Faculty Mentoring


Faculty Mentoring and Development Program

The Department of Pediatrics began a formal faculty mentoring program in 2012. Our program is designed to support the career development of faculty at the junior and mid-career level, and to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations in all the missions of the Department.


The Faculty Mentoring and Development Program will help provide faculty with support, direction and intentional academic guidance through collaboration with experienced faculty mentors who will facilitate appropriate academic progress. Further, the program will:

  • Foster general support for faculty members to thrive in the academic health center environment
  • Stimulate development of a successful career plan based on clinical care, advocacy, research, or education
  • Review academic activities, ensuring that they meet established performance goals
  • Facilitate productive networking and collaborative partnerships, both inside and outside the Department and UNC
  • Help identify funding opportunities and provide support for improved productivity
  • Provide written feedback for the faculty member, Division Chief, and Department Chair

Eligible Faculty

Expected participation. MD and/or PhD Faculty who are on the UNC main campus and at the rank of Assistant Professor or who have been Associate Professor for less than 5 years are expected to participate. The faculty member’s Division Chief, with input from the Department Chair, will ensure that the individual is participating in the program. Associate Professors at rank for more than 5 years and Full Professors are also encouraged to participate, though it is not required. Other (non-MD/PhD) Faculty are not required to participate but are encouraged to do so if they and/or their Division Chief feel that the program will help them achieve their academic goals.

Faculty Mentoring Committee

The faculty will have both a Primary Mentor and a Faculty Mentoring Committee to help meet the goals of the program.

The faculty member and the Division Chief will propose committee members by submitting to the Mentoring Program Coordinator 3-5 names of individuals from both the Department of Pediatrics and other appropriate departments at UNC. Faculty will begin assembling their Committees as they begin their appointment in the Department, under the approval of the Department Chair. The composition of committees may change over time, reflecting change and evolution in scholarly interests. The Department Faculty Development Advisory Committee is also available to serve as a resource for identifying appropriate committee members. The creation of one’s Mentoring Committee is one of the early and important opportunities to take charge of one’s career, as is the initiative with which one makes use of the Committee.

Ideally, at least one individual from outside of Pediatrics will be included on each committee. Among identified committee candidates, one person (typically the primary mentor) will serve as chair of the committee. The Department Chair and/or the Mentoring Program Coordinator will ask each of the committee candidates if they are willing to serve on the committee. Once at least three members have agreed to serve, they will receive information on committee composition, chair designation, goals of the program, and next steps.

Faculty Mentoring Committee Activity

  • The faculty member will meet with the entire mentoring committee a minimum of twice a year initially and then once annually (more often as needed).
  • One member of the committee will be designated as the primary mentor and will be responsible for meeting regularly with the faculty member. The frequency of these meetings will vary according to the faculty member’s needs and mission focus.
  • The faculty member will provide the mentoring group with both short-term and long-term goals on an annual basis. The committee will be expected to provide appropriate feedback (see attached form).

Download the mentoring committee report form.

    Written Feedback

    The faculty member will receive written feedback after each committee meeting. The faculty member must provide a copy of the report to the Division Chief and the Mentoring Program Coordinator. These reports will serve as part of the documentation of faculty performance during annual faculty reviews and for promotion and tenure applications.

    Reminders that meetings and reports are due will be issued periodically by the Mentoring Program Coordinator. However, the faculty member bears ultimate responsibility and should work together with the committee chair to schedule meetings.

    Expectations for Faculty member and Primary Mentor

    The faculty member will develop a formal plan for academic development that will include specifics about goals and further training. The faculty member and primary mentor will meet regularly and will focus on progress toward the goals of the plan and consideration as to how the plan should be modified, per changes in the faculty member’s focus. Under the mentor’s guidance, the faculty member will develop core academic skills, including but not limited to:

    • Oral communications and presentations
    • Scholarly writing and critiques
    • Grant, program, and/or contract development
    • Academic and other professional networking and collaboration
    • Leadership and professionalism training

    Suggested Resources:

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Can established mentoring committees be incorporated into this program?

    Yes.  If an existing mentoring committee, for example related to a K award, is working well and fits the program's description, there is no need to replace that committee. Faculty members who have questions about whether an existing committee is sufficient should contact Terry Noah to discuss.

    • Who makes sure mentee assessments are completed?

    It is the Faculty member's responsibility to organize the meetings, and to define goals and supply them to the mentoring committee. The Primary Mentor is responsible for completing and submitting the assessment form annually, with input from the Faculty member and other committee members.  In many cases, it has worked well for the Faculty member to draft the report and have it completed by the Primary mentor after the meeting. 

    • Mentors outside of the Department: how do mentees find them, and what is their incentive for mentoring pediatricians?

    Often, appropriate mentors outside the Department are easy to identify based on the mentee’s work focus. If not, Faculty should ask their Division Chief, Terry or others (such as other collaborators) for recommendations. The likelihood of a positive response to a request for mentorship is high; mentoring is considered a fundamentally important academic activity by many UNC faculty.

    • When putting together my committee, should I first reach out to potential mentors myself?

    Yes, it is very appropriate to ask a prospective mentor if they are willing to do this.  The Department will subsequently send them a formal “invitation” to be part of the committee, to recognize the mentor’s role and reinforce its importance to us.

    • Must mentors hold higher ranks than the people they are mentoring?

    No, if their experience and expertise are appropriate to serve in a mentoring role for that Faculty member.

    • Will clinical performance be addressed/managed by this program?

    No. The mentoring program is to support Faculty development, not evaluate clinical performance by Faculty.

    • Is the mentoring program mostly for researchers?

    No. All of our major departmental missions (clinical, advocacy, research, and education) are important. The Faculty Mentoring Program was designed to ensure that Faculty professional development is considered and discussed on a regular basis, regardless of primary mission focus.

    • Can the committee change over time?

    Yes. If the Faculty member's focus changes, it may be appropriate to change the committee membership.  To help with any changes needed, the mentoring program can communicate with the mentors involved in the change.

    • Who decides how often the committee meets?

    The mentoring committee and Faculty member should meet at least annually, but the frequency of meetings between primary mentor and Faculty member will vary according to the needs and focus of the Faculty member.

    • How can I arrange a mentoring meeting when my committee members are very busy, and some are at other institutions? 

    Teleconferences are fine for meetings. In some cases faculty have held face to face meetings with part of the group, with separate input from the remainder of the committee by email.  When there are not major issues to discuss, a “virtual” meeting with input from the members by email may be appropriate.


    Department of Pediatrics Mentoring Award

    Good mentoring programs are an important component to strong institutions. As mentored faculty learn to mentor others, they create and sustain the institution's memory and continue the life of our shared enterprise.

    The Department of Pediatrics established its Mentoring Award in 2008, to recognize faculty who have demonstrated exceptional mentoring skills.

    Winners of the Department of Pediatrics Mentoring Award:

    • Margaret W. Leigh, MD (2008)
    • Augustine J. D'Ercole, MD (2008)
    • Harvey J. Hamrick, MD (2010)
    • Carl L. Bose, MD (2011)
    • Jacob A. Lohr, MD (2012)
    • Wayne A. Price, MD (2013)
    • Julie S. Byerley, MD, MPH (2014)
    • Terry L. Noah, MD (2016)
    • Kenya McNeal - Trice, MD (2017)
    • Sue Tolleson - Rinehart, PhD (2018)

    Mentoring Training Resources

    UNC Center for Faculty Excellence mentoring page

    Selected Mentoring Literature

    1. Ludwig S, Stein REK. Anatomy of mentoring. J Pediatr 2008;152:151-2.
    2. Jackson VA et al. “Having the right chemistry”: a qualitative study of mentoring in academic medicine. Acad Med 2003;78:328-334.
    3. Pololi L, Knight S. Mentoring faculty in academic medicine. A new paradigm? J Gen Intern Med 2005;20:866-870.
    4. Sambunjak D et al. Mentoring in academic medicine. A systematic review. JAMA 2006;296:1103-1115.
    5. Things To Do Together During Mentor-Mentee Meetings: NIH-HHS Mentoring Program http://trainingcenter.nih.gov/PDF/mentoring/Things_to_do_together.pdf
    6. Detsky AS, Baerlocher MO. Academic mentoring – how to give it and how to get it. JAMA 2007;297:2134-2136.
    7. Johnson WB, Ridley CR. The elements of mentoring. Palgrave Macmillan 2004. New York, NY.
    8. Zerzan JT et al. Making the most of mentors: a guide for mentees. Acad Med 2009;84:140-144.
    9. Leier CV et al. Selecting a mentor: a guide for residents, fellows, and young physicians. Am J Med 2011;124:893-895.
    10. Tobin MJ. 2004. Mentoring: seven roles and some specifics. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 170: 114-7
    11. Tsen LC et al. The development , implementation, and assessment of an innovative faculty mentoring leadership program. Acad Med 2012; 87:1-5.
    12. Tillman RE et al. Policies, activities, and structures supporting research mentoring: a national survey of academic health centers with clinical and translational science awards. Acad Med 2013:88:90-96.