Micro-mentoring is an innovative approach to mentoring that allows opportunities for individual faculty members to seek guidance from other faculty, from within or outside of their division or department, for a specific, well-defined need over a short period of time, typically one or two 1-hour long meetings. Faculty may seek mentoring on a number of professional development needs from a pool of mentors with diverse specialties and experiences to gain new, varied perspectives. Micro-mentors benefit from being able to provide guidance in an area of their mentoring specialty in a time-limited relationship, potentially supporting multiple mentees, including those within and outside of their division or department. The SMHS Micro-Mentoring Resource is intended to support faculty seeking mentoring, while complementing existing resources available at the department and division levels.

Topic Areas for Micro-Mentoring

Volunteers to serve as micro-mentors are solicited among full-time, regular faculty who have at least five (5) years of service to GW and are willing to provide short-term mentoring on their preferred area of mentoring specialty, for example:

  • Clarifying academic and professional goals
  • Developing a teaching portfolio
  • Developing a research agenda/focus
  • Establishing research collaborations
  • Selecting service opportunities
  • Building a professional network
  • Learning how to mentor others (e.g., students, research team)
  • Responding to feedback (teaching, patient care, leadership)

  • Understanding the academic promotion process
  • Finding work-life balance
  • Handling workplace politics
  • Managing expectations
  • Fostering professional development and improvement as an educator
  • Fostering professional development and improvement as a researcher
  • Fostering professional development and improvement as a clinician
  • Fostering professional development and improvement as a leader

How to Participate

Mentor Participation
  • The CFE seeks volunteers among faculty who are well-positioned to provide micro-mentoring on their preferred area of mentoring specialty. Micro-mentors are full-time, regular faculty with at least 5 years of service as a faculty member at GW and significant experience in clinical operations, administration, research or education that would bring expertise to the mentor role.
  • Faculty mentees contact micro-mentors directly to set up individual consultations (one to two 1-hour long meetings)
  • Micro-mentors may accept or decline a consultation request and may limit the number of faculty they are willing to mentor over a specified period of time.
  • Micro-mentors are asked to note the frequency and general context of their micro-mentoring sessions every six (6) months.


Volunteer to be a Micro-Mentor

Mentee Participation
  • Faculty who wish to receive micro-mentoring (mentees) are encouraged to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to identify an area(s) of developmental need.
  • Mentees can use the Micro-Mentoring Database to search for one of the micro-mentor areas that best matches their area of need.
  • The search will generate a list of micro-mentors with this area of mentoring specialty. Mentees should contact micro-mentors directly to set up individual consultations, which will typically last one-hour and occur one or two times, as agreed upon by the mentor and mentee.
  • Mentors and mentees may use the Structuring a Micro-Mentoring Meeting checklists (below) to facilitate the meeting(s).
  • Faculty receiving micro-mentoring are encouraged to voluntarily complete a confidential Micro-Mentor Feedback Form following each consultation.
  • Requests for micro-mentoring in areas not listed in the database can be made directly to the Center for Faculty Excellence.

Structuring a Micro-Mentoring Meeting

Micro-mentoring is a short-term, potentially one-time, meeting with a mentor with expertise in a specific area of developmental need identified by a mentee. Mentees may arrange multiple micro-mentoring meetings with different mentors as needs arise, and it is possible that micro-mentoring may lead to a long-term mentoring relationship, if agreed upon by both the mentor and mentee. Use this checklist to make each meeting productive.


Allen, TD, et al (2009). Designing workplace mentoring programs: An evidence-based approach. Chichester: Wiley Press.

Bland et al. (2009). Faculty Success through Mentoring: A Guide for Mentors, Mentees, and Leaders. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Find a Mentor. University of Michigan Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs & Faculty Development. Retrieved 9/19/2018 from https://faculty.medicine.umich.edu/faculty-career-development/skill-development/mentorship/find-mentors

Johnson, WB (2015. On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty, 2nd Ed. New York: Routledge.

Kashiwagi, DT et al. (2013) Mentoring programs for physicians in academic medicine: A systematic review. Acad Med;88(7):1029-1037.

Sawiuk et al. (2017). An analysis of the value of multiple mentors in formalised elite coach mentoring programmes. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22(4):403-417.

Waljee et al (2018). Mentoring millennials. JAMA; 319(15):1547-1548.