Using the Science of Effective Mentorship to Optimize Your Mentoring Practice

Monday, January 13, 2020 at 10:00am to 11:00am

4-370 182 Memorial Dr

Mentoring is associated with academic and career success across disciplines and career stages in higher education. At the junior faculty level, strong mentorship has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, career satisfaction, and sense of support. Similarly, mentoring graduate students are more likely to persist in their academic decisions, with positive mentoring being cited as the most important factor in degree attainment. Mentored graduate students and junior faculty are more likely to publish their research than counterparts who are not mentored. Unfortunately, few mentors have received formal training in effective mentoring practices, particularly for mentoring minority scholars. Even fewer scholars receive formal instruction on what it means to be a proactive mentee, and do not have the self-efficacy required to articulate their needs to mentors. This has led to a national focus on the “science of mentoring’ and calls for research on mentoring and tested interventions to optimize mentoring relationships across diverse groups and optimize their relationships. 


In this interactive session, participants will:

1. Learn about national models for mentor and mentee training and evidence of their effectiveness

2. Engage in discussions of ways to optimize their mentoring practices

3. Explore resources available for mentor and mentee education including the newly released report from the National Academies.


Light refreshments will be provided. Please bring your own water bottle to aid the sustainability of these events. 



Christine Pfund, Ph.D. is a senior scientist with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). Dr. Pfund earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, followed by post-doctoral research in Plant Pathology, both at University of Wisconsin-Madison. For almost a decade, Dr. Pfund served as the Associate Director of the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning and the co-Director of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching helping to train future faculty to become more effective teachers. Dr. Pfund is now conducting research with several programs across the UW campus including the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Her work focuses on developing, implementing, documenting, and studying interventions to optimize research mentoring relationships across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM). Dr. Pfund co-authored the original Entering Mentoring curriculum and co-authored many papers documenting the effectiveness of this approach. Dr. Pfund is the principal investigator of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Coordination Center. She is also director of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research at UW-Madison (CIMER). She is a member of the National Academies committee that recently published the consensus report and online guide, The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM.

Event Type


Events By Interest

Academic, Career Development, Diversity/Inclusion, General

Events By Audience

MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff


teaching, mentoring, mentorship, mentors, Mentorships


Teaching + Learning Lab


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