An important part of training new biomedical researchers is being a good mentor. As Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research at the US National Institutes of Health, writes in an editorial in Nature Medicine, "[b]eing a mentor goes beyond supervising lab projects and teaching sound experimental design."
It includes, she writes, training new investigators to behave ethically as well as advising those budding scientists on potential career paths and helping them network. "Seasoned scientists can attest that breadth of knowledge is just as important as depth, and they can encourage mentees to develop a range of professional skill sets," she adds.
Rockey notes that NIH has a number of programs in place to expose trainees to a variety of career paths, increase diversity in the sciences, and help them develop the skills needed to achieve their career goals.
"We can show young investigators how valuable they are to the future of science," Rockey writes. "They are the next generation of great ideas, further propelling us toward our goal of advancing the scientific enterprise and improving health."