Finding a Mentor

A personal connection with someone more experienced can help you chart your career course and can ideally evolve into a career-long relationship.

Mentor value:

  • Guide researchers including selection of a research focus
  • Provide networking opportunities by introducing you to other professionals in the field
  • Are passionate about their work and inspire the same enthusiasm within you
  • Willingly share their knowledge and skills 
  • Have an impact on your professional and personal development
  • Connect you with opportunities that you may not have known existed
  • Challenge and encourage you to stretch beyond your boundaries
  • Listen well and are supportive of new ideas
  • Critique your work so that you may learn from your mistakes
  • Compliment your work so that you may build confidence
  • Act as a positive role model, leading by example
  • Give advice and guidance, but allow you to choose the direction
  • Dedicate time to the relationship because they are invested in your success

Having the right mentor can have a tremendous effect on your development; however, to reap maximum benefits from the relationship, you must strive to exhibit the ideal qualities of a mentee. Your mentor is there to help you, so be sure to ask questions and listen carefully to your mentor’s feedback or advice. Be open to criticism from your mentor, accept it graciously, and be willing to learn from your mistakes. Do not be afraid of trying new things or testing new ideas. Above all, respect your mentor and show appreciation for your mentor’s time and dedication to your success.

Mentors can be found in many ways. Some people purposely seek out and identify relationships through active networking, while others find one naturally. You may find a mentor working on a research project, connect with one at a professional meeting, or get matched online through a registry such as the Pediatric Research Alliance Mentor Match Program.

The Mentor Match Program matches new researchers with experienced researchers in order to assist by sharing their knowledge and skills, have an impact on their professional and personal development, connect them with opportunities that they may not have known existed, give advice and guidance and provide dedicated time to the relationship because they are invested in their success.

To sign up to be considered for a Mentor Match, please complete this form and hit "submit".