Early-Career Faculty Mentorship: Your Role as the Mentee

Tony Wilson

Fellow Early-Career Research Faculty Members,

We hope that you have successfully found a mentor or team of mentors to guide you early in your career and help you navigate your institution, excel within your area of research, and support you in setting and achieving your professional goals.

For this next forum, we would like to discuss your role as the mentee. It is well-understood that an effective mentor-mentee relationship is bidirectional and fluid. Thus, it is important to find a mentor that you can effectively communicate with and that shows investment in your success. Nonetheless, there are also things you can do as a mentee to maximize this relationship. We would like to support each other in building this mentorship relationship and successfully launching your research career.

We have looked to resources at UNMC on “Your Role as a Mentee” as well as “How to Find a Mentor”. Your institution may have similar resources or these could help guide you.


According to the site, important things that you can do to be an effective mentee include being on time, establishing goals based on your needs, being prepared, being an active listener, maintaining confidentiality, recognizing the importance of the mentor's time, having a willingness to request and act on feedback, and following through with recommendations. Resources to help you accomplish these things, as well as tips for establishing career goals, can also be found in the website above. You can also contact us with questions or comments regarding establishing the mentor-mentee relationship.

The aim of this forum is to share questions and challenges you are facing as well as success you have had and advice you have in finding and working with a mentor, as well as things that you have struggled with or had success with in establishing your role as a mentee.

Please share 1-2 challenges or barriers you have faced in finding or working with a mentor and 1-2 examples of how you have successful found and worked with a mentor. Additionally, include any questions you have about mentorship and your role as a mentee. Share these by November 1st and we will compile them refine our conversation over November 4-15th.


Bethany Lowndes, PhD, MPH 
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham, Ph.D
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences
University of Nebraska Medical Center