Choosing a mentor is one of the most important steps taken by students and trainees. It requires thought, consultation and careful choice. This page contains many resources to help you find and connect with mentors, and tips to help you narrow down your choices. In addition, it also holds resources for mentors, to help them foster a successful research experience for their trainee.
Find a Mentor
To begin your search for finding a mentor, explore the below resources and make contact with faculty members whose research interests you. Set up a meeting to discuss potential research projects, the lab environment, the mentor’s philosophy for research and mentoring, and both your expectations and goals for a research rotation.
Resources to help you find a mentor:
- List of PIBS faculty who are actively looking for graduate students
- PIBS faculty search page
- UM Experts Database
Once you have narrowed down your prospective mentor list, contact those possible mentory by phone or email to see if they have space or a project of interest.
During the first month of the PREP program, diretors will help students match with a faculty mentor whose lab is doing research that interests them. As a PREP student, you will work with this mentor for a year-long research experience. Mentor choices are up to the trainee with advice from one of the program directors, who will help with your decision: Kate Barald, Ben Allen, or Nils Walter. The mentor choice should be finalized withing the first two weeks of the program. If you have found a mentor and began working in their lab, but have doubts about your placement, please contact a program director to help find a solution.
PIBS offers over 500 faculty members to choose from for rotations. All PIBS students must complete at least two rotations and must rotate through at least the end of winter term. Most students complete three rotations, but you could do up to five. For PIBS students, once you and your mentor have agreed on a rotation, both will fill out and sign the PIBS rotation form provided by Michelle DiMondo.
Rackham’s Faculty Committee on Mentoring
MORE (Mentoring Others Results in Excellence) is Rackham’s faculty committee on mentoring, which engages with faculty and graduate students to foster conversations about mentoring. Specifically, the committee provides faculty with effective tools and practices for mentoring graduate students in an effort to improve retention, productivity and overall student success. MORE committee members are twelve faculty with appointments in six different Schools and Colleges of the University of Michigan and it is sponsored by Rackham Graduate School, The Office of the Provost, and the Michigan AGEP Alliance.
Mentoring Plan Workshops
The goal of the Mentoring Plan Workshop is to enhance the mentoring relationship between the student and research faculty mentor or advisor. During these workshops, students and faculty, from across the university will have the opportunity to develop a mentoring plan. A mentoring plan is a two-way agreement about needs and expectations and it is co-written by the student and research faculty mentor or advisor. It is an excellent way to establish and support mentor-mentee relationships. Because this program is aimed to enhance the mentoring relationship, mentors and students are expected to attend the workshop together. The mentoring plan workshop is offered three times a year, once in the fall semester and twice in the spring term.