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Mentor Information and Responsibilities

As a mentor, you are the foundation of a successful education program. We commend you for undertaking this important role of contributing to the education and training of the next generation, as well as advancing the mission of the MLEF Program and DOE. Below you will find information we hope will be helpful as you prepare for the arrival of your Fellow.

Status of Program Fellows

The MLEF provides an educational experience and is not a job or form of employment. The Fellow is not an employee, and thus the types of projects for which you can arrange are restricted. For example, the project should not include work activities that are reserved for federal employees, nor should the project require the Fellow to provide expert advice; supervise, mentor, hire or fire anyone; have budget, program management or signature authority; carry an official job title; or function in any way as a representative of the federal government.

Fellows are expected to perform to the highest level of expectations of the signed agreement to participate in the MLEF program. They agree to the time schedule and the level of professionalism that is expected at their assigned facility. The MLEF Program provides an opportunity for hands-on experience that complements a Fellow’s academic course of study. Please encourage your Fellow to attend seminars, professional meetings, staff meetings, and other functions that will provide insight into the ways in which professionals interact within your facility and with others.

Time Schedules

Program Fellows make a full-time commitment and should avoid obligations that will interrupt the appointment. Your Fellow should be provided with a project that entails full-time attention (based on 40 hours per week).

Fellows do not earn annual or medical leave, but may be allowed occasional absences without a reduction of their stipend. All absences must be approved in advance by you, the mentor, and should be allowed on a limited and as-needed basis only. Be sure to check with the MLEF site coordinator and program manager if you have any questions.

Every effort should be made to make up any missed time. If the missed time cannot be rescheduled or is not permitted without reduction in stipend, ORAU should immediately be informed (either by you or through the MLEF site coordinator or program manager). It is imperative that ORAU be quickly notified of any change in a Fellow's schedule that will result in a different stipend than regularly received.

For holidays and emergency closings, the Fellow follows the same schedule as your facility. Holidays and emergency closings do not affect the stipend amount Fellows receive.

Should your Fellow choose to end the appointment early, it is essential that you immediately notify ORAU of the Fellow’s intent to withdraw before the official end of the program. Your cooperation in making sure that ORAU is always informed (with as much notice as possible) of any schedule changes that may affect the stipend the Fellow receives is essential.

Below are a few suggestions for a successful relationship with your Fellow:

  • Before your Fellow arrives, provide them with information and reading materials related to the specific project.
  • Work with your program coordinator to ensure your Fellow has access to the facility. Arrange for orientation to the facility and its procedures.
  • Be on site the first day of appointment, or designate a substitute to welcome your Fellow on your behalf. Introduce them to the appropriate staff members.
  • Provide a nurturing and stimulating intellectual atmosphere.
  • Encourage your Fellow to continue their education.
  • Encourage them to work on the written report and any other required deliverables throughout the appointment period and not wait till the end.
  • Leave instructions for your Fellow for times when you are unavailable and designate a substitute mentor to serve in your absence.

ORAU Mentor Orientation

Because we believe that good mentoring is the cornerstone of quality educational programs, ORAU has developed an online mentor orientation module. The purpose of this module is to provide mentors with information about how to make the most of their mentoring experience.

The module addresses the following topics:

  • Deciding to Host a Participant
  • Identifying an Appropriate Project
  • Selecting the Best Person for Your Project
  • Preparing to Host Your Participant
  • Orienting Your Fellow on the First Day
  • Providing a Quality Experience
  • Preventing and Solving Problems

To access the orientation module, please visit ORAU Mentor Orientation.