Framework for Accountability in Academic Research and Mentoring
This week, we'll use the Core Policy Memo for FAARM, a student-led initiative to improve teaching, training and mentorship of Graduate Students to address the mental health and attrition crisis many graduate students face in the U.S. academic environment, as a starting point for our reading group discussion.
From the Core Policy Memo Overview:
"Graduate students, and most especially doctoral students, face a growing mental health crisis , with rates of serious mental health problems six times that of the general population . Nearly half of students report symptoms of anxiety and/or depression , one in five report taking medication , and one in ten report having suicidal thoughts . As a result, approximately half of doctoral students dropout of school before completing their degrees . The primary factor contributing to the crisis lies in poor relationships between research advisors and their trainees in which advisors are at times neglectful, exploitative, or even abusive . There is little to no research advisor training or oversight in higher education, and trainees are often disincentivized from reporting inappropriate behavior. The available evidence indicates that these problems compound for students of minority populations: They report frequent instances of implicit and explicit racism and discrimination, and women and underrepresented minorities take longer to complete graduate degrees. In light of this crisis, it is insufficient for research advisors supervising trainees to solely focus on their field of expertise and research output . Research advisors must be effective teachers, trainers, and mentors to their trainees and must take an active role in their success and health. Failure in these other facets of trainee well-being pose long-term consequences for higher education and research success."
Discussion questions can be found here.