Mentoring Matters – And so do you!

Submitted by Jan Abramson, NORDP Fellow

One constant after the crazy months we’ve experienced throughout 2020: January is National Mentoring Month. “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself when sometimes it becomes hidden to your own view.” This quote is attributed to Oprah Winfrey. My own philosophy of mentoring is to “pay it forward, to engage in open and honest relationships that support and inspire colleagues to see and become their best selves.”

Take a moment to reflect on the mentors who have supported you, the mentees who have inspired you, and the importance of mentoring in our work as Research Development professionals. Anytime is an appropriate time to reach out, reconnect, and express appreciation to those you have touched your life. If you’d like a reminder, #ThankYourMentorDay is January 29, 2021. This social media expression of gratitude is generally the last Friday in January if you want to mark your calendars well in advance.

The NORDP Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP Members. The Mentoring Committee strives to equip Research Development professionals for success by offering meaningful mentoring experiences, expertise, support and resources. Over the past year, the committee has developed new programs and resources to cultivate community and support mentors and mentees.

Applications for the 2021 mentoring program will open in the spring. In addition to the mentor/mentee dyads that compose the mentoring program, there are currently six Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs) available for those interested in developing peer mentoring relationships. They are based on the six Pillars of Research Development: Career/Professional Development, Communication, Enhancement of Collaboration, Leadership/Management, Proposal Development and Support and Strategic Planning and Advancement. PMGs are composed of NORDP members at many professional development levels who have similar interests and share resources, provide feedback, and act as accountability partners in building skills. To join a Peer Mentoring Group please email

Become a mentor. Become a mentee. Join a PMG. (or, do all three). The Mentoring Committee will help you along the way. And, in addition to the benefits of participating in mentoring, engaging in NORDP programs and activities is a great way to leverage your NORDP membership.

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