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author:("silen, Karin")
1.  Evaluating and Giving Feedback to Mentors: New Evidence-Based Approaches 
A comprehensive mentoring program includes a variety of components. One of the most important is the ongoing assessment of and feedback to mentors. Scholars need strong active mentors who have the expertise, disposition, motivation, skills, and the ability to accept feedback and to adjust their mentoring style. Assessing the effectiveness of a given mentor is no easy task. Variability in learning needs and academic goals among scholars makes it difficult to develop a single evaluation instrument or a standardized procedure for evaluating mentors. Scholars, mentors, and program leaders are often reluctant to conduct formal evaluations, as there are no commonly accepted measures. The process of giving feedback is often difficult and there is limited empirical data on efficacy. This article presents a new and innovative six-component approach to mentor evaluation that includes the assessment of mentee training and empowerment, peer learning and mentor training, scholar advocacy, mentee–mentor expectations, mentor self-reflection, and mentee evaluation of their mentor.
doi:10.1111/j.1752-8062.2011.00361.x
PMCID: PMC3476454  PMID: 22376261
mentors; evaluation; outcomes
2.  Deriving Competencies for Mentors of Clinical and Translational Scholars 
Although the importance of research mentorship has been well established, the role of mentors of junior clinical and translational science investigators is not clearly defined. The authors attempt to derive a list of actionable competencies for mentors from a series of complementary methods. We examined focus groups, the literature, competencies derived for clinical and translational scholars, mentor training curricula, mentor evaluation forms and finally conducted an expert panel process in order to compose this list. These efforts resulted in a set of competencies that include generic competencies expected of all mentors, competencies specific to scientists, and competencies that are clinical and translational research specific. They are divided into six thematic areas: (1) Communication and managing the relationship, (2) Psychosocial support, (3) Career and professional development, (4) Professional enculturation and scientific integrity, (5) Research development, and (6) Clinical and translational investigator development. For each thematic area, we have listed associated competencies, 19 in total. For each competency, we list examples that are actionable and measurable. Although a comprehensive approach was used to derive this list of competencies, further work will be required to parse out how to apply and adapt them, as well future research directions and evaluation processes.
doi:10.1111/j.1752-8062.2011.00366.x
PMCID: PMC3476465  PMID: 22686206
mentoring; mentor; competencies; translational
3.  Identifying and Aligning Expectations in a Mentoring Relationship 
The mentoring relationship between a scholar and their primary mentor is a core feature of research training. Anecdotal evidence suggests this relationship is adversely affected when scholar and mentor expectations are not aligned. We examined three questions: (1) What is the value in assuring that the expectations of scholars and mentors are mutually identified and aligned? (2) What types of programmatic interventions facilitate this process? (3) What types of expectations are important to identify and align? We addressed these questions through a systematic literature review, focus group interviews of mentors and scholars, a survey of Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) KL2 program directors, and review of formal programmatic mechanisms used by KL2 programs. We found broad support for the importance of identifying and aligning the expectations of scholars and mentors and evidence that mentoring contracts, agreements, and training programs facilitate this process. These tools focus on aligning expectations with respect to the scholar’s research, education, professional development and career advancement as well as support, communication, and personal conduct and interpersonal relations. Research is needed to assess test the efficacy of formal alignment activities.
doi:10.1111/j.1752-8062.2011.00356.x
PMCID: PMC3476480  PMID: 22212226
mentors; mentoring; career development; faculty development; staff development
4.  A National Survey of Mentoring Programs for KL2 Scholars 
There is limited information on how academic institutions support effective mentoring practices for new investigators. A national semi-structured telephone interview was conducted to assess current “state of the art” mentoring practices for KL2 scholars among the 46 institutions participating in the Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium. Mentoring practices examined included: mentor selection, articulating and aligning expectations, assessing the mentoring relationship, and mentor training. Telephone interviews were conducted in winter/fall 2009, with 100% of the CTSAs funded (n = 46) through 2009, participating in the survey. Primary findings include: five programs selected mentors for K scholars, 14 programs used mentor contracts to define expectations, 16 programs reported formal mentor evaluation, 10 offered financial incentives to mentors, and 13 offered formal mentoring training. The interviews found considerable variation in mentoring practices for training new investigators among the 46 CTSAs. There was also limited consensus on “what works” and what are the core elements of “effective mentoring practices. Empirical research is needed to help research leaders decide on where and how to place resources related to mentoring.
PMCID: PMC3159422  PMID: 21207765
mentoring; training; clinical and translational research

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