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Ruiz JP, Gurel P, Olds WH, Bankston A, McDowell GS.2019. Inspiring and ethical mentorship in STEM: A meeting highlighting need for engagement, incentives, and accountability. PeerJ Preprints7:e27474v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27474v1
Academic research institutes have a responsibility to train the next generation of scientists in safe, inclusive environments. However, recent data has shown an increasingly worrying trend of early career researchers (ECRs), particularly underrepresented minorities (URMs), struggling to gain academic independence in STEM fields. While hypercompetition, lack of research funds, and scarce independent research opportunities are systemic sources of this problem, research shows that inadequate mentoring and toxic cultures are major contributors to attrition rates. To address the state of mentoring in STEM, and to discuss further actions to take to improve STEM mentoring, early-career researchers organized a meeting at UMD-College Park on academic mentoring. The talks and workshops, which included students, postdocs, and experts in both STEM and mentoring fields, focused on culturally aware mentoring, hypercompetition, mental health, ethical behavior, and advocacy. Here, we provide an overview of the mentoring landscape experienced by ECRs and describe available resources and further actions for the academic community to join with to improve mentoring practices.
This is a summary of discussions and findings from a conference on mentorship in STEM held at University of Maryland College Park in September 2017.
Supplementary Table 1A: Barriers/problems identified and category assigned
Supplementary Table 1 contains all the responses from the sticky note exercise from the Local Advocacy - Tools for Change workshop.