The mentoring program is voluntary and seeks a faculty of the UPRM with vast experience about the campus, academic life, teaching and / or research activity to be paired with new faculty to guide them around university services and assist them in the early stages of his professional career and postdoctoral researchers. This program does not seek to replace existing mentoring programs in some departments, but rather to complement identified gaps and provide mechanisms to foster competitiveness in research. The program will also be available to more experienced faculty who wish to reinsert themselves into the research process and find these pertinent activities. As a result, the development of the faculty is sought to its maximum potential, its retention and encourage collaborations between faculty.
Goals of the Mentoring Program
Help faculty and post-docs to:
- Learning about the UPRM, the surrounding community and the resources available for faculty
- Adjust to the new environment and quickly become an active member of the university
- Answer questions, concerns, and special needs confidentially
- Obtain input on effective teaching techniques
- Manage a research group productively
- Write successful scientific articles and proposals
- Develop research goals in the short and long term
Motivate the experienced faculty to:
- Share your knowledge and experience with new faculty and acquire professional satisfaction
- Help new faculty to effectively adjust to the UPRM and address their particular needs, concerns and questions, if necessary.
- Help shape careers of new colleagues and seize opportunities to renew
- Provide incalculable service to the university by fostering fellowship through mentoring
- Contribute to teaching, research and academic activities
- Foster research competitiveness throughout the faculty by instilling a culture of sustainable research
- Develop plans or solutions to problems that affect the professional growth of teachers
Suggested mentoring activities
Mentors and new faculty should meet frequently and face to face during the first two semesters and keep in touch via telephone or email.
- Discuss short and long-term goals and professional interests
- Attend the workshops and activities offered by the CEP, CID and other professional improvement offices
- Discuss effective teaching techniques, course development and curricular topics
- Explore opportunities for research funds and writing of publications
- Attend sports and cultural events at the university
- Discuss student issues such as counseling, motivation and management of dishonest behavior (‘misconduct’) in courses and research
- Share experiences on managing time and stress, and effective balance of work and personal life
- Discuss preparation of teaching program and documents for promotion
Matching of mentors with new faculty
There is no fixed duration, but it is recommended that the mentoring relationship last no less than two semesters. At the end of the second semester, they can decide if it is necessary to continue with the relationship at the same pace, subject to need or to conclude if the individual goals were met.
If at some point in the mentoring process, the mentor or mentee feels that the relationship is not productive, the CEP must be informed immediately to assign a new pareo. The mentors and the participating faculty will be asked to provide their input on the process, and their mentoring relationship at the end of the second semester so that the CEP can evaluate the program and improve it for future occasions.
Roles and responsibilities of mentors
Mentors can play different roles, such as coach, friend, motivator, model or confidant, depending on the needs of their mentee and the nature of the mentoring relationship.
During the Mentoring Program, the mentor advises and directs the mentee through the reading and editing of their proposals, scientific articles, teaching plan, among other matters that help the mentee to advance in his career as a researcher. Our expectation for the mentee is that at the end of this experience, with the collaboration of the mentor, obtain the tools and confidence to be more successful in research. Among the requirements that the mentor must have to successfully carry out his participation in the Mentoring Program are:
- Have experience in the writing of research proposals, scientific articles, teaching plan, among others.
- Ability to plan and understand the process of obtaining funds and disseminating results in a more effective and sustainable way.
- Help the mentee identify opportunities that develop him as a successful researcher.
- To have reasonable time available to assist their mentee and define strategies that help the balance of time allocated to teaching and research activities.
- Direct the mentee in the different academic and research processes.
- Share their knowledge and experiences in research with the mentee.
- Ability to establish expectations of mentoring and / or common research interests with their mentee.
- Effective communication skills and collaboration towards your mentee.
- Be able to receive and give suggestions and listen to different points of view of the mentee.
- Have the commitment to complete the expectations of the Mentoring Program of the UPRM.
As part of the expectations of the Mentoring Program of the Research Academy, you as a mentor must commit to participate in the program by meeting with your mentee (at least 4 times per semester) and motivate you to meet 12 contact hours of activities organized by the Research Academy (workshops, seminars, forums, symposiums) during the first year. It is expected that during the first year the mentee manages to write at least one research proposal and articulate a plan that will help him to promote the research culture in his department and in the university.
Roles and responsibilities of the participating faculty
The participating faculty can take different roles, such as friend, protege, new colleague or junior faculty depending on their needs, academic experience and the nature of the mentoring relationship.
Those in charge are responsible for:
- Dedicate time to the mentoring relationship and interact with the mentor frequently
- Put the opportunities provided by the mentor to use
- Keep the mentor informed of academic and investigative progress, difficulties and concerns
- Share ideas and experiences with the mentor
- Request help or support when necessary
Both are responsible for gaining the respect and trust of the other, interacting academically and professionally, and supporting the goals and programs of the CEP.
(adaptation for the UPRM inspired by the mentoring programs of Northern Illinois University and University of North Dakota)