Help from Faculty: Findings from the Acadia Institute Graduate Education Study

Melissa S Anderson, Elo Charity Oju, Tina M.R. Falkner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Doctoral students receive many kinds of assistance from faculty members, but much of this support falls short of mentoring. This paper takes the perspective that it is more important to find out what kinds of help students receive from faculty than to assume that students are taken care of by mentors, as distinct from advisors or role models. The findings here are based on both survey and interview data collected through the Acadia Institute's project on Professional Values and Ethical Issues in the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers. The paper describes various kinds of assistance that students receive (or do not receive) from faculty members in their roles as teacher/coach, sponsor, and counselor, It concludes with a section on advisors assigned to doctoral students, notably the extent of their contact with and influence on students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
* The Acadia Institute’s Project on Professional Values and Ethical Issues in the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers was cosponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, the Council of Graduate Schools, and Sigma Xi. It was supported by Grants No. 8913159 and 9222889 from the National Science Foundation. The following NSF components provided funding to the NSF Ethics and Values Studies Program for support of the project: the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; the Directorate for Biological Sciences; the Directorate for Engineering; the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences; and the Office of the Inspector General. Opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors also gratefully acknowledge support from the Spencer Foundation. An earlier version of this paper was presented at a conference sponsored by the Narional Science Foundation on Mentoring and Research Values: Students as Vital Human Resources, Chicago, March 1995. Notes on the authors: Melissa S. Anderson is Associate Professor of Higher Education and Elo Charity Oju is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Educational Policy and Administration. Tina M.R. Falkner is Assistant to the Registrar, Office of Enrolled Student Services, University of Minnesota.


  • Faculty
  • Graduate education
  • Mentoring
  • Science education


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