Frequently Asked Questions: Enrolling as a Protégé or Mentor in the MARC Program

Who can participate as a protégé in the MARC program?

  • research doctoral students (e.g., PhD students)
  • postdoctoral fellows
  • junior-level faculty with up to 3 years of teaching/research experience and/or below the level of associate professor
  • junior-level faculty with 4 or more years of teaching/research experience and/or below the level of associate professor

Who can participate as a mentor in the MARC program?

Faculty who hold a PhD degree are eligible to serve as MARC mentors

  • associate professor
  • professor
  • junior-level faculty with up to 3 years of teaching/research experience and/or below the level of associate professor
  • junior-level faculty with 4 or more years of teaching/research experience and/or below the level of associate
  • director/chair of research program
  • professor emerita

What is required of protégés and mentors who participate in the MARC program?

Protégés and mentors are required to establish and maintain communication for an 9-month period from September to May. A sample agreement is available to assist in defining the goals and expectations for the program. It is expected that both protégé and mentor discuss the agreement and mutually determine the frequency of communication. It is acceptable to continue communicating beyond this period if both the protégé and mentor are in arrangement; however, the structured program formally runs only for the 9-month period.

How do I sign up to be a protégé or mentor?

MARC applicants must complete the enrollment form which is open August through the first week in September.

How are protégés and mentors matched?

Protégés and mentors are matched according to the areas of mentoring needs that are identified on the enrollment form. The goal of the MARC program is to provide mentoring on professional issues related to academic research careers and academe. It was developed as a recruitment and retention tool for PhD-level faculty under the Focused Initiative on the PhD Shortage in Higher Education and now continues under ASHA's Pathways to Excellence. Mentoring topics relate not to area of study or research interest but, rather, to academic research topics. Examples include the following

  • guidance on completing a doctoral dissertation
  • recommendations for finding/selecting a faculty position
  • help with job interviews and negotiating a start-up package
  • advice on teaching and service activities
  • guidance on managing a research program and setting up a research lab
  • advice on tenure and promotion
  • advice on grant writing and the grant review process
  • guidance on journal submissions and the peer review process
  • advice on postdoctoral positions (e.g., locating a position, applying for a position, maximizing postdoctoral experience)

Protégés and mentors are also asked to identify whether the primary focus of their institution is teaching, research, or both teaching and research.

When will I find out if I am matched with a mentor?

ASHA will provide protégés and mentors enrolled in the program with the name and e-mail address of their mentoring partner by September 30. The mentoring relationship can begin immediately. It is recommended that the protégé initiate communication. If for some reason a mentor or protégé does not receive communication, he or she should contact [email protected].

What is the expected time commitment for MARC mentoring?

We estimate that mentors will spend an average of one hour per week mentoring, but this will vary depending on the mentor–protégé pair. The protégé and mentor are encouraged to use the sample agreement to define their expectations for the program. It is expected that individuals enrolling in the program will commit to regular exchanges.

Will I receive any information about mentoring or topics to discuss with my mentor or protégé?

The MARC program is not highly structured. Mentoring pairs are encouraged to establish mutually agreed-upon goals. The Academic Affairs and Research Education team will send periodic announcements via the online MARC Community with information on topics that may be of interest. A series of tips were developed based upon feedback from previous MARC participants which may provide guidance on managing the MARC relationship. An Interim Checklist [PDF] is available to help MARC mentors and protégés gauge their progress.

What about confidentiality?

ASHA assumes that participants in the program will abide by the Code of Ethics and appropriate professional codes of conduct. Protégés and mentors are expected to keep sensitive information in confidence.

Do protégés and mentors ever meet?

MARC is designed to be an e-mentoring program (i.e., protégés and mentors communicate via regular e-mail exchanges or phone calls). If possible, protégés and mentors may meet face to face, but it is not required, as individuals are not matched by geographic location. Of course, protégés and mentors may make arrangements to meet at the ASHA Convention or other scientific meetings. The Academic Affairs and Research Education team hosts a networking event during the ASHA Convention which provides MARC participants an opportunity to meet face to face. An online MARC Community is available for all MARC mentors and protégés to chat, post questions, and learn from each other.

What if there are problems between a protégé and a mentor?

The ASHA mentoring team has put together tips that may help with maximizing your relationship. Read about common pitfalls experienced by previous MARC participants, and learn how to avoid such pitfalls. Proteges and mentors are encouraged to contact [email protected] if no communication or response to e-mail has occurred. The Academic Affairs and Research Education team can offer assistance or possibly reassign a mentor or protégé.

How are protégés and mentors recruited to participate?

Announcements about the MARC program are included in The ASHA Leader and in various newsletters, such as Access Academics & Research. Announcements are also posted on the ASHA website and on appropriate listservs. Program flyers are made available at the annual ASHA Convention and other scientific meetings. Targeted communications may be sent to PhD students, professors, researchers, administrators, and directors/chairs of educational and research programs.

How can I get my peers and/or colleagues involved?

The demand for mentoring typically exceeds the supply of mentors, so faculty is especially encouraged to serve as mentors. Encouraging eligible peers and colleagues is highly appreciated. Please direct them to the MARC FAQs, or have them e-mail [email protected].

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