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Teach Learn Med. 2014;26(3):211-6. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2014.883983.

Early career mentoring for translational researchers: mentee perspectives on challenges and issues.

Author information

  • 1a Center for Interdisciplinary Mentoring Research, Portland State University , Portland , Oregon , USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The education and training of early career biomedical translational researchers often involves formal mentoring by more experienced colleagues.

PURPOSES:

This study investigated the nature of these mentoring relationships from the perspective of mentees. The objective was to understand the challenges and issues encountered by mentees in forming and maintaining productive mentoring relationships.

METHODS:

Three focus groups (n=14) were conducted with early career researchers who had mentored career development awards. Thematic analysis identified, categorized, and illustrated the challenges and issues reported by mentees.

RESULTS:

The range of mentee challenges was reflected in five major categories: (a) network--finding appropriate mentors to meet various needs; (b) access--structuring schedules and opportunities to receive mentoring; (c) expectations--negotiating the mechanics of the mentoring relationship and its purpose; (d) alignment--managing mentor-mentee mismatches regarding interests, priorities, and goals; and (e) skills and supports--developing the institutional supports to be successful.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mentoring relationships created for academic training and career development contend with tasks common to many other relationships, namely, recognizing compatibility, finding time, establishing patterns, agreeing to goals, and achieving aims. Identifying challenges faced by mentees can facilitate the development of appropriate trainings and supports to foster mentoring relationships in academic and career settings.

KEYWORDS:

career development; mentee perspectives; mentoring relationships; research training

PMID:
25010230
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC4114132
[Available on 2015/1/1]
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