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Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend--Comments on Faculty Mentoring Form



Note: This form is suggested as a model for the purpose of commenting on the quality of faculty mentoring. It is intended only as a sample for institutions or departments that want to adapt this format or design their own.

The mentoring comment form is updated constantly as we receive comments on its content and usage. Please let us know if you do use the form and whether or not you find it useful. We do expect everyone to modify it for their situation, and we would like to see yours if it is available.

Please send comments to Deborah D. Stine at

Institutions might want to include an introduction, such as the sample that follows:


For Use by Advanced Graduate, Postdoctoral, and Postgraduate Students

Faculty interact with students in many ways. The relationships between student and adviser are varied, complicated and subtle. Among the most important is mentoring, a relationship of continuing guidance and role modeling that transcends classroom teaching or single-issue advising. The purpose of this comment form is to encourage better mentoring and to provide a means for graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty to communicate their assessment of the effectiveness of faculty mentors.

On this form we ask you to comment on your mentoring experiences with the faculty of this department. The intention is both to provide faculty with constructive feedback on what they are doing well and on what needs improvement.

In filling out this form, you are asked to comment frankly on your mentor and any other faculty member with whom you have had substantial interaction during the last year. Leave blank any spaces that do not apply to you.

In asking you to be frank, we remind you that good mentoring is not the same thing as leniency or permissiveness. Be as objective as you can in considering how well a faculty member has helped to prepare you for a productive and satisfying career.

This survey is anonymous to all faculty except the department chair, but students who wish to are encouraged to speak directly to their advisers about these or related issues.

In addition, the back of the form provides you with the opportunity to comment on the institution's role in mentoring activities, such as the guidance provided through seminars or activities on skills development, career opportunities and placement, professional development, and so on.

We hope all graduate students will participate in this survey.


Faculty Member:_______________________________________________________________

Relationship to Student (e.g., primary mentor, laboratory director, incidental faculty contact, etc.):

Intellectual Growth and Development
• Encourages my imagination and creativity
• Encourages my inventiveness including the identification of new research topics, discovery of new techniques, development of new apparatus and patentable inventions
• Helps me develop my capacity for logical reasoning including abstract and theoretical reasoning as well as my ability to draw logical inferences from observational and experimental data
• Helps me to be critical and objective concerning my own results and ideas
• Shows me how to do original research
• Takes steps to improve my ability to conceive explanatory hypotheses and design critical tests of such hypotheses
• Takes steps to improve my observation of natural, technical, or social phenomena
• Provides constructive feedback on my experimental designs
• Provides thoughtful advice on my research
Professional Career Development
• Provides counsel for important professional decisions
• Is instrumental in building my professional networks
• Provides guidance on professional ethics
• Promotes collegial relationships with professional community
• Helps me to envision a career plan
• Provides guidance on finding a job or postdoctoral appointment
• Provides guidance on a full range of career options or a referral
Academic Guidance
• Provides sound advice in planning my courses and curriculum relative to my career goals
• Provides sound advice on my academic goals relative to my career plans
• Discusses pitfalls in my academic growth
Skill Development
• Takes steps to develop my planning and organization, communication, teaching, and team-leadership skills
• Provides constructive feedback on presentation skills
• Provides constructive feedback on writing skills
Personal Communication
• Listens carefully to my concerns
• Keeps in touch on my progress
• Takes into account gender, ethnic, and cultural issues
• Takes a respectful attitude toward my interests and work
• Does not abuse power--does not take advantage of my time and abilities
• Provides feedback in timely fashion

General comments on institutional leadership: Please comment on the mentoring and guidance activites of this institution at the university, college, and departmental level.

A. Do you think the institution is providing you with the programs and activities that you need for professional career and skill development, as well as academic and research guidance?

B. What mentoring activities have you found useful? Should they be continued?

C. What mentoring activities have not been useful? How could they be improved?

D. What new mentoring activities do you believe we should undertake?

E. How has your mentoring experience encouraged you to be a mentor?

Mentoring Comment Form: Do you think this comment form is a good idea? How could it be improved?

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