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Neuron. 2013 Oct 16;80(2):275-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.10.005.

How to pick a graduate advisor.

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Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Neurobiology, Fairchild Building Room D235, 299 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5125, USA. Electronic address:


In this NeuroView, I provide a guide for young scientists on how to select a graduate advisor or postdoctoral advisor. Good mentorship is not only pivotal for career success, but it is pivotal for driving innovation and for the health of our universities. Universities need to do much more to teach faculty how to mentor and to ensure mentoring quality. I propose an M-index to measure mentoring quality. I also call here for better studies of what great mentorship entails, better reward for great mentors, and more consideration of mentoring quality when awarding prizes and grants.

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