On Being a Mentor
It may seem a little odd to have a chapter on being a mentor in book geared toward people just starting out on a career in research. But the truth of the matter is that we all start taking on mentoring roles earlier than we might think and by understanding what it takes to be a good mentor also means understanding how to work better with your own mentor. For example, you may find yourself working with a research assistant or medical student or perhaps a high school student during the summer. So just like the chapters on the grant review process from the inside, understanding what it takes to be a good mentor may help you make the most of working with a mentor. In this chapter, I try to provide a handful of ideas about mentoring for people just starting out. Obviously, depending on whom you are mentoring and in what capacity, your roles may be very different, so it is difficult to cover all possibilities here, but I will give it a go nevertheless. And I am going to take a fairly wide definition for the concept of mentoring in this chapter—not only helping guide someone along in their own work, but also how to best supervise the work that they are doing for you.