Mentors have the responsibility of teaching and role modeling the appropriate ethical behavior of academic professionals. Ethics involves the use of reasoned moral judgments to examine one's responsibility in any given situation. Mentors have the obligation to teach mentees about the responsible conduct of research as well as the ethical issues associated with being an educator and clinician. Both mentors and mentees have the responsibility of behaving ethically in their relationship.

What elements are associated with appropriate ethical behavior in the mentee-mentor relationship?

  • Promoting mutual respect and trust.
  • Maintaining confidentiality.
    Read more about confidentiality.
  • Being diligent in providing knowledge, wisdom, and developmental support.
  • Maintaining vigilance with regard to the mentee-mentor relationship. (The power differential increases the mentor’s obligation to be cognizant of the mentee’s feelings and rights).
    Read more about professional boundaries.
  • Acknowledging skills and experiences that each bring to the mentee-mentor relationship.
  • Carefully framing advice and feedback.

What elements are associated with appropriate ethical behavior as academic professionals?

  • Agreeing on and abiding by rules of authorship.
  • Supporting and appreciating accomplishments.
  • Avoiding abuse of power (including exploitation and assuming credit for another's work).
  • Being alert to ethical issues and challenges.
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest (avoiding political and personal biases).

What elements are associated with the responsible conduct of research?

  • Having a commitment to intellectual honesty.
  • Accurately representing an individual's contribution to research.
  • Following governmental and institutional rules, regulations, and policies.
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest (avoiding financial and other influences).

This section adapted with permission from the Institute for Clinical Research Education Mentoring Resources, University of Pittsburgh. Learn more about PITT ICRE Mentoring.