The faculty-to-faculty mentorship experience: A survey on challenges and recommendations for improvements

Sarvenaz Sarabipour, Natalie M. Niemi, Steven J. Burgess, Christopher T. Smith, Alexandre W. Bisson Filho, Ahmed Ibrahim, Kelly Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Faculty at research institutions play a central role in advancing knowledge and careers, as well as promoting the well-being of students and colleagues in research environments. Mentorship from experienced peers has been touted as critical for enabling these myriad roles to allow faculty development, career progression, and satisfaction. However, there is little information available on who supports faculty and best ways to structure a faculty mentorship programme for early- and mid-career academics. In the interest of advocating for increased and enhanced faculty mentoring and mentoring programmes, we surveyed faculty around the world to gather data on whether and how they receive mentoring. We received responses from 457 early- and mid-career faculty and found that a substantial portion of respondents either reported having no mentor or a lack of a formal mentoring scheme. Qualitative responses on the quality of mentorship revealed that the most common complaints regarding mentorship included lack of mentor availability, unsatisfactory commitment to mentorship, and non-specific or non-actionable advice. On these suggestions, we identify a need for training for faculty mentors as well as strategies for individual mentors, departments, and institutions for funding and design of more intentional and supportive mentorship programmes for early- and mid-career faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20230983
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number2013
StatePublished - Dec 13 2023


  • early careers
  • faculty development
  • mentoring
  • mentorship programmes
  • peer mentoring
  • research culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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