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Assessing Graduate Student Mentorship

In most graduate student programs, mentoring relationships are a critical component that influences a student’s experience and accomplishments as a developing researcher. These relationships include relationships with research advisors, committee members, and others who support students’ professional development. Information on the quality of these mentor-mentee relationships has typically been gathered informally through conversations with graduate students and faculty, but has not been systematically measured to make improvements and inform decision-making. Such lack of structure raises the potential for unequal treatment and even detrimental experiences that disadvantage students, especially those from historically excluded or marginalized groups. To address this gap in assessment of graduate student training, we have developed and pilot tested a graduate mentorship assessment tool and process for generating informative and actionable reports that mentors and mentees can use to improve their interactions and maintain a high-quality relationship over time. A paper describing the tool, process, and pilot test results is published in a special issue on mentorship in New Directions for Teaching and Learning. The materials used are linked here for others to adapt or adopt for use with their own graduate programs:

  • Graduate student survey (doc and PDF)
  • Research advisor survey (doc and PDF)
  • Graduate student recruitment and reminder emails (doc and PDF)
  • Research advisor recruitment and reminder emails (doc and PDF)
  • Feedback report template (doc and PDF)
  • Feedback report notification emails (doc and PDF)

This work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number: 3T32GM007103-45S1. Additional support was provided by the University of Georgia Graduate School and the Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Innovative Science Education.