—treats others with respect and does not abuse authority
- Ability to teach—can communicate well
- Confidentiality—will keep professional and personal confidences
- Integrity—trusted to speak the truth even when it is difficult to hear
- Encouraging—is able to offer input in a positive way
- Knowledgeable—has a good grasp on both the science and how to develop a career
What makes a good trainee?
- Seeks input—is proactive and takes initiative
- Forward looking—is looking to the future and building toward a career
- Inquisitive—loves to learn and asks tough questions
- Respectful—treats mentor and colleagues with respect
- Attentive to procedures—can be trusted to abide by policies and procedures
- Confidentiality—can be trusted to protect intellectual properties
- Grateful—expresses thanks to those who invest in him or her
Trainees need to know :
How much time mentor expects them to work on mentors research; criteria to judge performance; how responsibilities are divided or shared, SOPs, authorship.
Mentors need to know that a trainee will :
Do assigned work conscientiously, respect the authority of others in the research; follow SOPs, protocols, procedures; live by authorship and ownership agreements .