Defining Attributes and Metrics of Effective Research Mentoring Relationships

AIDS Behav. 2016 Sep;20 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):238-48. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1384-z.


Despite evidence of mentoring's importance in training researchers, studies to date have not yet determined which mentoring relationships have the most impact and what specific factors in those mentoring relationships contribute to key outcomes, such as the commitment to and persistence in research career paths for emerging researchers from diverse populations. Efforts to broaden participation and persistence in biomedical research careers require an understanding of why and how mentoring relationships work and their impact, not only to research training but also to promoting career advancement. This paper proposes core attributes of effective mentoring relationships, as supported by the literature and suggested by theoretical models of academic persistence. In addition, both existing and developing metrics for measuring the effectiveness of these attributes within mentoring relationships across diverse groups are presented, as well as preliminary data on these metrics from the authors' work.

Keywords: Mentee; Mentor; Mentoring; Metrics; Persistence.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • HIV Infections
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Mentoring*
  • Mentors*
  • Research Personnel / education*