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Mentoring Program for Junior Faculty

Guidelines for Junior Faculty Mentoring Committee


The overall goal of the mentoring committee (which may consist of up to three senior Professors in the field) is to assist junior faculty with professional development and career advancement. Per year, up to three teleconferences/in person meeting at the AACR venue is expected. Within this context, the specific goals include:

  • Providing advice and guidance to AAISCR members directed toward their academic pursuits.
  • Identifying potentially fruitful interactions with other investigators both within and outside the institution.
  • Ensuring that each faculty member achieves academic progress at a satisfactory pace.
  • Identifying potential problems at an early stage and providing advice and assistance in averting or resolving problems.
  • Assisting in the writing and submission of grants and research proposals (see below).

AAISCR faculty mentoring committees are not meant to be a replacement for the faculty member’s own research mentor, but as an adjunct to augment early career development. AAISCR will maintain copies of all reports so as to assess progress and success of this undertaking. Number of promotions each year will be used as a measuring stick.

Committee meetings

  • No specific format is required, and the junior faculty and committee members will decide the meeting agenda.
  • Members of the mentoring committee should discuss the merits and weaknesses of research goals and projects for the upcoming year and recommend changes if needed. Members will also assist in identifying appropriate milestone achievements such as publications, presentations, and grant applications.
  • Planned milestone achievements should be explicitly stated by the junior faculty member and reviewed at subsequent meetings. The junior faculty should drive the meeting, gently demanding attention where he/she perceives greatest weaknesses.
  • Initial meetings should include a review of the junior faculty member’s current CV to identify potential deficiencies.

Grant proposal development and review

Given the critical nature of funding required to pursue academic and research goals, the AAISCR strives to provide greater oversight of research applications submitted by junior faculty. As part of this emphasis on funding, committee members are expected to play an explicit role in assisting the junior faculty member in the writing and submission of grants and proposals. Therefore, responsibilities of the mentoring committee in this regard include:

  • Ensuring that the junior faculty member discusses potential funding mechanisms and proposed grant submissions at each meeting.
  • Assisting the junior faculty member in developing and refining hypotheses, specific aims, and research methods for planned proposals. It is likely that additional teleconferences with individual committee members will be needed to provide this guidance
  • Reviewing all grant applications prior to submission. Proposals should be reviewed in detail by at least one member of the committee. In order to carry out these internal reviews in a timely fashion, the junior faculty will be expected to provide drafts for review at least one month prior to submission.

Application Process for Junior Faculty:

Please submit your request to Dr. Saraswati Sukumar via e-mail listed below and include the following items to join the mentoring program. You will be contacted as soon as a committee of mentors is identified, with your help, for your needs:

  • Current CV
  • A short paragraph of statement of your work, and which area(s) you need help
  • Expertise of mentors you want to see in the committee of three mentors
  • Briefly indicate your expectation from this program

We look forward to working with you.

Best wishes,
Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D
Chair, Mentorship Program
President, AAISCR
E-mail: saras@jhmi.edu

Barbara B. Rubenstein Professor of Oncology
Co-Director, Breast Cancer Program
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD 21231-1000
Ph: 410-614-2479

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