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Mentoring Students in Research

Note: This page was originally developed in support of Eastern's LSAMP program to increase the participation, success, and graduation rates of historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. However, many of the resources may be useful for faculty mentoring students in a variety of capacities.


  • Online Guide to the Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM: Developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, this guide provides research-based information on why mentoring is so important for STEM students--particularly those from historically underrepresented populations. The guide walks through 9 recommendations for implementing mentoring programs.
  • Mentor Training to Improve Diversity in Science: Developed by the National Research Mentoring Network, these two training videos (35 minutes total) provide concrete examples of how culturally aware mentor training helps individuals identify the personal assumptions, biases and privileges that may operate in their research mentoring relationships--and offer training resources and strategies to help individuals become more culturally aware.
  • Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring 102: This free training for research mentors of undergraduate students was developed by the University of Minnesota for faculty engaged in clinical and translational research. The training takes approximately 2 hours to complete. (Faculty will need to create a guest account to access.)
  • Mentoring Undergraduate Students: This free, self-directed course by the National Research Mentoring Network (NMNR) is designed to support faculty in their research-focused mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. The course is focused on mentoring in the biomedical, behavioral, and social science fields and takes 2 to 3 hours to complete.
  • Unconscious Bias Course: This free, self-directed course by the National Research Mentoring Network (NMNR) is designed to help individuals address their personal unconscious bias, understand microaggressions, and discuss bias and disparities in STEM disciplines and STEM research. The course also includes a solutions toolkit. The modules take approximately 1 hour 40 minutes to complete. A certificate is awarded upon completion of these modules. 
  • Culturally Aware Mentorship: This one-hour recorded webinar by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences describes the benefits of mentorship training and the importance of recognizing and responding to cultural identities when mentoring. The webinar shares data from a report on effective mentorship and provides tips for faculty on increasing equity and inclusion for mentees, building their own capacity as a culturally aware leader, and using virtual platforms for mentoring.
  • Resources on Culturally Aware Mentoring: This site by the Council of Graduate Schools provides books, articles, websites, videos, and podcasts focused on culturally aware mentoring. (While some resources are focused on mentoring graduate students, some are relevant for mentoring undergraduates as well.)
  • How to Be an Effective Mentor to Underrepresented STEM Trainees: This one-hour recorded webinar from the National Research Mentoring Network (NMNR) discusses the components of effective and ineffective mentoring and provides background information on emotional intelligence and motivation the role of the mentor in supporting motivation, and tips for 
  • Mentorship Agreements and Compacts: This library from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) provides downloadable examples of mentorship agreements and action plans.
  • The Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, has created a podcast series that features stories from mentors and mentees and gives advice on using evidence-based mentorship practices to develop the skills to engage in effective mentoring relationships. 

Additional Reading

  • Advice on Advising: How to Mentor Minority Students: In this Chronicle of Higher Education article (2019), Shampa Biswas offers lessons learned as a nonwhite faculty member mentoring minority students.
  • The Mentor's Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships: Now in its 3rd edition (2022), this book by Lois J. Zachary explores the four phases of mentoring, including preparing, negotiating, enabling growth, and coming to closure. The guide includes a variety of worksheets and tools, including reflection prompts, sample mentor/mentee agreements, skills inventories, and planning forms. The 1st edition of this book is available from the CTLA library (ask for book #88). 
  • On Being A Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty: Written by W. Brad Johnson (2016), this book describes the importance of mentoring and outlines how to design, maintain, and assess mentoring relationships. The 2nd edition provides guidance for creating a successful mentoring culture and includes questions for reflection and discussion at the end of each chapter.
  • Entering Mentoring: Written by Jo Handelsman, Christine Pfund, Sarah Miller, and Christine Maidl Pribbenow, the 2nd edition of this facilitation guide (2015) is designed for mentors of undergraduate  researcher in STEM fields and provides guidance to meet the needs of diverse mentors and mentees.
  • Entering Research: A Curriculum to Support Undergraduate & Graduate Research Trainees: This resource provides nearly 100 evidence-based activities that faculty can use to train student researchers. The curriculum is designed to create inclusive learning communities that structure the research experience, clarify behavioral and performance expectations, and develop the social and cultural capital in trainees needed to successfully navigate the research environment.
  • The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM: This report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides an in-depth exploration of research on mentoring programs and practices at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The report discusses "the importance of mentorship, the science of mentoring relationships, mentorship of underrepresented students in STEMM, mentorship structures and behaviors, and institutional cultures that support mentorship" and "present insights on effective programs and practices that can be adopted and adapted by institutions, departments, and individual faculty members."
  • Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering (free download): This 84-page guide from the National Academy of Sciences (1997) describes the faculty-student mentoring relationship, and walks through the different types of mentoring roles faculty might take with students in STEM fields: faculty adviser, career adviser, skills consultant, and role model.