Training students, both undergraduate and post-graduate, in the issues and importance of academic integrity is essential for the integrity of the research enterprise. Therefore, mentors, advisors and supervisors play a formative role in the ethical development of students and trainees, by conveying professional values and ethical standards to junior researchers, both consciously and unconsciously.

A junior researcher will be looking to answer questions such as why and how do we do research? Or, what challenges do you face as a researcher and how to face them? A mentor can provide advice and guidance when faced with these questions. In addition, mentors can provide information that is specific to the field, a particular individual, and a given situation. As a junior researcher you should seek out those with the experience to help. This goes both ways, those that have the research experience and insight should be seeking out to help those that lack the required means in their field of expertise.

Junior researchers usually carry out research under the supervision of a more experienced researcher, namely their supervisor (a postdoc, staff member or professor). There are often more formal, and various codes and guidelines regulate both the position of the junior researcher and that of the supervisor.
For example, the UMCG research code states that, in general, the supervisor of a junior researcher has the following tasks:

  • teaching the junior researcher;
  • enthusing the junior researcher and showing a keen interest in his or her work;
  • (helping to shape or) shaping the desired activities of the junior researcher in concrete terms;
  • supervising the junior researcher with an appropriate degree of intensity and respect.

These guidelines can vary between institutions, but often concern the same subjects.

Mentoring relationships are a fundamental obligation both for those who can serve as mentors because of their experience and insight as well as those who are in need of mentoring because they lack the requisite experience or insight.

Further reading:

  • You can find the UMCG Research Code here.

Geef een antwoord