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Building Mentoring Skills for an Academic Career

January 29, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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Graduate Student Eugene Law leads a small group discussion about mentoring strategies

This is an invitation-only event for registrants who have been selected to participate in this year’s Building Mentoring Skills cohort. Apply by January 27.

In this series of lunchtime workshops for graduate students and postdocs offered by CIRTL at Cornell, you will develop essential research mentoring skills, particularly in disciplines where research is conducted collaboratively (e.g., in a research team, field setting, or laboratory group). Effective mentoring of students is a key skill influencing everything from research productivity to personal satisfaction. Learn best practices for mentoring undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers, and develop planning and communication skills needed to lead a research team.

All sessions will be practical in nature and feature short pre-readings or videos, case studies or discussion with panelists, and self-assessments to help identify your strengths and desired areas for improvement.

Interested participants should apply prior to the start of the series with the expectation of attending all workshops in person. Program completion certificates will be provided for fully participating in at least 4 of 5 sessions.

All sessions are from 12:00-2:00 pm and include catered lunch served at 11:45 am. Registered participants will receive location details for each session.

Schedule of Topics for Spring 2020

January 29, 2020 – What Makes a Good Mentor and Mentee? Exploring Learning, Motivation, and Values

Understand key principles of learning and theories of motivation that can help you build a strong research group, and even learn more about yourself and values you wish to communicate to mentees.

February 11, 2020 – Aligning Expectations and Guiding Doable Projects

How do you design a doable project with a defined timespan for a relative novice in your discipline? Learn how to set expectations for mentor and mentee to make sure the project and relationship stay on track.

March 3, 2020 – Handling Tricky Mentoring Situations

Learn how to address some of the trickiest situations you might encounter when mentoring undergraduate researchers or graduate students, from modeling appropriate research ethics to sharing co-advised students. We will also discuss how you might solicit feedback and turn around projects that aren’t going as planned (from the mentor’s perspective).

March 24, 2020 – Creating Inclusive Research Settings

Create and sustain a research group and academic climate in which each individual feels safe and supported. We will discuss how to create a welcoming environment for groups typically underrepresented in higher education, while reflecting on our own identities and experiences and how they may be strengths or blind spots in our mentoring.

April 7, 2020 – Supporting Mentees’ Professional Development: Helping them Present and Publish, and Writing Fair Letters of Recommendation

Revisit some key ideas about effective communication to introduce your students to writing about and presenting their work. Learn how to write a fair letter of recommendation, and what not to say.


Contact Colleen McLinn, CIRTL at Cornell Director, cirtl@cornell.edu or 607-255-2030.

Sponsored by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL)  at the Cornell Graduate School.

We strive to make our events accessible to all community members. Individuals who have food restrictions and/or would like to request accessibility accommodations should contact cirtl@cornell.edu. We ask that requests be made at least one week in advance of an event to help ensure they can be met.


Careers - Academic
Focus Area
Prepare For Your Career
Transferable Skills
Teaching & Mentoring
Graduate School, CIRTL at Cornell
Register by January 27


ILR Conference Center
King-Shaw Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853 United States
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