Formal Programs and Requirements

Recognizing that the mentoring relationship is important for research training, some universities or departments have inaugurated formal educational efforts to promote good mentoring.44 The National Institutes of Health and the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration require that "all competing National Research Service Award institutional training grant applications must include a description of the formal or informal activities related to the instruction about the responsible conduct of research that will be incorporated into the proposed research training program."45 Already, such institutions as UCLA and the University of Chicago have established their responses to the new requirements.46

The UCLA Medical Science Training Program held a two-day retreat that included a total of four hours of discussions on scientific responsibility and good research practices. Students responded to questions about their experiences with regard to research conduct, listened to lectures on ethics in research, and examined case studies of questions in responsible research. The University of Chicago program presents a series of seven lectures and discussions during the course of the year addressing such topics as the government concerns over scientific integrity, human and animal subjects research, and the university's academic fraud procedures.

This review is not an exhaustive one of how institutions can and have encouraged good mentoring and the transfer of professional standards and practices from one generation of scientists to the next. But it does suggest that the closer one looks at graduate education and training in science and engineering, the more importance one attaches to the mentoring relationship. Although the relationship is a personal one between faculty and student, some institutional support is appropriate and necessary.



This paper uses the term "trainee" to include both graduate students and postdoctoral trainees in their relationship to senior scientists, but makes distinctions where needed.


National Research Council (NRC), 1989, Summary Report, 1988, Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities, Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. While the time to doctorate is increasing, there is some evidence that the magnitude of the increase may be affected by the organization of the cohort chosen for study. In the humanities, the increased time to doctorate is not as large if one chooses as an organizational base the year in which the baccalaureate was received by Ph.D. recipients, rather than the year in which the

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