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怎样的学术导师是好导师?
2015-01-29 00:00   审核人:

“在任何学科领域,是否有一个好导师将决定学生的研究生涯初期的成败。” 什么样的导师是好导师呢?

“在任何学科领域,是否有一个好导师将决定学生的研究生涯初期的成败。” [1]

什么样的导师是好导师呢?2005年,Nature创立了the Nature awards for mentoring in science,用于表彰在指导研究生方面卓有成效的导师。有关人员广泛收集总结了学生们对其导师的评价,总结成了给导师的16条建议 [2],如对学生的智力与能力的尊重,对学生职业发展(甚至选择非学术道路)的尊重,等等。

下文分别列出这16条建议,并引用学生的comments作为例证。基于我与自己的博士导师 && 我与本科期间的两个导师的各种经历,我highlight了这些comment里让我深有感触的地方。在异国求学,一个supportive的好导师是如父亲一般的存在(撒花)~

此外,我认为导师“nice”这个说法太笼统。我认为挑导师主要有两个维度:一个是做人,一个是治学。真正的好导师,做人方面要正直、得体,尊重学生,让学生如沐春风,心情愉快,感到个人价值受到认可;做研究方面,要非常responsible,对学生的研究生涯发展很给力,所以push至少比放羊好一点,让学生紧张一点总比松懈要好——五年PHD实在是好短哒。

1. Be available:给学生及时的帮助和反馈

"George meets with his students very regularly and is always available to them. I cannot remember him ever cancelling an appointment with me despite the tremendous demands on his time (he was Head of Department for some of the time that I was his student). He reads drafts promptly and provides clear, constructive comments. He is never negative and never belittles even the most junior of students."

"Undoubtedly the greatest attribute of Charles's mentorship style is his accessibility. Rarely in the 6 years I was in his laboratory did I note him not to have an open door to discuss recent results with anyone from within, or indeed from outside, her/his laboratory. This availability combined with Charles's approachable attitude resulted in a mentor that you were not afraid to speak to, with whatever result you had in hand be it positive or negative. Even after leaving his laboratory I founds his door was always open to discuss scientific ideas."

2. Respect:尊重学生的人格和智力

"Mary treats her colleagues, regardless of whether they are doing a PhD or if they are a fellow Professor, with the same high regard. In doing so, she inspires confidence in her collaborators."

一般而言,被吐槽的导师都是这一点做得差,把学生当做干活机器。

3. Be generous:无私的分享精神

"Mark's magnanimity in sharing his own ideas and delight in seeing others succeed has also been an inspiration, not just for myself but for a whole generation of younger scientists."

"Sally did and still does this by allowing them to run with ideas that she helped to develop or even produced herself entirely and by allowing them, to take on senior authorship on important papers even though she could claim it for herself."

4. Individual difference:每个学生想要追求的人生目标是不同的,每个学生也都有自己的私人生活

"A mentor needs the ability to create a unique relationship with each member of the lab. Francis possesses this attribute and sees the strengths and skills of each individual and then designs projects to suit these strengths. Her ability to understand that not everyone works in the same way or wants the same things from their lives enables her to produce the best results from people."

"Not everybody wants to be a leading researcher and some have skills that better suit them to other occupations. There is little point in encouraging young people to take on a career to which they may be unsuited or which they will find stressful or uninteresting. So I believe it is necessary sometimes to encourage them into other directions ."

这段话让我非常感动——我觉得这种对个人意志与自由选择的无私尊重,简直是一种伟大的人性的光辉。正如原文[2]指出,there is more to life that what they do in the lab. They need freedom to "smell the roses" as one mentee put it. If things change and appear to be going wrong we need to try and understand why. If personal life is becoming tough, then give them time and space. Good mentors make themselves aware of this. Again we are often so busy we don't notice. 所以,A good supervisor/mentor appreciates these differences and does not try and fit square pegs in round holes. They know when to back off and let people make their own decisions and when to come in and offer support and sympathy.

5. For Life:一日为师,终身为父

"Hassan takes a continuing interest in his students: so, twenty years after I completed my PhD with him, he is still my first port of call when I have a thorny issue to discuss, or urgently require a reference - and he has never let me down."

"Agreeing to supervise a PhD student entails making a commitment to much more than the day-to-day overview of a series of experiments, or the development of a programme of analysis that leads to new physical-mathematical theory. It involves forging rapport with the student that potentially lasts a lifetime."

6. Actively research:经常亲临一线的研究工作。

Lead from the front, be a researcher your self, white coat on and not desk bound.

7. Balance direction:又要放手让学生去explore自己的想法和project,又要在需要的时候给予学生关键性的指导和建议,以此可以有效地提高学生的自主性和能动性。

"As a research supervisor and mentor she/he has an incredible ability to find the perfect balance between: allowing the student to develop and explore their own ideas, research plans and projects; providing them with expert guidance, direction when needed; and most importantly providing the inspiration to achieve their best."

8. Celebrate:为学生庆祝他们的成功

"Jane sees the importance of bringing people’s social lives and work lives together. Our lab is always keen to celebrate the achievements of its members with coffee and cakes; outings for lunch; or BBQs at her house."

"The first time a person comes up with a novel idea or experiment of their own. This should be an occasion for public recognition within the lab as it is a milestone of great significance for most young scientists."

9. Building a community:在研究组里培养和谐的关系与社区归属感,鼓励合作而非竞争

"Eli manages to create a nurturing yet scientifically intense lab atmosphere that promotes the production of high-quality science without the element of interpersonal competition that is unfortunately so evident in many laboratories, particularly here in the United States"

10. Be social:大家一起玩~

"I aim to build team spirit by supporting social events throughout the year and by celebrating every birthday with a morning or afternoon tea at work. Originally I organized social events myself, but I now leave the details up to group members so that we can enjoy a diverse range of events that reflect the interests of the group, from canoeing to karaoke".

"The most useful single thing I've learned is that chocolate biscuits do more for everyone's good humour and enthusiasm than any amount of feelgood talk. The role of blood sugar should probably have been obvious to a biologist from the outset, but I only learned this by experience. Mind you, cheerful and encouraging talk are good too, as also are gin and tonic."

11. Create networks:给学生创造合作与展示的机会

"An important catalyst for many of us was Rene’s attitude to networking – he endeavored to send all his students and postdocs to good scientific meetings because he realized how important it was for us to start making connections with peers in our field early in our careers. Right from the start we were exhorted to take every opportunity to talk to people because it was a strongly held opinion of his that you learnt just as much at breakfast conversations and in post-conference drinks as you did from the presentations themselves. It was not uncommon to hear that he had lobbied for an opportunity for a postdoc to speak at a conference rather than doing so himselfbecause he recognized the value of becoming known, especially given our distance from North America and Europe."

"Elizabeth has maintained contact with her previous students and is quick to make links between the many people she knows and any project that comes under her discussion. She encourages collaboration and would very quickly point to potential collaborators. Liz also would be quick toinclude students in on social occasions with high profile scientists visiting the university. This allowed students to get to know the scientists, and vice versa, and again served as a time when students could voice their thoughts and ideas to very knowledgeable and experienced researchers."

小小的comment:我觉得B在这方面可以加强。比如,介绍他的“contacts to promote their students and young staff”, 比如“when a distinguished scientist comes to visit the School they, not only introduce them, but also give them an opportunity to present or discuss their work”,比如,如果B能多给我指点一些其他学校的合作研究者就更好了。

12. Question & Listen:问好问题,激发好的答案,用一连串的好问题persistently keeps the questions flowing to help the answer come along

"Rather than directly providing me with interesting ideas, he/she is able to ask the right questions to allow me to come up with my own theories and ideas."

"Elspeth makes you feel special. She makes you feel valued and is genuinely interested in people’s welfare. She doesn’t preach. She questions and lets you speak. She listens and provides an environment where you can put forward ideas and then she facilitates the evolution of your own answers."

13. Enhancing criticism:通过各种方式,锻炼学生的批判性思维

"Catherine has focused on equipping people with the skills to be fully functioning members of the scientific community, able to prepare grant applications, review manuscripts, speak at conferences and engage with scientific administrators in a constructive manner. Such a holistic approach to running a scientific group will ultimately bring enormous benefit to the group’s alumni, giving them all the skills necessary to carve out their own niches in the academic world."

"To the uninitiated, the scientific literature is a baffling mass of conflicting ideas and results, accepted wisdom and false assumptions. The mentor can help by alerting the new student to papers that he/she considers of particular interest, and by going over the most pertinent ones with the student in some detail. It also helps greatly for the laboratory or department to establish a ‘journal club’ where students regularly take turns dissecting one or two relevant current papers and their background, with input from other students and faculty members. Participating in such discussions can greatly sharpen the student’s critical acumen and judgement."

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