By Shana Spindler
A useful list of mentoring guidelines and seminars can be found at the Office of Intramural Training & Education website: https://www.training.nih.gov/for_summer_mentors. The NIH Guide to Training and Mentoring, provided via a link on the above-mentioned site, offers a comprehensive outline of mentorship expectations and career planning tips. Other useful material on the site includes Entering Mentoring, A Seminar to Train a New Generation of Scientists (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) 2005, Getting the Most Out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM by Donna J. Dean (Springer) 2009, and Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering (National Academy of Sciences) 1997.
Mentorship workshops provide an important opportunity to enhance mentoring skills—see Elena Makareeva's article about the latest mentorship workshop in this month's newsletter! Workshops can be taken before, after, or in conjunction with mentoring a summer student. Fellow NICHD committee member Jason Riley describes the workshop as a guide "to take summer students for what they are: an experience in teaching and mentoring." Jason was able to utilize the concepts and tools taught during the workshop in his own mentorship experience this summer. "In explaining ideas to them, I learned more about my understanding," explains Jason, "a summer student will ask you the 'stupid' question that actually can be very incisive." He concludes that the workshop gave him "the ability to learn how to make mentoring a summer student a learning experience for my mentoring/teaching skills, and more importantly, how to make their project successful and useful to them and to my research — curiously, this is not by trying to make that the goal of the summer project."