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What is research/creative mentoring?

The goal of mentoring is professional and personal development. A mentoring relationship is a partnership where faculty and students work together toward this goal. Mentoring relationships provide an opportunity for mentees to ask questions, concerns, or problems to someone who listens, supports, and informs.

Mentoring Expectations

The expectations of mentors and mentees from the mentoring relationship may differ. To avoid frustration in the mentoring relationship, establishing shared, realistic expectations at the beginning of the relationship is a good idea. To get you started, below are some common, reasonable expectations for a mentoring relationship. Discuss these expectations early in your mentoring partnership. You may want to add other expectations the two of you identify.

Common expectations for mentors and mentees:

  • Meet regularly and as often as your schedules permit.
  • Set an agenda for your meeting in advance.
  • Keep any commitments made to complete work or answer questions.
  • Maintain confidentiality with one another.
  • Show respect and support for each other.
  • Work together to resolve any minor concerns about the relationship.
  • Provide and be open to feedback. When providing feedback, be honest, yet tactful.
  • Plan to be open to trying new things.

Finding a mentor

Working with the right mentor can help you accomplish your goals. But, how to you find a mentor?

  • Identify your goals. What will you need to learn to reach those goals?
  •  Look at mentors within your own classes or department. Is there someone who does research on an area of research that interests you?  You can even Google "NKU and your research interest" to see which faculty members it identifies. You can look at faculty member research work through the library or Google Scholar
  • Ask to meet with the faculty member in their office (or virtually through Zoom or Teams). Be prepared to ask them what they are currently working on, how they involve students in their research and if they are looking for additional students to work with on research.
  • Not every faculty member works with students and not everyone has space for additional students. They may ask you to do some more research or to contact them again later.

Should you get the opportunity to work with a mentor, make sure you follow up with questions or concerns and fulfill your duties with assignments.