An example of effective mentoring for research centres
Engineering centre research faculty and staff value the importance of performing educational outreach and mentoring graduate students. However, these activities are often less structured than research projects, which leads to variable and less effective results. The geotechnical group at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), which includes research faculty and staff at the Center for Geotechnical Modeling and the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics, developed a Ladder Mentoring Model (LMM) for mentoring graduate students in academic environments to enrich graduate student development while minimizing additional demands on centre personnel. The LMM is a combination of several existing mentoring models and relies on six core principles where the outcome is students receiving guidance from a variety of mentors with different areas and levels of expertise or experience. This paper provides a brief overview of the UC Davis LMM and describes how it is integrated into three critical areas of graduate student development: technical training, professional skills, and educational outreach.