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Degree and Certificate Programs: Advising and Mentoring

Advisors and Mentors

A trainee's advisor is a core program faculty member who is knowledgeable about the program coursework and requirements. A trainee's mentor is an investigator who is from the trainee's department, is performing research in the content area of the trainee, and is identified by the trainee as his or her research mentor.


Faculty clinical investigators at the Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE) serve as advisors to trainees who are pursuing the Certificate or Master of Science in Clinical Research. An advisor is assigned to each trainee when the trainee is admitted to the program. The advisor and trainee are expected to meet at least once each term to plan the courses for each semester. If a trainee is pursing the MS degree, the advisor works closely with the trainee and the trainee's mentor to help devise the specialized curriculum and also participates in the development of the clinical research project. Additional meetings are anticipated as the trainee progresses through the program.


The literature is unanimous in acknowledging the importance of mentors in helping junior investigators develop successful research careers, publish in peer-reviewed journals, and achieve greater career satisfaction.

Each trainee has a mentor who is an investigator in the same research area. If a trainee has not identified a mentor, the ICRE leadership will help the trainee do so before classes begin. In assigning a mentor, the ICRE leadership will be sensitive to the individual needs of the trainee to make sure that the mentor-trainee relationship is a productive one.

To ensure that the trainee and his or her mentor have clear mutual understandings concerning their roles, responsibilities, and educational goals, the program requires that they work together to develop an agreement delineating the following: