Skip to Main Content
Pathways to Science: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Search for a program . . . find your future.

Mentoring Manual

Overview and Home

Mentoring: to mentor, or be mentored? That is the question! And the answer is: both! All of us encounter many opportunities in our lives to either mentor, or be mentored; and in any mentoring relationship the responsibility to foster and guide the process falls to both the mentor and the mentee. The goal of this online manual is to highlight the value of mentoring and to help students, faculty, and administrators be better mentees, and become better mentors.

This version of the manual focuses generally on mentoring within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, especially on the mentoring process for underrepresented students, and in some cases specifically on the context of summer research for undergraduates. However, it provides information that mentors and mentees alike may find valuable in variety of circumstances.

How to contribute to this manual

This manual is a living document and will continue to develop with your help. While we strive to include the most up to date and relevant content, there are resources of which we are as yet unaware, and there is first hand expertise and experience that can enhance and supplement the existing material; we can only get this additional content from a greater community of mentors and mentees. We welcome your input!

Please use our comments and contribution form to submit:

  • Suggestions for changes or additions to particular content in the manual.
  • Online resources or other publications that would support and enhance existing topics.
  • Personal anecdotes that highlight or would help illuminate particular topics for readers.
  • Any other helpful feedback. (see "What we post" for details)

A link to the comment and suggestion form can be found in the right menu bar of every page.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is giving your time, attention, insights, and advice. Mentoring is about helping a mentee develop social capital within an environment where they have the resources and support to develop technical and intellectual capital. Simply providing resources for a mentee to accomplish a research project (i.e. develop technical/intellectual capital) is not mentoring. That is the minimum requirement to setup an appropriate learning environment. Mentoring takes place in the personal interactions with the mentee.

All the aspects of mentoring that are described in this manual focus on how to proceed with these personal interactions.

How to use this manual

Each section of this manual is devoted to the perspective and experience of each of the distinct roles in program-based mentoring environments, and organized according to the major progressions or transitions that are experienced by a particular role.  A mentee, mentor or director can find the section that pertains to her or his role for individual consult. Alternatively, faculty directors or Pis may integrate readings into their mentoring development plan and provide a structured engagement of the manual during the course of a program.


Many thanks to the following authors, editors, and institutions for their contributions to this project:

J. Adin Mann, Fisher Industries; Ashanti Johnson, David Siegfried, Liv Detrick, Allyson Fauver, Leslie Fuller and Sandra Thomas at the Institute for Broadening Participation; Leanne Faidley at Iowa State University; Larry Campbell at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Arlene Anderson at University of of New Haven; Lorraine Towns at City University of New York; Jose Colucci at the Universidad Puerto Rico; Michael Sullivan at Arizona State University; Lawrence J. Henschen at Northwestern University; Richard A. Wahle at University of Maine; James Yoder at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; Fredericka C. Moser at the Maryland Sea Grant College;Benjamin Branch at University of Oklahoma and Saint Augustine's College; the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, for the Meyerhoff Concepts and 13 Key Components; Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees in Earth System Sciences (MS PHD's), the Multicultural Initiative in Marine Sciences: Undergraduate Participation (MIMSUP), the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) community and Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS). This work is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.



Download full version of the manual to share with colleagues