This brief presents findings from a 2014 CADRE study of early career STEM education researchers and veteran principal investigators and their experiences with early career mentoring, either of themselves or of others. The findings describe successful mentoring strategies as well as suggestions for future improvements to better prepare STEM postdocs for the reality of their future STEM careers. Summarized findings include the following:
- Good mentoring benefits both mentor and mentee.
- Effective mentoring can advance the careers of underrepresented groups in the STEM and STEM education professions.
- Custom and formal mentoring plans encourage mentee perseverance and commitment.
- Multiple mentors and mentoring networks can be as productive as traditional mentor-mentee pairs.
- More time must be spent on mentee development of transferable career and communication skills as well as technical, research, and content skills and knowledge.