Faculty Mentoring Program


Mentoring is a critical component of career advancement for all faculty.  For our purposes, mentoring is defined as a collaboration between a early career faculty member and a group of senior faculty members.  The primary goal is to enhance and facilitate the early career faculty’s professional development through ongoing dialogue, support, and guidance through this collaboration. Faculty mentors can contribute significantly to the development of their mentees’ research, teaching and practice skills, particularly with respect to career satisfaction, career management and networking.

The School of Public Health has developed this initiative to improve mentoring for all faculty.  All tenure stream and appointment stream faculty will be automatically invited and strongly encouraged to participate in the program upon appointment.  Faculty receiving mentoring through other programs (such as the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) CTS Scholars Program (KL2)) are not obligated to participate in the School of Public Health program, but they are welcome to participate in both.  The mentoring program will pair early career faculty members and newly appointed faculty with a team of three senior faculty members.  The mentoring program will be supplemented and expanded with training programs and resources based upon the needs identified by faculty and their mentors.

Goals of the Program

Mentoring is an important part of career development, as the early career faculty member is guided and assisted in their professional development and career advancement by a team of senior members.  This mentoring includes assistance from individuals within their specific academic field, as well as from other fields, disciplines, and roles to assure a holistic and comprehensive approach to mentoring.  The program aims to achieve the following goals:

  • To provide new and existing early career faculty members with an opportunity to thrive in the academic setting through mentorship
  • To establish upfront and transparent academic goals and benchmarks for progress through feedback and support from established faculty members
  • To identify and develop a team of senior faculty who meet with early career faculty to share their own challenges and successes to assist the mentee in achieving their self-identified professional and career goals
  • To create a database of mentors and mentees for improving coordination and sustainability of the program
  • To develop a model mentoring process to serve as a framework for program dissemination and monitoring
  • To prospectively develop guidelines for the responsibilities for both mentors and mentees
  • To develop approaches and processes for program evaluation from both the mentee and mentor perspectives for quality improvement, adjustments, and long-range planning
  • To provide support for the mentors to develop effective mentorship using curricula and workshops provided by the school and University
Mentoring Team Composition and Selection Process

A mentoring team will consist of three members, each of whom will be selected by the early career faculty members in conjunction with the department Chair and Steering Committee.  Mentoring team selection should begin immediately and be completed within the first three to six months of appointment.

Of the three members, one will be a Career Mentor who will provide oversight and mentorship around career trajectory and professional goals, the second will be a Scientific Mentor who will provide oversight and mentorship around appropriate discipline specific development and activities to advance research, and the third will be a Networking and Personal Mentor who will provide oversight and mentorship around development of professional networks, goals and plans to acclimate to the University, and work-life balance.  A senior faculty member from the early career faculty member’s department should fill the role of Career or Scientific mentor.  Mentors outside of the department, school or University may participate on the mentoring team.   

The team members are expected to serve a minimum of three years, monitor the progress of the mentee, and provide them with ongoing feedback.

If a mentor feels that their area of expertise, knowledge, or guidance does not align with that of the mentee, this individual may discuss a change with the steering committee. Similarly, if a mentor or mentee is unresponsive and/or misses multiple meetings, the individual can request a change with the steering committee.  Mentees will complete a Qualtrics based Mentoring Program Assessment administered by the Program Director/Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs once per year.  This confidential review will provide information to guide the Executive Committee’s modification of individual mentoring teams and enhancement of the overall mentoring program.

Responsibilities of the Mentee
  • Upon appointment and/or enrollment in the mentorship program, develop short-term and long-term plans for career and professional development using the Customized Career Development Platform (CCDP) offered through the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE).  The Program Director will assist mentees with CCDP registration.  Mentees should prepare the career development plan in collaboration with their mentoring team.  The Program Director and Steering Committee members are available to assist with goal development.  The mentee should review the final career development plan with their department Chair and the Mentoring Program Director.
  • Review and revise short-term and long-term plans yearly as part of the mid-year review, annual review process and mid-course review.
  • Take responsibility for scheduling mentoring team meetings, proposing the agenda, and sending materials in advance as appropriate.
  • Engage the mentoring team in review of report, manuscript, and grant drafts.  Mentees are required to additionally participate in departmental internal grant review programs.
  • Work with the mentoring group to establish clearly defined benchmarks and timelines for achieving goals
  • Engage mentors through consistent contact, dialogue, and collaboration to establish an active role in the mentoring process
  • Keep an ongoing journal of meetings and activities; send copies of notes to mentorship team
  • Evaluate the on-going relationship with the mentors and propose to restructure the team as necessary
  • Keep the content and discussions of the team mentoring meeting materials confidential; the mentoring team may share personal information that they wish to be honored as confidential
  • Monitor the School of Public Health website communications to identify professional development opportunities at the school and University
Responsibilities of the Mentor
  • Conduct individual mentor meetings, mentoring team meetings, a mid-course review, and any additional meetings with the mentee as needed
  • Participate in School of Public Health or University mentor training workshops
  • Work with the mentee to clearly define goals and develop specific benchmarks and timelines for achieving goals
  • Attend local meetings and seminars where the mentee is presenting, if possible
  • Review drafts of mentee reports, manuscripts, and grants to assist in professional development; Mentees are required to additionally participate in departmental internal grant review programs.
  • Treat all materials discussed or reviewed confidentially except with written consent from the mentee; Issues or concerns raised by the mentee could be privileged and confidential.
  • Identify and link the mentee to resources and educational opportunities as well as professional networks that can assist in professional development
  • Align expectations, understand mentee needs, and clearly communicate expectations, preferable communication methods, and processes
  • Maintain a journal of issues discussed, recommendations provided, challenges, and progress to assure forward momentum for the mentee
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • The program will include best practices for supporting and retaining underrepresented faculty, including training for mentorship of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • The Pitt Public Health faculty mentoring program will link to the University of Pittsburgh Career Education and Enhancement for Health Care Diversity (CEED) Program to provide additional career development for minorities who are underrepresented in the health sciences. 
  • Career and Scientific Mentors should help to identify Diversity Supplement opportunities and support faculty in preparation of grant applications. 
Meeting Schedule

Initial Meeting

The mentee and full mentoring team should meet once the team if finalized to review each mentee’s CV and goals outlined in the Customized Career Development Plan (CCDP).  Faculty who would like assistance developing their individual career development plan and assembly of a mentoring team should contact the Program Director/Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.  The Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and the Steering Committee can provide support as faculty begin their mentoring program.

General Individual Mentor Meetings

The mentee should meet with each member of the mentoring team regularly.  Mentors should develop a meeting schedule and plan with the mentoring team at the outset of the program.  If the mentee has a need to meet with a particular member of the team on additional occasions, it can be initiated by the mentee or mentor.  These individual meetings can be organized around mentor review of grant drafts, manuscript drafts, or the CV in order to optimize impact of these one-on-one meetings. 

Mentoring Team Meetings

The mentee and full mentoring team are expected to meet at a minimum of two to four times per year.  Mentees should present progress toward annual and overall goals.  Goals, progress, and challenges in teaching, research, and service should be presented.  School of Public Health annual review material should be provided to the mentoring team in advance of the meeting occurring closest to the time of annual review. 

Example Meeting Schedule




Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Full Mentoring Team Meeting


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Full Mentoring Team Meeting


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Individual Mentor Meeting(s)


Full Mentoring Team Meeting

Mid-Course Meeting Prior to Third-Year Review

Tenure stream faculty will meet with the full mentoring team, Steering Committee department members, Department Chair, Program Director/Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Associate Deans, and Dean in the third year of their appointment.  The third-year review process is intended to help guide tenure-track faculty to successful tenure and promotion. This meeting is intended to provide a constructive review of each faculty member's strengths and weaknesses, an assessment of the faculty member's progress toward tenure and promotion, and an opportunity to discuss goals for achieving tenure and promotion.  In advance of this meeting, the faculty member should prepare and submit a third-year dossier by the midpoint of the third year of appointment.  The dossier should include the faculty member's current CV, annual evaluations for all years, and teaching evaluations.  Mentees should present a summary of their progress toward goals outlined in their CCDP and for promotion and tenure.

Mutual Benefits for the Mentor and Mentee
  • Exposure to new ideas, approaches, and paradigms
  • Ongoing professional development
  • Recognition of the time and effort of the mentor (annual faculty evaluation)
  • Access to formal and informal resources
  • Engagement in shaping our work environment
  • Enhance contributions to the Department/School/University
  • Increase collaborative networks
  • Enhance professional product development (i.e. manuscripts, grants, presentations)