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Excellence Everywhere - National University of Ireland, Galway

Excellence Everywhere - National University of Ireland, Galway

When Mentoring,Advisory,

When Mentoring,Advisory, or SupervisoryRelationships are NotWorking OutWhat you view as a problem may simply be amatter of personal style or a different understandingof the mentor’s role. Have a conversationabout getting the advice and help you need. Ifthat does not help solve the problem, you mayneed to think about finding others to help you asyou navigate your career. Within your institution,especially if there are formal advising relationshipsset up, consider finding an additional guide if yoursis clearly and consistently uninterested in you,undervalues your abilities, or displays any othersigns of undermining your work and your career.But think carefully—someone who helps you seeyour shortcomings is actually helping you. Toughcriticism or a discouraging word may be exactlywhat you need at a given moment. If your feelingsget hurt now and then, it is not necessarily a signthat your trusted advisor has turned against you.But find others to advise you if the people fromwhom you have been taking advice behaveinappropriately by violating workplace rules orfailing to fulfill essential responsibilities to you—for example, by not sending letters of referenceor by not reviewing your grants and papers.Finding additional trusted advisors can always behelpful. However, be very careful about severingold relationships—even ones that were “forcedmarriages.” Even if the relationship is not goingwell, you do not want to offend someone unnecessarily.If the relationship is official, ending itwill require explicit action and will most probablygenerate bad feelings. If the relationship is informal,and you can just allow it to fade away, do so. If,on the other hand, an un-productive advisor wantsto terminate the relationship, accept the decisionwith good grace. It will be better for both of you.RESOURCESAssociation for Women in Science. Mentoring MeansFuture Scientists: A Guide to Developing MentoringPrograms Based on the AWIS Mentoring Program.Washington, DC: Association for Women in Science, 1993.Barker, Kathy. At the Helm: A Laboratory Navigator.Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,2002.Council of Graduate Schools, A Conversation AboutMentoring: Trends and Models. Washington, DC: Councilof Graduate Schools, 1995.Council of Graduate Schools, On the Right Track: A Manualfor Research Mentors, DC: Council of Graduate Schools,2003.Fort, Catherine C., Stephanie J. Bird, and Catherine J.Didion (Eds.). A Hand Up: Women Mentoring Women inScience. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Association for Womenin Science, 2005.Nettles, M.T. and Millet, C.M. Three Magic Letters: Gettingto Ph.D. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press,2006.Nyquist, Jody D., and Donald H. Wulff. Working Effectivelywith Graduate Assistants. Thousand Oaks, CA: SagePublications, 1996.Reis, Richard M. Tomorrow’s Professor: Preparing forAcademic Careers in Science and Engineering. New York:IEEE Press, 1997.OnlineAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science.Science’s Science.Careers.org. Feature articles onmentoring, http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org.Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows.http://opa.faseb.org/pdf/idp.pdf.National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council.Reports from the Committee on Science, Engineering, andPublic Policy. http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cosepup.National Academy of Sciences, National Academy ofEngineering, and Institute of Medicine. Committee onScience, Engineering, and Public Policy. Adviser, Teacher,Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Studentsin Science and Engineering. Washington DC: NationalAcademy Press, 1997. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5789.National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director. AGuide to Training and Mentoring in the Intramural ResearchProgram at NIH. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes ofHealth, 2002. http://www1.od.nih.gov/oir/sourcebook/ethic-conduct/TrainingMentoringGuide_7.3.02.pdf.University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School ofGraduate Studies. How to Mentor Graduate Students:A Guide for Faculty at a Diverse University. Ann Arbor, MI:University of Michigan, http://www.rackham.umich.edu/downloads/publications/Fmentoring.pdf.144 excellence everywhere

chapter 11collaboration“ La puissance ne consiste pas à frapper fort ou souvent,mais à frapper juste.”Honoré de BalzacOne of the best ways to move your science intoa higher league is to collaborate. Internationalcollaboration is important and will be the subjectof much of this chapter, but the basic benefits ofbeing a good collaborator become apparent assoon as you explore shared interests with thescientist at the next bench, down the hall, inanother department, at another institute, or in acity that is an easy drive away. When someone’sclever work delights you, or another’s curiousresult seems in line with yours (or utterly contradictsit in an interesting way), or even whensomeone working on a completely different kindof problem has a technique you would like to applyto your own, you have fertile ground for potentialcollaboration. The scientific world is a very socialone. Finding ways to be scientifically productivewith people you enjoy is one of its greatpleasures.the COLLABORATIve effortTwenty-first century science is often a collaborativeeffort. As a beginning investigator, you maywant or need to work with scientists in other labswho can offer resources or technical expertiseto complement your own. Because a scientificcollaboration is a complex exchange, you willneed to sharpen your managerial and politicalskills to be a successful collaborator. Whether youare working with friends or with people who arenearly (or completely) strangers, it is importantthat you and your collaborators share the sameunderstanding of what is to be done, who is to doit, how “things that come up” will be managed,how any unexpected benefits will be apportioned,and how, when, and where credit will be shared.This chapter summarizes some of the questionsyou should ask yourself before embarking on a collaborativeproject and provides some guidelines tohelp ensure that your work and your interactionswith valued colleagues proceed smoothly.The quote above: Balzac says that power is not in striking hard or often, but in striking well.collaboration145

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