Mentoring

2019 Outstanding Mentoring Awards

In 2003 the Dean of the Graduate School and the Vice President for Research convened a University Task Force on Research Mentoring of Graduate Students.   Chaired by the late Dr. Hans Kende, University Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology and member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the 10 member group developed the Guidelines for Graduate Student Advising and Mentoring Relationships.  The Guidelines were adopted by Faculty Council in 2004.  

As part of their report, the Task Force recommended that there be more visible recognition of good mentoring practices at MSU.  The Graduate School Mentoring Awards help to recognize graduate programs, faculty mentors and doctoral students who exemplify the kind of mentoring best practices outlined in the University Guidelines: https://grad.msu.edu/sites/default/files/content/researchintegrity/guide...

There are 3 separate award categories:

Outstanding Graduate Program Community Award:  This award recognizes a graduate program/department that proactively works to ensure that graduate or graduate professional students understand the professional expectations in their field and related disciplines. This might include (but need not be limited to) some of the following activities: impactful orientations and annual progress reports, sustained career and professional development programing, a rich intellectual climate as evidenced through colloquia, seminars, etc.  The program will receive $5000 from the Graduate School in 2019-20 to support graduate program activities.

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award:  This award recognizes a faculty member who works to ensure that his/her students meet program expectations and milestones, and provides multiple enriched career and professional development opportunities  (through, e.g.,  research experiences that go beyond the requirements of the dissertation, professional development and networking opportunities, community engagement experiences, enhanced teaching preparation, collaborative research/ scholarship/ creative activities).  Two awards will be available this year, one for an assistant professor/early associate (2-3 years in associate rank) and one for more senior associate and full professors.  The mentors will receive $1500 from the Graduate School in 2019-20 to support mentoring activities.

Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor Award:  This award recognizes a doctoral student who has already demonstrated the capacity to be a strong mentor.  This student will have engaged in sustained mentoring activities at MSU that help other graduate or undergraduate students succeed in their own research.  These activities could be related to, e.g., a course, a lab, a community research project, field research, and/or support programs.   The student will receive a $1000 fellowship award.  The student must plan to be enrolled in spring or summer 2019.

Nominations must be received by April 8, 2019.  Nominations for these awards must have 3 supporting documents.  The primary nominator/s must ensure that the packet is complete before submitting it to the Graduate School.  Nominating letters can come from MSU graduate students, undergraduate students (in the case of the Doctoral Student Mentor Award), faculty members, or administrators.

  1. Each award requires a primary nominating letter.   This letter can come from an individual or a group of individuals.  The nominating letter should clearly articulate a) how the program or individual fits the criteria for the award, b) what activities best exemplify the program or individual contribution, and c) what the impact those activities have had for the success of students.
  2. Each award also requires a second letter of support that can speak to the fit with the criteria and describe the contributions.  If the nominating letter is provided by students, the support letter should be from faculty or administrators familiar with the nominee’s mentoring activities; if the nominating letter is provided by faculty or administrators, the letter of support should be from students.
  3. For nominations for the individual awards:  a CV for the nominee is required.   For program nominations:  the current Graduate Handbook should be submitted as a PDF (if no online version exists) or a link must be provided to an updated handbook.  Handbooks must be current (i.e., updated within the last academic year).

The packet should be submitted via e-mail to: fellowshipapps@grd.msu.edu.  The e-mail subject line must clearly identify the name of the award for which the nomination is made, and the body of the e-mail must identify the individual or program being nominated.

Selection process: The Graduate School will convene a selection committee with representation from the following groups: college graduate associate deans, graduate program directors, Graduate School associate deans, COGS representatives.   The committee will evaluate the nominations and make a recommendation to the Dean, who will make the awards.

Winners will be notified in May.
For questions, please contact Judith Stoddart, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School (stoddart@grd.msu.edu).

Winners of the Graduate School Mentoring Awards