Education & Community


Novice and beginning dental hygiene researchers need effective mentors. The following information outlines elements of the mentor-protégé relationship and provides suggestions for resources.

  • Relationship between more experienced and less experienced individuals
    - Goal is growth of protégé
  • Dynamic relationship
  • Mentors are distinct from other potentially influential people
    - Role models, advisors, teachers, supervisors, coaches
  • See Eby LT and Allen TD. Moving Toward Interdisciplinary Dialogue in Mentoring Scholarship: An Introduction to the Special Issue. J Vocat Behav. 2008; 72(2): 159–167.

Resources for Mentoring Graduate Students, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching and Learning

  • It is important, manage the mentor-protégé relationships appropriately and be aware of early signs of potential problems to avoid potential damages.
  • See Chandler DE, Eby L, and McManus SE. When Mentoring Goes Bad: A good relationship can help both mentor and protégé. Here's how to make sure that happens. WSJ, May 24, 2010. See video at:
  • Mentoring is essential for career growth. Formal and informal mentoring is common in academic settings.
  • Mentee should complete an analysis of his/hers strengths and weaknesses, short and long-term goals, and resources and support necessary to achieve the goals.
  • Ongoing process evaluated periodically
  • Seek mentors who will be forthright and who will provide constructive feedback regarding strengths and weaknesses.
  • A mentor should also challenge the mentee and encourage ‘thinking outside of the box.’
  • Importantly, mentoring needs to ‘fit’ for both the mentor and the mentee
  • Mentorship has been found to positively affect personal and career development, self-confidence, and research productivity. In contrast, lack of mentorship has been shown to be a significant barrier to career advancement, particularly in women.
  • Positive “mentee–mentor” relationship also increases the likelihood that current mentees will become future mentors.