Questions to consider about nomination or support letters

Consider the following when you writing a nomination or support letter, which may be whatever length you need to express your answers. If you are providing support for a candidate but were not their mentee, comments on your observation regarding any question would be appreciated.


  • At the beginning, did the two of you establish a written plan including goals to be met under the direction or guidance of your mentor?
  • Did you establish at the beginning how often and/or when you would meet on a routine basis?
  • Did/do the two of you meet regularly?
  • How frequently did/do you meet with your partner?
  • Did you determine at the beginning of the relationship, guidelines by which to evaluate the success of the relationship?
  • Have/did you complete the goals planned?
  • Were/are you happy with the frequency of meetings? 

The Partnership

  • How did you connect with and/or establish your mentoring partnership?
  • Why did it begin? 
  • Were/are you interested in your mentor's research areas and techniques?
  • Is your mentor academically successful? (Publications, grants, committees, active research, patient referrals)
  • Was/is your mentor easy to approach and talk with?
  • Were/are you happy with the style of mentoring in your relationship?
  • Did/is the relationship meeting your expectations?
  • Did/do you receive regular feedback and constructive criticism?
  • Did/does your mentor facilitate your participation in professional activities outside of the institution (regional, state, national organizations)?
  • Does/did your mentor involve you in networking? ... Are/were you invited to informal gatherings of people from work?
  • Did/does your mentor act as your advocate within the department or division?
  • Did/does your mentor encourage you to submit grant applications, help you develop research ideas and push you to write manuscripts?
  • Did/does your mentor connect you to other senior professionals who could "fill in the gaps" in areas where he or she might be less skilled?
  • Did/does your mentor observe you in a teaching/research/patient care/whatever situation and provided feedback on these critical skills?
  • Did/does your mentor exhibit integrity?
  • Does/did your mentor hold you to high standards?
  • Did/do you find your partnership challenging? 


  • List specific examples of activities you and your mentor did together.
  • Did/does your mentor advise and encourage you with respect to your independent goals?
  • As the result of your mentoring relationship, how has your knowledge base, skills, techniques, or methods changed?
  • What is the most beneficial change you identified in yourself as a result of your mentorship?
  • What type of feed back or other assistance did/does your mentor provide that seemed to help most?
  • As the result of your mentoring relationship, how are you "as a person" different?
  • Is there something you plan to do or have found yourself doing more as the result of the relationship?

The Mentor-Mentee Relationship

  • What were/are two of the most beneficial development activities you did/ do?
  • What do you value MOST about the relationship?
  • In what way(s), if any, could this mentoring partnership have been/be more effective?
  • I would make the following recommendation(s) to other mentor-mentee pairs.

In Conclusion: What is one main reason why you feel your mentor deserves this award over all the other candidates?

Last modified: Dec 01, 2011
School of Medicine Faculty Mentoring Awards

This year's awards will be presented at the Annual School of Medicine Faculty Retreat on August 16, 2013..

Mentoring Resources