We are committed to providing advising and mentoring to help students reach their maximal potential, discover and develop their passion, and enjoy their journey through graduate school on the path to their career of choice.

No two paths through graduate school are the same – each student requires individualized advising and mentoring for her or his development and growth. This advising and mentoring is a shared responsibility between the student and you as their advisor. This section provides some resources for advising and mentoring.

Biosciences Faculty Fireside Chats on Student Activism: April and May 2021


This series of 5 sessions in April and May aim to create open faculty-only space for a conversation about trainee activism, how to respond as a mentor, and develop a nuanced understanding of concepts of identity, allyship and belonging in ways that re relevant to today’s discourse and the upcoming generation of scientists. The program is organized by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Graduate Education.

  • Contextualizing current movement, racial legacy, and the biosciences. April 12.  Terrance Mayes, Associate Dean for Equity and Strategic Initiatives; and Tim Stearns, Professor of Biology and of Genetics and Senior Associate Vice Provost for Research.
  • Science and social identity, trainee inclusion and belonging.  April 23 May 3. Latishya Steele, Director, Biosciences Programs and Curriculum and José Dinneny, Associate Professor of Biology.
  • Speaking with students about activism and their research. May 5.  David Schneider, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; and Olivia Martinez, Professor of Surgery.
  • Demystifying allyship: What it means to be a JEDI scientist. May 18. Deb Karhson, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Marion Buckwalter, Professor of Neurology and of Neurosurgery.
  • Wrap-up Discussion: Moving forward from here. May 26.  Sheri Krams, Professor of Surgery and Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs

The series is open to all research investigators in basic science or clinical departments.  All sessions are from 12 noon – 1:15 pm PST.  Registration is required at  Zoom link will be sent directly to registered faculty.

Contact Latishya Steele, Director, Biosciences Programs and Curriculum or Rania Sanford, Director of Faculty Professional Development


Mentor Training

Stanford Biosciences has designed a mentor enrichment course geared towards training grant directors and associated training grant faculty who mentor graduate students and postdocs. This course covers a variety of topics including mentor-mentee communication, career development, wellness, equity and inclusion, ethics in responsible and rigorous research, negotiation, conflict management, establishing trust, and more. Each course is for approximately 25 faculty per offering, and is presented in either a half-day or a full day format. For the full-day format, the first portion is a mixed didactic/interactive format highlighting key areas. Following this, faculty discuss in small groups key takeaways from each of the five topics and engage in a strategy session on what mentor training should include, how it could be implemented, and how it can be evaluated.

Across any format, participating faculty will emerge from the course with a toolkit of resources to support mentoring relationships and strategies on how to enhance these areas within their own experiences, training grant programs, and/or departments.

Previous Offerings: May 4 and May 18, 2020 (Zoom)

For questions, please contact Latishya Steele at ljsteele at stanford dot edu.

May 4, 2020, 9 am – 1:30 pm


Holly Tabor – Ethics and Responsible Research

Jessica Notini* – Negotiation

Rania Sanford** – Equity and Inclusion, Building Trust

May 18, 2020, 9:30 9 am – 1:30 pm (edited as of April 10, 2020)


Jessica Notini* – Negotiation

Moira Kessler** – Wellness

Steve Lee – Culturally Sensitive Mentoring

* These presentations will be the same across both dates,

** This presentation will be similar in content to one presented in the January 13th offering of this training.


Previous Offering: January 13, 2020

Course Agenda and Facilitators

8:30 am Breakfast
9:00 am Welcome and Introductions

Will Talbot, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs and Professor of Developmental Biology

John Boothroyd, Burt and Marion Avery Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs

9:20 am Mentor-Mentee Communication

John Boothroyd, Burt and Marion Avery Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs

10:30 am Promoting Trainee Career and Professional Development

Stephanie Eberle, Executive Director, BioSci Careers

11:40 am Addressing Equity and Inclusion

Rania Sanford, Director of Faculty Professional Development, Office of Academic Affairs

12:40 pm Lunch
1:15 pm Ethical Behavior to Foster Responsible, Rigorous Research

Latishya Steele, Director, Biosciences Programs and Curriculum, Office of Graduate Education

2:25 pm Supporting Trainee Health and Wellness

Moira Kessler, Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

3:25 pm Snack Break
3:35 pm Breakouts and Action Planning

Sofie Kleppner, Associate Dean, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

4:30 pm


Team Report-Outs



Key Takeaways Noted by Participants

  • Value added to clarify differences among advising, mentoring, and managing
  • Highlighting high impact for multiple mentors for trainees
  • Recommendation to engage trainees in career development early in their training was useful
  • Appreciation for mention of approaching mentees with empathy and being able to refer them if needed in a variety of contexts (e.g., career development, wellness)
  • Consider why for promoting diversity – what is the true motivation?
  • Shift frame in diversity to considering the problem of exclusion vs. that of inclusion
  • Highlight on fostering good decision-making as key component of ethics education was useful
  • Increasing awareness of Stanford’s Code of Conduct and values within is good information to know
  • Current ‘state’ of wellness among Biosciences trainees was concerning
  • Useful to learn about Stanford’s Red Folder Initiative to help staff and faculty navigate well-being conversations with students
  • Skills for effective validation of students/mentees and how to be clear and consistent when validating

Additional Resources Noted in this Training for Enhancing Mentoring Relationships