Mentorship

An important feature of the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP) is mentoring, which begins with the application process itself.

Every applicant to the program must identify a tenured or tenure-track CSU faculty member to serve as mentor throughout the scholar’s doctoral program as well as in the scholar’s search for a faculty position.

Together, the applicant and mentor develop a comprehensive plan, called the Collaborative Plan of Support (CPS), that details how they will work together to foster the scholar’s development in the three components of faculty life: teaching, research, and service.

The Benefits of Having a CDIP Mentor

Your CDIP mentor can help you at every stage of your doctoral studies and also as you begin your professional career as a candidate for faculty positions. The Collaborative Plan of Support you develop with your mentor serves as the road map for the activities you will engage in together to prepare you in the three facets of a professor’s responsibilities: teaching, research and service.

While your dissertation chair guides your scholarly development, your CDIP mentor focuses on building a strong record of professional experiences and accomplishments that will make you a desirable candidate for faculty positions in your field. Your CDIP mentor will ensure that you are able to articulate your particular fit with the mission of the CSU and your commitment to its diverse student body.

Finally, your CDIP mentor can remain a collaborator and colleague as you advance in your journey as a CSU professor. Continue the tradition by becoming a CDIP mentor yourself!

How to Find a CDIP Mentor

If You Are a CSU Student

Typically, your CDIP mentor is a faculty member who is familiar with your academic achievements and wants to support your continued studies in your shared field. You may have met the faculty member through classes you had together or work that you have done together in a laboratory or in the field. Or perhaps you worked as a teaching or research assistant for a professor.

Before asking a faculty member to be your CDIP mentor, make sure you can describe your goals in pursuing a doctorate and eventually seeking a faculty position. The mentoring relationship will last for years, so trust and communication are essential.
 
If You Are a CSU Lecturer

Your CDIP mentor will typically be your department chair or a colleague in the department who is familiar with your teaching and other professional activities. You may have team-taught with this colleague or had them observe or evaluate your classroom teaching. You may also have served on committees together, or you may share research interests.

Before asking a colleague to be your CDIP mentor, make sure you can describe your goals in pursuing a doctorate and a tenure-track position in the CSU. The mentoring relationship will last for years, so trust and communication are essential.

If You Aren’t a CSU Student or Lecturer

If you don’t have a connection to the CSU, but are interested in becoming a CSU professor, there are several ways to connect with a prospective CDIP mentor. First, you can reach out to current CSU professors whose research you are interested in.

Alternatively, each of the 23 CSU campuses has a designated CDIP coordinator. You can contact the coordinator of the campus you’re interested in to request assistance in connecting with a CDIP mentor.

Finally, the CDIP Faculty Director at the CSU Office of the Chancellor can help facilitate a mentor-mentee connection based on your field of study.

The Role of a CDIP Mentor

The foundation of the mentoring relationship, and the key to its success, is a strong Collaborative Plan of Support (CPS) developed jointly by the scholar and the mentor. The CPS is the road map through the scholar’s doctoral studies and entry into the profession as a candidate for faculty positions. A strong CPS:

  • Provides concrete activities linked to timelines that progressively build the scholar’s professional portfolio in teaching, research, and service
  • Is tailored to the specific relationship and interactions between the scholar and mentor; it should not include generic “boilerplate” language
  • Cites important national or regional conferences for which the scholar and mentor will seek funding through the CDIP Travel Grant program
  • Lays out the scholar’s research projects for which mini-grant funding will be sought
  • Explains how the mentor will ensure the scholar understands CSU academic culture and can articulate the CSU mission
  • Details how the mentor will assist the scholar in crafting an academic CV, student success statements, letters of application, and any other documentation required for the job search

On an interpersonal level, trust and communication are vital to a successful mentoring relationship.

Sharing your own academic journey with your scholar, as well as how you have navigated work-life balance, the tenure process, and shared governance, will give your mentee the confidence to grow professionally and one day continue the mentoring tradition.

The Benefits of Being a CDIP Mentor

Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program mentors derive great satisfaction from supporting their students or lecturer colleagues as they prepare for the professoriate, and specifically for CSU faculty positions. Many CDIP mentors and scholars develop exciting and long-term research collaborations.

Through the Travel Grant program, mentors may apply for funding for professional travel with their scholars.

The mentoring relationship is vital to the mission of the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. Mentors help develop an increasingly diverse faculty for California and the U.S. and sustain and promote a tradition of mentorship in higher education.

Resources for CDIP Mentors