Roles & Expectations

Find standards that are expected of each type of role.

Role of Department Head/School Directors

  • Identify a Mentoring Advisor for the mentoring program (recommended)
  • Promote the program within department, school or centre
  • Clearly articulate career priorities and expectations for faculty that mentorship programs will address
  • Recruit mentors (consider Centre Directors) 
  • Ensure that each junior faculty have mentor(s) that are formalized
  • Proactively recognize and mitigate factors that disproportionately deter the advancement of women and underrepresented minority faculty and ensure proper mentorship is established
  • Identify and provide tools and resources to ensure ongoing support
  • Decide on a confidential process for mentors and mentees to voice concern and resolve serious differences between mentor and mentees
  • Identify metrics that the unit will use for evaluating the effectiveness and impact of mentoring programs and relationships (i.e., mentee/mentor satisfaction, specific scholarly product delivery, promotion)
  • Host events to celebrate the program (possibly in conjunction with centres and/or other departments) and recognize mentors on annual basis. 
  • Include mentors in annual report
  • Determine awards and/or recognition for mentoring work
  • Follow up with mentors about their mentoring relationships

Role of Mentoring Advisor (if applicable)

  • Some departments/schools may choose to have a designated mentoring advisor
  • Work with Department Head/School Director to implement the program and determine recognition mechanisms for mentors
  • Attend meetings of working group during implementation phase and provide feedback to assist in successful implementation
  • Coordinate annual evaluations of the program within the department/school for the Department Head/ School Director.
  • Facilitate resolution of unsatisfactory mentor/mentee relationships.

Role of Mentor

Mentors are encouraged to:

  • Act as a role model
  • Listen actively
  • Be a sounding board
    • Mentees should be encouraged to make their own decisions. Mentors provide a place where mentees can bounce off ideas and try out solutions. Advice is not always needed or desired.  
  • Provide coaching and guidance
  • Assist with skill development
    • Mentors may suggest that mentees observe their teaching. Mentors may assist mentees with practice for important meetings and/or invite them to some of theirs to share good practices. 
  • Create a safe learning environment
  • Understand the mentee’s objectives
  • Encourage and inspire
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Consider diversity in mentorship
    • Careful consideration of issues that may arise with mentorship across boundaries of gender/race/ethnicity/sexual orientation/religion.

Role of Mentee

Mentees are encouraged to:

  • Manage the relationship
    • Mentees take equal responsibility for working to build a rapport with their mentors and ensuring that times and locations are booked for meetings.  Be prepared with an agenda for your meetings with mentor.
  • Set clear goals
    • Create SMART goals (see Individual Development Plan).  Identify barriers to goal achievement and provide potential solutions.  Undertake honest self-assessment regularly.  Share mistakes and perceived areas for improvement
  • Be clear about objectives
    • Mentees need to consider what they want from their mentors such as: advice about a particular career path, advice about a particular skill set, or some other goal or objective. Mentees communicate these objectives to their mentors, recognizing that these may change over time.  Set goals and timetables for completion of projects and invite reflections on progress towards them. 
  • Take advantage of opportunities provided by the mentor
  • Accept responsibility for your own development
  • Seek information
  • Maintian confidentiality
  • Consider diversity in mentorship
    • Careful consideration of issues that may arise with mentorship across boundaries of gender/race/ethnicity/sexual orientation/religion

Possible Topics to Explore

  • Yearly professional development goals
  • Teaching
  • Research/scholarship/professional activities
  • Student advisement
  • Grant writing
  • Service/committee
  • Tenure and promotion process/guidance
  • University policies/navigating the institution
  • Health authorities partnerships
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Work-life balance/Health and Well-being

Also refer to the mentoring network themes for ideas.