Supervisor Resources

Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Set expectations / take baseline assessment
  2. Delegate/teach/train effectively
  3. Give kudos and corrective feedback continuously
  4. Recognize progress and reward achievement
  5. Articulate and enforce consequences
  6. Manage conflict
  7. Provide support

**taken from TRAIN-UP Inclusive Research Mentor training program, UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development.


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Selected Resources

The Supervisory Role of Life Science Research Faculty: The Missing Link to Diversifying the Academic Workforce?

  • In addition to developing innovative research programs, life science research faculty at research-intensive institutions are tasked with providing career mentoring and scientific training to new generations of scientists, including postgraduate, graduate, and undergraduate students. In this essay, we argue for a redefinition of mentoring in laboratory research, to thoroughly distinguish three essential roles played by research faculty relative to their trainees: advisor, educator, and supervisor. In particular, we pay attention to the often unacknowledged and misunderstood role of a faculty member as a supervisor and discuss the impact of neglecting supervisory best practices on trainees, on the diversity of the academic pipeline, and on the research enterprise. We also provide actionable frameworks for research mentors who wish to use inclusive supervisory and pedagogical practices in their laboratory. Finally, we call for more research around the supervisory role of research faculty and its impact on trainees, particularly community college students, in order to help broaden the participation of underrepresented students in STEM fields.

The group engagement model: procedural justice, social identity, and cooperative behavior

  • The group engagement model expands the insights of the group-value model of procedural justice and the relational model of authority into an explanation for why procedural justice shapes cooperation in groups, organizations, and societies. It hypothesizes that procedures are important because they shape people's social identity within groups, and social identity in turn influences attitudes, values, and behaviors. The model further hypothesizes that resource judgments exercise their influence indirectly by shaping social identity. This social identity mediation hypothesis explains why people focus on procedural justice, and in particular on procedural elements related to the quality of their interpersonal treatment, because those elements carry the most social identity-relevant information. In this article, we review several key insights of the group engagement model, relate these insights to important trends in psychological research on justice, and discuss implications of the model for the future of procedural justice research.


Collaboration and Team Science: From Theory to Practice

  • Interdisciplinary efforts are becoming more critical for scientific discovery and translational research efforts. Highly integrated and interactive research teams share a number of features that contribute to their success in developing and sustaining their efforts over time. Through analysis of in-depth interviews with members of highly successful research teams and others who did not meet their goals or ended because of conflicts, we identified key elements that are critical for team success and effectiveness. There is no debate that the scientific goal sits at the center of the collaborative effort. However, supporting features need to be in place to avoid the derailment of the team. Among the most important of these is trust: without trust, the team dynamic runs the risk of deteriorating over time. Other critical factors of which both leaders and participants need to be aware include developing a shared vision, strategically identifying team members and purposefully building the team, promoting disagreement while containing conflict, and setting clear expectations for sharing credit and authorship. Self-awareness and strong communication skills contribute greatly to effective leadership and management strategies of scientific teams. While all successful teams share the characteristic of effectively carrying out these activities, there is no single formula for execution with every leader exemplifying different strengths and weaknesses. Successful scientific collaborations have strong leaders who are self-aware and are mindful of the many elements critical for supporting the science at the center of the effort.

Tools for Productively Managing Conflict

  • In scientific teams as in life, conflicts arise. This paper aims to provide an introduction to tools and skills to help in managing conflicts in practice. Using a structured approach enables the concerns and interests of all involved to be identified and clarified. It also permits a better understanding of yourself and others and will help empower those in conflict to find acceptable and workable resolutions.