Researcher, Mentor, Teacher: Preparing Well-Rounded Scholars

The goal of this program is to provide formal training in teaching and mentoring to postdoctoral scholars thus enabling them to pursue academic careers at a wide range of institutions. Currently their training only prepares them for research intensive institutions and offers few or no opportunities to learn how to become effective teachers and mentors. These are essential qualities to become a faculty member at primarily undergraduate institutions. A cohort of faculty and staff facilitators trained by the NIH funded National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) will conduct mentoring training sessions for postdocs. Postdoctoral scholars will enroll in teaching courses offered at OSU by the Center for Life Sciences Education and/or the University Institute for Teaching and Learning (UITL). Columbus State Community College (CSCC) will create mentored teaching opportunities at their campus. The postdoctoral scholars who choose to participate and are also US Citizens or permanent residents will receive community college teaching training by faculty and staff at CSCC.

Research, Mentor, Teach (RMT) Program Goals

  • Give postdocs the opportunity to mentor and teach a more diverse population of undergraduate students
  • Improve their mentoring, communication and teaching skills
  • Training for a wide variety of academic positions

DOSU Program Goals

  • Exposure to research
  • Mentoring network
  • Increase access to resources

Mentoring Component 

Another important goal of this program is to expose community college and transfer students to research opportunities at Ohio State. The Destination Ohio State University (DOSU) program aims to improve the transition into majors at Ohio State as well as the graduation rate. We also hope to increase the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students who complete a bachelor’s degree particularly in STEM majors (broadly defined) and to make them competitive for Ph.D. programs.

Teaching Component

Teaching is optional and you have to be a US citizen or permanent resident. Research cannot interfere with teaching.

Considerations for postdocs who want to participate

1 Your advisor needs to be on board

  • Talk to them early and directly
  • Explain the benefits for you and for them

2 Administrative process to hire a student

  • Identify the person in your department that does this
  • Familiarize yourself with the hiring process to guide the student
    •   How long it takes
    •   What the student needs to provide, etc.

3 Research Presentation mid-May:

  • You will use a modified Pecha Kucha format:
    •  15 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds
    •   20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds
  • Thus each presentation will be exactly 5 min
  • Your slides should primarily be pictures/images/graphics/visuals
  • Use text sparingly
  • The students are not experts; tell them a story
  • Agenda
    •   Lunch
    •   Presentations
    •   Group discussions

4 Mentoring training:

5 Shadowviews:

  • Reserve 3 or so 4-6 hour blocks during June and early July
  • Tour the space and introduce to research group members
  • Allow them to shadow a few techniques (may be someone else, not necessarily you)
  • Go over policies, culture, environment
  • Answer questions

6 Matching:

  • We cannot guarantee a match to either the student or the postdocs
    •   Everything will depend on:
      •   The results of the shadowviews
      •   The number of students per mentor
  • Postdocs will be expected to align expectations by submitting a mentor-mentee compact

2018 DOSU/RMT Cohort

Early Outcomes

for Postdocs

  • Increased mentoring competencies
  • Addressing diversity issues
  • Classroom teaching experience with very diverse classrooms

for Transfer Students

  • Increased understanding about:
    • Research nuts and bolts
    • Researcher careers
    • Graduate school
  • Exposure to research
  • Feel part of Ohio State
  • Made new friends and expanded their network


“I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to mentor a student through the DOSU program. Previously, I’ve mentored students who were very prepared for research experiences and set to go to graduate school. This experience has taught me how to seek alternative solutions when time schedules were difficult, and to think more holistically of my mentee’s progress and career considerations (rather than simply research expectations). I believe it has taught me to be a better mentor to diverse students who may sometimes have unique experiences and challenges.”–Postdoc Mentor

“I am very happy with this research experience overall because it gave be a head start in research as an OSU transfer student. It also helped me make more connections on campus that could help me later on. Because of this research experience I now know what being a researcher is and that I would like to further my research experience.”–DOSU Student

To access the presentation slides from the Research Information Session (5.14.19), please click here.

For questions please contact