On June 14th 2019, Future of Research convened early career researchers (ECRs), academic leadership, and departmental administrators and staff from various universities and disciplines to discuss the mentoring of our future scientists. A central meeting was held at the Big10 Conference in collaboration with the University of Chicago, and satellite meetings organized at Boston University, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, UW – Madison, UC – Irvine, and UC – Berkeley, to provide as much input as possible from a diverse group of stakeholders. Inspired by the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and The Center for Open Science’s TOP Guidelines, the goal of the meeting was to produce a set of mentoring climate guidelines that would lead to actionable change at the department level in the way that ECRs are trained. The guidelines created span various domains and each contain three excellence tiers: bronze, silver, and gold. The purpose of the guidelines is three-fold:

  1. To be used as an assessment and planning tool by departmental leadership wishing to commit to actionable improvement and promote their training climates to prospective trainees.
  2. To empower ECRs when making career transition decisions upon embarking in graduate school or postdoctoral training.
  3. To create positive and transparent pressure towards departmental improvement, and be used in advocacy efforts by department staff and administrators or ECRs wishing for improvements in their departments.

Long term, Future of Research hopes this initiative will push for grassroots change towards greater transparency for ECRs regarding mentoring efforts at their departments and greater attention to training and mentoring standards by departments and institutions. We hope you enjoy using our site and as always, look forward to feedback on how Future of Research is doing in its efforts to serve the ECR community it represents. Feel free to send your questions, comments, or concerns to us using the form on our home page.