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Mentorship

Choosing a mentor

Choosing the right mentor is a critical step for a successful research experience.  By the end of the clinical year of fellowship, all fellows should have identified one primary research mentor, obtained approval from leadership and verified expectations associated with that decision with the identified mentor.  This faculty member will be primarily responsible for helping develop and implement an individual career development plan.  Mentors must be able to provide adequate resources, including time, space, supplies, expertise and effort.   

Expectations of the Primary Mentor

  • Help fellows determine their short- and long-term goals and set a timetable for accomplishing these goals, including abstract, manuscript and grant submissions.
  • 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 College of Medicine
  • 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 lab or office space, computer, additional travel funds, access to technician, research coordinator, statistical or database support if applicable.
  • Meet with the mentee on a regular basis. Every other week is recommended; not to be less than once a month.
  • Ensure Mentoring Committee meetings take place once every six months.
  • Review mentee's CV with Mentoring Committee.
  • Ensure the trainee receives feedback when presenting to lab meetings, works-in-progress sessions, research conferences, etc.
  • Help the fellow understand the requirements for transition to a faculty position at MUSC or elsewhere if appropriate

Mentoring Committee

At the beginning of the second year, fellows will form a Mentoring Committee.  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.

The committee will be composed of three to five members.  Once trainees select their primary mentor and possible secondary mentor, the mentor(s) and trainee, identify additional members of their committee.  All mentoring committees will include Dr. Schnapp and Dr. Pastis.  A member of the committee may be outside the Division, particularly if the scholarly project involves collaboration with outside faculty.

Fellows are required to meet with their committee once every six months.  Fellows should arrange their first committee meeting within the first 2 months of beginning research.  Assistance with scheduling committee meetings will be provided by Kimberly Miller, Fellowship Coordinator.

Expectations of the Research Mentoring Committee:

  1. Meet once every six months. Review and update the Individual Career Development Plan at each Mentoring Committee meeting.
     
  2. The mentor provides a written summary of each meeting, including action items, and  circulates these minutes to all committee members and trainee for comment and approval. Provide final copy to Kimberly Miller, for retention and program director review.
     
  3. Help fellows determine their short- and long-term goals and set a timetable for  accomplishing these goals, including abstract, manuscript and grant submissions.
     
  4. Help identify interesting and feasible research questions; identify other resources  and potential collaborators that may be useful to the fellow's projects.
     
  5. Review mentee's CV to refine it for presentation.
     
  6. Facilitate the fellow's career advancement.
     
  7. Review the requirements for transition to a faculty position, if desired, and assist with  the process of searching for a position.
     

Additional information about the Mentoring program can be found on our Mentoring Help page.

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