National Academy of Sciences
ORI Introduction to RCR: Chapter 7. Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities
On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering
What is a Mentor?
In the broad sense intended here, a mentor is someone who takes a special interest in helping another person develop into a successful professional. Some students, particularly those working in large laboratories and institutions, find it difficult to develop a close relationship with their faculty adviser or laboratory director. They might have to find their mentor elsewhere—perhaps a fellow student, another faculty member, a wise friend, or another person with experience who offers continuing guidance and support.
In the realm of science and engineering, we might say that a good mentor seeks to help a student optimize an educational experience, to assist the student’s socialization into a disciplinary culture, and to help the student find suitable employment. These obligations can extend well beyond formal schooling and continue into or through the student’s career. (Link)