SEATTLE—There is a science to mentorship. When it comes to ensuring that early career academics thrive and go on to produce high quality research, there is data on what works and what doesn’t. But until recently that data was dispersed throughout many different fields of study and difficult to track down.
A new report, “The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM,” published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States, seeks to rectify this.
“There really is a body of science and literature to examine, and we thought it’s time to integrate them,” said one of the report’s editors, Angela Byars-Winston, a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She spoke during a panel discussion at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle.
‘A Starting Point’
All of the data compiled from the report comes from studies conducted in the Western world, chiefly the United States. That could hamper its relevance to the Arab region, where interactions between young academics and their seniors are likely to be different. “We acknowledge that,” said Byars-Winston. “But part of what we’re trying to do is encouraging colleagues around the world to take this on as a starting point.”