Mentoring is incredibly valuable to anyone wanting to succeed in a new career, but is even more crucial for those entering or just getting started in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Mentoring opens doors to achievement and career enrichment; studies have shown that those who have mentors thrive in nearly all STEM settings.
Enabling innovative science that can solve the world’s challenges starts with actively training tomorrow’s mentors. That’s why Salk is committed to offering valuable mentoring resources to its early-career scientists to ensure they can succeed—now, and in the future. Whether it’s training mentors or providing young scientists the tools and mentorship they need to succeed, Salk is dedicated to mentoring in several ways:
Salk’s Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) facilitates “Entering Mentoring,” a six-week series based on curricula from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research. The series is offered to various cohorts including recently appointed junior faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and other scientific staff. It provides a safe group learning space to share and ponder challenging scenarios with colleagues, aimed at accelerating and supporting individuals in their journey toward independence and becoming an effective research mentor.
“Both formal and informal mentoring relationships are invaluable in the working, learning and training environment,” says Mallory Zaslav, vice president of Salk’s Office of Equity & Inclusion. “Effective mentoring relationships can expand the horizons of both the mentee and mentor by introducing new perspectives, advancing underrepresented populations, transferring knowledge and creating connections that may introduce opportunities for personal and professional growth.”
Launched in February, the Institute’s Postdoctoral Mentoring Program works in partnership with Salk alumni and Salk Women & Science to provide a forum for postdoctoral trainees to engage directly with Salk supporters and alumni through professional development and networking opportunities. This program reflects and expands upon Salk’s culture of collaborative and continuous learning.
Salk actively encourages and enables faculty in their efforts to serve as effective mentors. The life experiences, thoughts and opinions of Salk’s diverse faculty of varied backgrounds are of great value to others. For example, in a recent article in Nature Portfolio, Assistant Professor Christina Towers shared her experiences as a mentee and mentor; challenged early-career scientists to find their mentors; and encouraged scientists no matter the stage of their career to consider becoming a mentor for the benefit of future scientists.