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Compact Between Biomedical Graduate Students and Their Research Advisors


A framework for aligning the graduate student mentor-mentee relationship


These guiding principles are intended to support the development of a positive mentoring relationship between the pre-doctoral student and their research advisors. A successful student-mentor relationship requires commitment from the student, mentor, graduate program, and institution. This document offers a set of broad guidelines which are meant to initiate discussions at the local and national levels about the student-mentor relationship.

The Compact was prepared in collaboration with the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) and the AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS). The first version of the Compact was disseminated in 2008. It is modeled on the AAMC Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors. In 2016, a team consisting of representatives from the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT Group) and AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS) reviewed and updated the document. Input on the revised draft was received from the GREAT Group, CFAS, and AAMC staff leadership. We encourage members of the graduate education community to utilize and share this document.

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Possible Uses

We encourage members of the biomedical research and graduate education community to utilize and share this document and to adopt those principles that are relevant to their particular program and institution. Among the potential uses that have been suggested are the following:

  • As a starting point for discussions among pre-doctoral students, research advisors, and institutional administrators about the issues addressed by the compact
  • As part of the orientation for new pre-doctoral students
  • As part of a regular and ongoing discussion by the pre-doctoral students and their research advisors
  • As a topic to be discussed in graduate research programs
  • As a part of the orientation for new research faculty
  • As a topic to be discussed in faculty mentorship programs
  • As a component of faculty evaluations
  • As a tool to initiate the development of additional programs and support services for pre-doctoral students within a graduate research program

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