Preparing mentors to be advisors and trusted counselors

Serving as a trusted mentor is an opportunity to help guide a protégé through the earliest stages of their professional career. Many mentors in the STEM professions choose to serve in this advisory role because they are accomplished scientists and engineers who—through their combined training and experience—have much to offer the next generation of scientists. But being an expert in the laboratory doesn’t mean you also must be proficient in managing a mentoring program.

Through various resources, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) helps develop mentoring skills that translate into successful, professional relationships.

Online Orientation Program

Because we believe that good mentoring is the cornerstone of quality educational programs, ORISE 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 participant on the first day
  • Providing a quality experience
  • Preventing and solving problems

Access Mentor Orientation

Suggestions for a Successful Relationship

  • At the beginning of the appointment (before the participant arrives or on the first day), provide the participant with information and reading materials related to the project.
  • Work with your admin or education coordinator to make necessary arrangements for the participant to gain access to the facility.  Arrange for orientation to the facility and its procedures.
  • Design and implement—with input from the participant—an individualized developmental plan.
  • Be on site the first day of the appointment, or designate a substitute to welcome the participant on your behalf.  Introduce the participant to the appropriate staff members.
  • Provide a nurturing and stimulating intellectual atmosphere.
  • Encourage your participant to continue his or her education.
  • Encourage them to write a report on the research or technical project being conducted during the appointment period.
  • Leave instructions for your participant when you are unavailable, and designate a substitute mentor to serve in your absence