Mitchell D. Feldman, MD, MPhil is the Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Mentoring, and works closely with the Campus Council on Faculty Life to ensure that all UCSF faculty have access to quality mentoring and that mentoring is recognized across the campus as a key aspect of faculty life.
Faculty Climate Surveys conducted in fiscal years 2011 and 2017 found that faculty are now highly satisfied with access to and quality of mentoring at UCSF. In addition, mentoring is positively associated with many aspects of the climate for faculty including overall career satisfaction, support from supervisors, and opportunity for leadership and grants.
Sponsorship describes a set of actions wherein a leader and/or powerfully positioned champion (sponsor) uses their position to actively support the career of a colleague to help them obtain visibility, promotion, recognition, or positions. Sponsorship can be episodic or longitudinal, for prominent or smaller roles, and is not always transparent to the colleague being sponsored. Sponsors do not appoint their protégés/sponsees to positions; rather, they spotlight and open doors for them, enhancing their credibility and recognition within UCSF. As has been stated “a mentor talks with you, a sponsor talks about you.”
- Why Does Sponsorship Matter?
UCSF implemented a nationally recognized faculty mentoring program that has helped improve the climate for all faculty, including women and UM. However, while mentoring matters, it may not be sufficient to help support career advancement and success, particularly for women and UM faculty. Research in the business world has found that women and UM employees receive less sponsorship, but that interventions improve both rates of and satisfaction with advancement. Early studies in academic healthcare have corroborated these differences in the receipt of sponsorship by underrepresented faculty.
The UCSF Faculty Climate Task Force Report found that while UM and women faculty members feel well mentored, there are quantifiable and perceived differences at UCSF for these faculty in terms of opportunities for leadership positions, professional development, and advancement. This finding is concordant with research that demonstrates that women and UM faculty may be ‘over-mentored but under-sponsored’. As a result, the Task Force Report recommended introducing “a robust and broad sponsorship element to the current mentoring program.”
- The UCSF Sponsorship Program
At UCSF we are invested in supporting sponsorship for all faculty in an equitable manner. We will continue to monitor the state of sponsorship at UCSF, increase knowledge and skills of sponsorship for all faculty members, and are recruiting new sponsorship champions.
Sponsorship Task Force and Champions
Sponsorship Champions serve as advocates and thought leaders about sponsorship in their home department and division.
Specifically, sponsorship champions:
- Learn about sponsorship and how it supports leadership and career development for faculty members
- Advocate and disseminate information about sponsorship
The Sponsorship Task Force was developed as a subgroup of the Sponsorship Champions who helped develop the UCSF Faculty Sponsorship Survey to better understand the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding sponsorship at and determine the current state of knowledge and experience of sponsorship at peer institutions and in the business community.
- Sponsorship Resources
- Sponsorship Tip Sheet 2022
- Presentation Materials 2023 Mentoring month CAREER DEVELOPMENT 2.0: Building your Sponsorship Network
- UCSF Sponsorship Toolkit
- UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program
The UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program was established in 2006 with the goals of supporting the recruitment and retention of the highest quality faculty, increasing faculty diversity through improved mentoring of under-represented faculty and improving overall faculty career satisfaction and success.
New and junior faculty in the Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing with appointments of more than 50% are eligible to participate in the mentoring program. All eligible faculty are paired with a ‘career’ mentor, a senior faculty member responsible for providing career guidance and support. Career mentoring meetings should take place at least twice yearly and the mentee is expected to send their mentor an updated CV and Individual Development Plan (IDP) prior to each meeting.
- Mentoring Facilitators
Mentoring facilitators are appointed in each Department/Division or Organized Research Unit (ORU) to work with the Office of Faculty Mentoring to oversee all aspects of the program. The mentoring facilitator is responsible for finalizing mentor-mentee pairings and should send out reminders to pairs about the schedule of meetings.
Mentoring Facilitators Responsibilities
- Set up mentee/mentor pairs
- Establish local system for documenting and tracking these pairs
- Provide oversight for their Department, Division, or Organized Research Unit (ORU) mentoring program
- Disseminate goals and expectations of program to faculty
- Troubleshoot mentoring related problems that arise
- Provide feedback to mentors and mentees as needed
- Collect data- (e.g. are meetings taking place, what is covered in these meetings, satisfaction, etc.)
- Work with the Faculty Mentoring Program to:
- collect and analyze data from their Department, Division, or ORU
- disseminate findings and recommendations
- attend mentoring workshop and yearly summit
- Mentoring facilitators should have dedicated time set aside to fulfill their responsibilities.
We suggest that the mentor and mentee commit to meeting for at least one academic year. A minimum of three meetings per should be scheduled.
July - August Initial Meeting: Mentor/Mentee matching and orientation
January-February Mid-year meeting
July-August End of Year Meeting: Discuss continuing mentoring relationship or matching with new mentor.
Additional meetings to be scheduled as needed throughout the year.
- Choosing a Mentor
Choose a mentor who has many of the following qualities:
• Interest in developing your career
• Commitment to mentoring
• A match with your professional and personal needs
• Professional competence
• A successful track record in mentoring
• Good communication skills
• Will provide networking opportunities
• Is institutionally savvy
• Expresses interest in you as a person
• There is potential for reciprocity
Characteristics of an Effective Mentor:
• Professional knowledge and experience
• Interpersonal skills and good judgment
• Shares network of contacts and resources
• Shares credit
• Invests time, energy and effort to mentoring
• Shares personal experience
- Description of Mentors
Career Mentors are responsible for overall career guidance and support for their mentee. The Career Mentor is usually in the mentee's department, should not be their direct supervisor, and is assigned (or approved) by the departmental mentoring facilitator affiliated with the Faculty Mentoring Program. Scheduled meetings take place at least 2-3 times per year.
RESEARCH and SCHOLARLY MENTORS
Research/Scholarly Mentors are responsible for the overall research and/or scholarly career guidance and support for their mentee. The Research/Scholarly Mentor must have expertise in the mentee’s area of research or scholarship and often shares resources with the mentee that may include databases, space, funding, and research staff that can facilitate the mentee's research. Scheduled meetings take place 1-2 times per month or as needed to achieve the mentee's research goals.
Co-Mentors work with the mentee and their other mentors as part of the mentoring team to provide more specialized or different content area, clinical or methodological expertise. For example, for a clinical researcher, co-mentors may include a statistician, and/or a laboratory-based scientist. Scheduled meetings occur every 1-3 months or as needed.
Advisors have informal relationships with mentees and are less invested than mentors in the long-term career success of the mentee. Advisors may assist in such areas as developing and refining the mentee's program of research, networking and personal-professional balance. Meetings are arranged on an as needed basis
- Roles And Responsibilities
- Arrange to meet with your career mentor at least twice per year.
- Prepare an updated CV to be reviewed by mentor at least one week prior to each meeting.
- Mentees should be aware of where they are in the promotion/merit cycle.
- To assist their mentors in giving them relevant advice/counseling, mentees should write down at least three short term (6-12 months) and three long term (3-5 years) professional goals to be discussed at the mentor/mentee meetings.
- Complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and send to mentor several days prior to the meeting.
- Participate in faculty development opportunities.
- Meet with mentees at least twice per year. These meetings will generally be initiated by the mentee, but the mentor is also responsible for insuring that a meeting takes place on schedule.
- Be available for urgent situations that arise.
- Review all relevant material (e.g. CV, promotion package etc.) from mentee prior to meeting.
- Along with mentees, mentors are responsible for making sure that their mentees have prepared a promotion and merit package at least one month before the deadline; they should review the package before it is submitted to the Department Chair, Division Chief or Organized Research Unit Director
- Help mentees set appropriate professional goals and advise them of the specific expectations for promotion in their academic series.
- Encourage and help facilitate scholarly activities for their mentees. This may include co-authorship on articles, introduction to key local and national figures in their mentees’ areas of interest, and advice on putting together programs at meetings.
- Evaluating Your Mentee's Goals
Use the checklist below to appraise your mentee’s goals:
Has your mentee identified specific short and long term goals?
Are the goals definite and precise?
Are your mentee’s goals quantifiable?
Has your mentee determined how to measure success?
- Work Plan
Does your mentee have an action plan to achieve their goals?
Has your mentee considered the outcome of achieving these goals?
- Reality Check
Are your mentee's goals realistic?
Has your mentee determined a completion date?
Can success be achieved within the time allocated?
Will additional resources or tools be needed to achieve success?
- Your Role
Is your role to advise, suggest or listen?
Will your mentee’s goals require you to provide something other than guidance?
How can you be most helpful to your mentee?
- Mentor's Meeting Checklist
- Set aside adequate time for meetings
- Obtain and review mentee’s CV and Individual Development Plan (IDP) prior to meeting
- Be sure to review contact information and other meeting arrangements
- Clarify what mentee expects from you-and what you expect from mentee
- Review mentee’s short/long term goals
- Be sure that you have accurate, up to date information on advancement and promotion policies for your mentee’s series and rank (see https://senate.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/2016-12/FacultyHandbook-UCSF.pdf#page=39 )
- Ask mentee to help you with writing, research, teaching, curriculum development etc. that is consistent with their career goals
- Be aware of potential conflicts of interest if you are both a supervisor and mentor for the mentee
- Be sure that mentee has joined committees and professional organizations helpful for career development
- Assist your mentee to find other mentors within and outside UCSF
- Giving (and Receiving) Feedback
Mentees want to receive honest, candid feedback from their mentor. Equally important is the feedback mentees can offer to mentors. Engaging in reciprocal and on-going feedback is a vital component of the partnership.
- Is offered in a timely manner
- Focuses on specific behaviors
- Acknowledges outside factors that may contribute
- Emphasizes actions, solutions or strategies
Effective Feedback from Mentee:
- Whether the advice or guidance you offered was beneficial and solved an issue
- Whether the mentor communication style and/or actions facilitate a positive mentoring experience
- Whether the mentor communication style and/or actions create challenges to a positive mentoring experience
Effective Feedback to Mentee:
- Mentee strengths and assets
- Areas for growth, development and enhancement
- Harmful behaviors or attitudes
- Observations on how your mentee may be perceived by others
Being a Pro-Active Mentee
The most successful mentoring partnerships are those in which the mentee takes the initiative and truly drives the partnership. In a mentee-driven partnership, the mentee determines the pace, route and destination. The mentor is then able to offer insights and counsel that is focused on the mentee’s objectives.
Consider the following questions:
- Are my objectives clear and well defined?
- Am I comfortable asking for what I want?
- Am I open to hearing new ideas and perspectives?
- Do I allow myself to be open and vulnerable?
- Am I receptive to constructive feedback?
- Am I able to show I value and appreciate feedback?
- Am I willing to change or modify my behaviors?
- Do I consistently follow through on commitments?
- Do I make an effort to instill trust?
- Do I openly show appreciation and gratitude?
- Faculty Mentoring Awards
The Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award recognizes faculty mentors at UCSF who have demonstrated a commitment to mentoring in the academic health sciences.
Previous Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award
- Nomination Guidelines
Mentoring is a critical component of productivity, career advancement and satisfaction for all faculty members. This award recognizes an outstanding senior faculty mentor at UCSF who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to mentoring faculty.
The recipient must have a minimum of 10 years of service at UCSF with a current appointment at 51% time or greater and have made significant contributions to the careers of his or her mentees.
Nominations for the 2024 award will be accepted starting in January 2024.
OTHER FACULTY MENTORING AWARDS