TRAIN-UP: Introduction to Inclusive Mentoring and Managing Series

We believe that effective, inclusive supervision is the result of good intentions, support and training. Our goal is to teach UCSF students and postdocs the organizational management theory on how to effectively mentor, train and supervise researchers from diverse backgrounds, and how to do so inclusively,  managing the inevitable role conflict between these three sets of responsibilities and power differentials.

TRAIN-UP is offered twice per year in the summer and winter. To receive announcements about this series, join the OCPD listserv.


Workshop 1 - Inclusive Mentoring & Supervising 101: Research faculty must wear multiple hats in their lab, including those of a mentor, educator and supervisor. The competing goals, obligations, and trainee expectations for each role can contribute to feelings of role stress for faculty, diminished trust for trainees and productivity issues for everyone.  We break down each role's responsibilities and drill down on the one many feel least familiar with: the seven fundamental responsibilities of a supervisor. Finally, we discuss strategies to manage the role conflict skillfully and with integrity. 

Workshop 2 - Supervising People Who Aren’t You - This session focuses on strategies to intentionally build a productive, inclusive working environment for diverse teams. To do that, we first look at diversity both in commonly understood terms (such as cultural upbringing or gender differences) and in the various ways that that diversity manifests at work (including how people communicate, make decisions, handle conflict, feel organized, what they value, recognize and reward, etc.) Furthermore, we discuss tactics to create inclusive spaces (e.g. lab meetings, 1:1s, etc.) and processes (e.g. training, giving and receiving feedback, etc.) for everyone to contribute to a more productive, functional work environment.

Workshop 3 - Identifying the Right Candidates for Your Research Team - In this workshop, you'll learn how to strategically select candidates to reach your goals. Using case studies, we'll teach you how to structure the overall hiring process, and you'll begin to develop your own questions/rubrics to assess for your priority qualifications,  learn how to prep and manage your hiring committee, and discover tactics to mitigate their - and your -  unconscious biases. 

Workshop 4 - Evaluating Performance - In this session, you'll learn how to evaluate - and discuss - performance as a new supervisor and mentor. We'll be touching on rubrics again, using evidence-based approaches to set, articulate and evaluate performance goals. We'll also cover the overall approach and specific language to discuss performance issues, as well as strategies to manage the relationship post-conversation with an eye on maintaining productivity and morale. 

New coming in Fall 2020! 2 new Workshops!

Developing Your Feedback Strategy and Style 
- In this workshop, you'll learn that 'effective feedback' is more than being able to tell someone that they need to improve in a way that doesn't compromise their productivity and morale. While we do cover that, this session also focuses on establishing your overall feedback strategy and style. Your feedback strategy is a combination of several things:  1)  assessing which performance and conduct topics are most challenging for you to address (and would most likely try to avoid);  2) clarifying your personal and professional motivators when you need to give even the most challenging feedback;  3)  articulating your personal approach to giving feedback, including opening and closing language, and personal and professional success benchmarks for the interaction;  4) managing your reaction to the dynamic range of responses from the recipient during and post-interaction, and 5) considering and signaling to people on your team how they can safely give you feedback on issues important to you as a mentor, educator and supervisor. Come prepared to reflect and practice!

Managing Role Conflict as a (Future) PI In this interactive workshop, we go deeper into role conflict and power differentials for UCSF students and postdocs on the faculty career path. What is role conflict and why does it matter? "People experience role conflict when they find themselves pulled in various directions as they try to respond to the many statuses they hold." We map the divergent tasks, decisions and expectations required for PIs to fulfill their multiple roles as mentors, educators and supervisors. We'll illustrate how left unaddressed, these responsibilities can result in unhealthy and unproductive work environments for everyone in the lab - including the PI.  Using case studies, we'll teach you the relevant organizational management, inclusive people management and performance management strategies required to navigate these conflicts transparently, skillfully, and from a place of personal integrity. To learn more, read our JMBE paper:  The Supervisory Role of Life Science Research Faculty: The Missing Link to Diversifying the Academic Workforce?


The TRAIN-UP Introduction to Mentoring course consists of 5 half-day workshops for UCSF research trainees as part of OCPD's Training Researchers and INterns for Upcoming Professors (TRAIN-UP) Series.

The course provides participants with a new framework to hire, teach, train and supervise other research trainees. This framework integrates education, management and leadership theory and is applied to the research laboratory culture. The course includes a combination of lectures and activities, including case studies and assignments to apply the TRAIN-UP framework to one's own situation. For example, participants will practice writing a list of required skills and qualities for a position in their lab, using the concepts learned in lecture around working with diverse team members.

Course workshops are open to all UCSF trainees, but participants who attend workshops 1-4 and complete all in-workshop activities and out-of-workshop assignments will receive a Letter of Completion issued by the UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development.

Participants who would like to gain experience applying the skills taught in the TRAIN-UP Introduction To Mentoring course will have the opportunity to:

The TRAIN-UP Introduction to Mentoring course is offered by the Office of Career and Professional Development in partnership with City College of San Francisco's Bridge to Biosciences program. It is free for UCSF graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and is specifically designed for basic scientists, although it is open to all UCSF research trainees.


The goal of the TRAIN-UP Introduction to Mentoring course is to provide research trainees with the tools to:

  1. Effectively hire, train, supervise and mentor team members when building a new research team (including research assistants and associates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars)
  2. Work with diverse team members, where diversity is defined in terms of work styles, learning styles, career goals and educational goals as well as gender, racial, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, research trainees should be able to:

  1. Effectively communicate their expectations as well as their work style.
  2. Apply the TRAIN-UP framework to resolve issues related to training, supervising or mentoring new research trainees of different personality types.
  3. Describe successful practices in hiring a diverse research team (where diversity is defined in broad terms and includes diversity of work styles).
  4. Describe approaches to effectively mentor trainees while creating a supportive climate in the lab.


  • Naledi Saul, Director, UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD)
  • Karen Leung, Biotechnology Faculty, City College of San Francisco
  • Laurence Clement, Program Director, Academic Career Development, OCPD

What participants had to say about TRAIN-UP:

"I wish this course was offered before I had an intern! Very useful tools and I look forward to putting them to use in the near future."

"I have a much better idea of how to write a job description and conduct an interview in a way that will help communicate my expectations to my potential trainees."

"I plan to rely on the framework and strategies that were taught and practiced during the TRAIN UP course. The seven steps of an effective mentor were excellent for me to refer back to and have as core concepts that I can remind myself of regularly."

Questions? Contact Laurence Clement, Program Director of Academic Career Development, at [email protected]

January 8, 2020 to January 16, 2020

A note about our virtual events: We would like to welcome you, as and where you are, to our virtual events. If there are times you just don’t want to be on camera, feel free to attend this event with your camera and mic off. If you prefer to switch on your camera and participate that’s great too. And if this event just won’t work for you please remember you can always make an appointment with us at any time. 

UCSF is committed to making its facilities, activities and events accessible. To request accommodations for this event, please contact Trish McGrath ([email protected]) at the Office of Career and Professional Development at least one week before the event.