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Junior Mentoring Program

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The Department of Pediatrics Faculty Development Committee (FDC) believes in the power of mentorship to support the career development of faculty at all levels. The value of seeking and maintaining mentors can serve to empower and create greater opportunities for growth among faculty members. Conversely, the experience of mentoring has the positive benefits of continued opportunities for learning and satisfaction of giving back to the faculty community in a meaningful way.

Junior Faculty Mentor Panel

The Department of Pediatrics has spearheaded an effort to ensure all junior faculty are supported in their career trajectory through a Junior Faculty Mentorship Panel.

Junior Faculty Expectations

Department of Pediatrics faculty at the rank of assistant professor within five years of completing their training are expected to participate. Midcareer and senior faculty are encouraged to participate, though it is not required.

The department is committed to creating a culture where mentoring is valued and the norm. To that end, division chiefs and the Faculty Development Committee will support junior faculty in the following ways:

  • Division chiefs will:
    • Deliver the expectation and facilitate mentor suggestions with junior faculty
    • Discuss mentor panel progress in yearly evaluations
  • The Faculty Development Committee will:
    • Serve as facilitators in aiding junior faculty in making, maintaining or mending mentor relationships
    • Administer an annual survey to evaluate the junior faculty’s mentor panel progress

Establishing a Junior Faculty Mentor Panel

The creation of a mentoring panel is one of the early and important opportunities to take charge of one’s career. Faculty will assemble their panel as they begin their appointment in the department, with guidance from their division chief.

Each junior faculty member will seek formal mentoring commitment from two to three individuals. Faculty are encouraged to include mentors such as:

  • At least one mentor outside their own division and department
  • Peer mentors (faculty at the same rank) can also be considered for mutual learning
  • Faculty from other institutions

The junior faculty member will convene a mentor panel meeting at least twice yearly. Junior faculty may meet individually with mentors as desired.

Junior faculty will complete a short survey in January of each year to document progress with mentor panel meetings, evaluate impact on their growth and development, and identify areas for future improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When putting together my mentoring panel, should I first reach out to potential mentors myself?

    Yes, it is expected that you ask prospective mentors if they are willing to do this. If you need help finding potential mentor suggestions, please reach out to your Division Chief or members of the Faculty Development Committee.

  • Must mentors hold higher ranks than the people they are mentoring?

    No, as long their experience and expertise are appropriate to serve in a mentoring role for that faculty member.

  • Mentors outside of the Department: how do mentees find them, and what is their incentive for mentoring?

    Often, appropriate mentors outside the department are easy to identify based on the mentee’s work focus. If not, faculty should ask their division chief, Faculty Development Committee or others (such as other collaborators) for recommendations. The likelihood of a positive response to a request for mentorship is high; mentoring is considered a fundamentally important academic activity by most School of Medicine faculty.

  • Can the mentoring panel change over time?

    Yes. If the faculty member’s focus or needs change, it may be appropriate to change the mentoring panel. Some mentor relationships are valuable for short term goals and others for longitudinal support and sponsorship.

  • What is the junior faculty’s role in organizing and running the twice annual mentor panel meetings?

    It is the faculty member’s responsibility to organize the meetings, draft an agenda, and to define goals and supply them to the mentoring panel. You will get the most out of these meetings if you can clearly articulate your current needs and plans.

  • Who decides how often the mentoring panel meets?

    The junior faculty member and their mentoring panel should meet at least twice annually, but the frequency of meetings will vary according to the needs and focus of the faculty member.

  • How does the Chair’s office use the annual survey results?

    The Junior Faculty Mentor Panel Program is intended to support career development and is not an evaluation. Annual mentoring updates are used by the Faculty Development Committee to ensure adequate support is being offered to ensure faculty are succeeding and advancing in their career goals. Your feedback will help identify ways in which the Department can further aid in creating and maintaining mentor relationships.

  • How can I arrange a mentoring meeting when my mentoring panel members are very busy, and some are at other institutions?

    Ideally the mentoring panel will all meet together either in person or virtually. Often your mentors may have administrative assistants who can help to provide their availability. Programs such as Doodle and FindTime can be helpful.

  • Is the mentoring program mostly for researchers?

    No. All of the Department’s missions areas (clinical, research, and education) are important. The mentoring panel is designed to ensure that faculty professional development is considered and discussed on a regular basis, regardless of area of excellence.

IU School of Medicine's Faculty Affairs and Professional Development team is dedicated to fostering excellence in teaching, research, clinical care and service and are passionate about empowering faculty members to thrive and make a lasting impact in academic medicine.

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