Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellowship
Mentor and Mentee Roles and Responsibilities
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
The mentor/mentee relationship is essential to successful training of young investigators and is crucial to the Division’s mission. Mentoring requires a commitment of time, effort, and resources which will provide the mentee a fostering environment and the best possible chance of a successful career. The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care’s T32 Program Steering Committee has developed the following general guidelines outlining the responsibilities of the mentors, mentees, and the mentoring committee members. These processes provide a framework to choose and to best engage mentorship in the early development of these young investigators.
Early in the first year of fellowship the Fellowship Program Director (Mark Tonelli) meets with each fellow to determine their general research interests and directs them to faculty whose research complements their interests. Fellows will then independently arrange to meet with these potential mentors. The two Mini-Sabbaticals are designed to allow ample free time to meet with as many potential mentors as possible. Fellows should arrange these meetings well in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Fellows are encouraged to talk to the mentees of a prospective mentor. It is important to identify a mentor with strong mentoring skills, but equally as important to ensure a personality match. Fellows should seek a mentor who will foster their productivity.
The primary role of the mentor is to oversee the trainee’s professional development, provide career counseling, and facilitate academic job placement in the latter years of training. Mentoring requires a commitment to providing a fostering environment that provides the trainee the best available opportunities to succeed throughout their fellowship and successfully transition, if desired, to a faculty level position at an academic medical center.
By the end of the first year, all fellows should have identified one primary research mentor and verified that decision with the individual. This faculty member will be primarily responsible for helping develop and implement a career development plan. Mentors must be able to provide adequate resources, including time, space, supplies, expertise and effort.
Choosing a primary mentor from within the Division provides the fellow a strong advocate not only within the Division, but also within the local and national pulmonary community. Fellows may choose a primary mentor from outside the Division provided they also identify a secondary mentor from within the Division.
We believe it is often not in the best interest of our K-funded faculty or our T32 trainees to have a faculty member who is on a K award be a primary mentor for a fellow on the T32 or doing research training. In general, primary mentors should have R01 or R01-equivalent funding and have achieved independence. There may be some exceptions to this policy, but exceptions should have in place an explicit plan that addresses each of the following:
- The K-funded mentor should identify a “senior co-mentor” to help with mentoring the fellow in the fellow’s area of science and they should have an explicit plan for who the mentor would be for the fellow’s application for a K-award.
- The K-funded mentor should have a senior mentor for their own career and an explicit plan for their own R01 or R01-equivalent funding, promotion, and time management to ensure that mentoring a fellow would not distract from the K-funded mentor’s own career development.
- The K-funded mentor should have an explicit plan for providing the resources needed for the fellow’s research projects and training.
- The Division leadership and T32 Program Directors (Robb Glenny and Randy Curtis) need to approve these plans.
While choosing a secondary mentor can be valuable, it is only required if the primary mentor is outside the Division or if the primary mentor is relatively junior or has a limited record of mentoring. The need for a secondary mentor should be discussed with the primary mentor and either Randy or Robb early in the process of identifying a mentor(s). Co-primary mentors are discouraged due to potential confusion of roles.
Primary Mentor Outside the Division
The Division encourages fellows to collaborate with a variety of faculty both inside and outside the Division. Choosing a primary mentor outside the Division may provide the fellow with direct access to resources and expertise the Division may not be able to provide.
The fellow may identify a primary mentor outside the Division, but must also identify a secondary mentor within the Division to ensure the fellow gets the support she or he needs from the Division. The primary mentor in this case will first need to meet with the Division leadership (Robb or Randy) to clearly understand their role and responsibilities from the perspective of the Division.
Traits of a Good Mentor
- Accessibility: An open door and an approachable attitude.
- Empathy: Personal insight into what the trainee is experiencing.
- Open-mindedness: Respect for each trainee’s individuality and for working styles and career goals different from your own.
- Consistency: Acting on your stated principles on a regular basis.
- Patience: Awareness that people make mistakes and that each person matures at his or her own rate.
- Honesty: Ability to communicate the hard truths about their chosen career path and about the trainee’s work and progress.
- Savvy: Attention to the pragmatic and programmatic aspects of career development
Be aware of mentors who exhibit the following less-than-ideal characteristics:
- The avoider or the overcommitted: someone who is not available or accessible.
- The criticizer: someone who criticizes freely but never makes positive comments.
- The pushover: someone who compliments everything but never gives constructive criticism.
Expectations of the Primary Mentor
- Prior to the beginning of the fellow’s first research year, jointly fill out the Research Project Proposal template. Ensure this is submitted to Research Fellowship Coordinator (Nina Beal) approximately one month prior to beginning of first research year (typically mid-August for September start).
- Prior to the beginning of the fellow’s first Mentoring Committee meeting, work with mentee to jointly complete the Division’s official Mentoring Plan template. Review and update this document before each Mentoring Committee meeting.
- Primary mentor is expected to summarize each Mentoring Committee meeting in minutes using the approved agenda/minutes template. Circulate these minutes to all committee members, including the trainee, for comment and approval. Ensure that final copy is delivered to Nina Beal for retention.
- Ensure fellow is scheduling Mentoring Committee meetings at least two times per academic year.
- Determine the degree of interactions needed with the mentee and meet individually, in person, on a regular basis. Initially, every other week is recommended; not to be less than once a month.
- Help fellows determine their short- and long-term goals and set a clear timeline for accomplishing these goals, including abstract, manuscript and grant submissions.
- Help the fellow understand the requirements for transition to a faculty position at UW and elsewhere, if desired.
- Assist in the identification of interesting and feasible research questions; identify other resources and potential collaborators that may be useful to the fellow’s projects. Help the fellow choose a mechanism for obtaining research training and offer advice in course work choices and navigation within the School of Public Health, if applicable.
- Establish a plan to learn basic principles of scientific conduct, communication of findings to colleagues, and receipt of constructive feedback.
- Establish a plan for trainee’s career development in professionalism and mentorship and leadership skills.
- Provide adequate resources including time, expertise, lab or office space, computer, additional travel funds, access to technician, research coordinator, and statistical or database support, if applicable.
- Review mentee’s CV, ideally at each Mentoring Committee meeting.
- Prioritize attending fellows’ works-in-progress sessions, presentations to lab meetings, research groups, or research conferences, and ensure the trainee receives feedback about these presentations.
- Complete an annual self-evaluation and agree to anonymous evaluations by mentees.
- Participate in activities to improve mentoring skills, including the possibility of one-on-one feedback sessions.
Before the first Mentoring Committee meeting, each mentor and trainee jointly completes a Mentoring Plan template. The Mentoring Plan is not intended to rigidly prescribe how a mentor should train their trainee but rather to facilitate the conversation and make expectations explicit.
The Mentoring Plan is signed by both mentor and fellow and subsequently reviewed and updated before each Mentoring Committee meeting. As the trainee progresses, the Mentoring Plan is revised and updated, making it a living document.
Under the direction of the primary mentor, the Mentoring Committee oversees the trainee’s professional development, provides career counseling, and facilitates academic job placement in the latter years of training.
At the beginning of their initial research year, fellows will form a Mentoring Committee composed of three to five members. Once trainees select their primary mentor and possible secondary mentor, the mentor(s) and trainee, with input from Robb or Randy, identify the additional two to four members of their committee. A member of the committee may be outside the Division, particularly if the scholarly project involves collaboration with outside faculty.
In addition to the mentor(s) and additional members, the committee must include one of the following: Robb Glenny, Randy Curtis or Mark Tonelli, who must be in attendance at each meeting. For fellows on the T32, either Robb or Randy should be on each committee.
The fellow should meet with the Mentoring Committee at least once every six months (twice per academic year) to review and update all elements of the Mentoring Plan. Each committee meeting is summarized in minutes written by the primary mentor using the approved agenda/minutes template. The minutes should be circulated to all committee members, including the trainee, for comment and approval.
Expectations of the Research Mentoring Committee
- Meet at least once every six months (twice per academic year). Review and update the Mentoring Plan at each Mentoring Committee meeting.
- The mentor provides a written summary of each meeting using the agenda/minutes template and circulates these minutes to all committee members and trainee for comment and approval.
- Help fellows determine their short- and long-term goals and set a timetable for accomplishing these goals, including abstract, manuscript and grant submissions.
- Help identify interesting and feasible research questions; identify other resources and potential collaborators that may be useful to the fellow’s projects.
- Review mentee’s CV to refine it for presentation.
- Facilitate the fellow’s career advancement.
- Review the requirements for transition to a faculty position, if desired, and assist with the process of searching for a position.
- Help identify and trouble-shoot any potential problems with the mentor-mentee relationship.
Expectations of the Mentee
- Prior to the beginning of your first research year, jointly fill out the Research Project Proposal template. Submit to Research Fellowship Coordinator (Nina Beal) approximately one month prior to beginning of first research year (typically mid-August for September start).
- Prior to the beginning of your first Mentoring Committee meeting, work with mentor to jointly complete the Division’s official Mentoring Plan template. Review and update this document at each Mentoring Committee meeting. Submit to Nina Beal for retention.
- Fellows should schedule regular one-on-one meetings with primary mentor. The frequency of the meetings will depend on the mentee’s needs. Initially, every other week is recommended; not to be less than once a month.
- Fellows should ensure primary mentor is aware of their scheduled presentations (Works-in-progress sessions, lab or research group meetings, research conferences, etc.) as early as possible so mentor can plan to attend.
- Fellows should arrange their first committee meeting within the first four months of their initial research year.
- Fellows are required to schedule meetings with their Mentoring Committee at least twice per academic year.
- Begin arranging each committee meeting at least two months in advance of the due date.
- After confirming Robb or Mark’s availability with Ben Siu or Randy’s availability with Leila Armas, put together a Google Doodle poll to determine additional committee members’ availability. Robb, Randy or Mark must be present at each meeting.
- Confirm your meeting date/time/location with the committee members as well as Nina Beal, as she will attend meetings when possible.
- Prepare meeting agenda using the approved agenda/minutes template and send to meeting attendees a few days in advance.
- Distribute the following items in advance and bring copies for all in attendance to each Mentoring Committee meeting:
- Agenda – use the division’s approved agenda/minutes template
- Updated Mentoring Plan – sign and obtain your mentor’s signature at each meeting
- Updated CV – not mandatory, but a good idea
- Ensure that your mentor or previously designated individual (typically mentor’s responsibility) takes minutes at the meeting, circulates them to all committee members, including the trainee, for comment and approval.
- Following each meeting, complete the following tasks:
- Send a copy of the committee-approved meeting minutes to Nina Beal for retention
- Send a copy of the signed and updated Mentoring Plan to Nina Beal for retention
- Send a copy of updated CV, if applicable, to Nina Beal for retention
PCCM – Mentor and Mentee Roles and Responsibilities
Mentoring Plan Template
Agenda/Minutes Template – Mentoring Committee Meeting
Research Project Proposal Template
Questions for Clinical Research Fellows to Ask Potential Mentors
Questions for Basic Science Research Fellows to Ask Potential Mentors
Fellow to Faculty Transition Notes
Special Talk: "Getting Published for Clinician Educators: Emphasis on Things Other Than Original Research" - David Pierson, MD, Professor, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, UW
Click here for a pdf version of this talk