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Mentoring Manual

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Guide for grad student and post-doc mentors

You will typically be the first person that the student approaches as they are reading documents.  Review the comments in the student section on methods to read literature and make sure that you consult the faculty mentor and that you know, and are in agreement with, what the expected outcomes are for the student.



  1. This may be the first time that the student has been given a list of documents to read without a clearly defined outcome.Previously, most students have only been given literature to read in the context of a class where there is a specific assignment to complete. Many students have developed the habit of using the assignment as a guide to reading documents.
  2. Make sure that you know the key points from the literature that the student is reviewing. Review or develop these with the faculty mentor to ensure that there is agreement
  3. Meet with the student once or twice a day in the first week to review what the student is doing. Do not allow the student to say "Everything is going well. I do not have any questions." Ask to see the notes that they are taking. Ask the student to describe what the key points are in one of the papers that they have read.
  4. Keep the faculty member updated on the student’s progress. Talk to the faculty mentor about what you are observing.
  5. Coordinate with the faculty mentor on how each of you will work with the student.Plan your time accordingly so that you are available.
  6. Allow the student to struggle. Showing the student the key points, while saving your time in the short run, will not in the end help the student learn the skills to read literature.

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