Leadership & Mentoring

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Leading others to pursue a shared vision and developing those individuals and yourself through mentorship are essential professional skills. Here you will find information to help expand your knowledge of these areas:

  • Develop strategic plans to establish and achieve goals
  • Identify and understand group dynamics of a diverse talent pool to allow for innovative solutions
  • Develop, motivate, and gain buy-in from others
  • Create relationships with others who have more experience or knowledge
  • Share your knowledge and experience with others

Celebrating Exceptional Mentors at MIT

The Office of Graduate Education, through the Committed to Caring initiative, celebrates MIT faculty members who go above and beyond to make an impact in the lives of graduate students.  These professors are essential in building a strong culture of mentorship at the Institute.

The faculty honored in the 2021-2023 Committed to Caring awards are:

Angelika Amon, Department of Biology (posthumously)

Athulya Aravind, Department of Linguistics

Mariana Arcaya, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

David Autor, Department of Economics

Michael Birnbaum, Department of Biological Engineering

Irmgard Bischofberger, Department of Mechanical Engineering

devin michelle bunten, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Esther Duflo, Department of Economics

Jeffrey Grossman, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Janelle Knox-Hayes, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Karthish Manthiram, Department of Chemical Engineering

Miho Mazereeuw, Department of Architecture

Kerstin Perez, Department of Physics

Arvind Satyanarayan, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Ben Schneider, Department of Political Science

MIT Graduate Student Council

The MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC) represents graduate student interests at the Institute. The GSC welcomes and orients new graduate students, offers extracurricular activities, and serves as a communication conduit between the administration and the graduate student body.  Get involved with the GSC to hone your leadership skills and create opportunities for the graduate student body. You can connect through their different committees, including Academics, Research and Careers (ARC) and Housing and Community Affairs (HCA).

Riccio Graduate Engineering Leadership Program (GradEL)

At the intersection of engineering practice, leadership scholarship, and experiential learning lies an opportunity to take the best technical students in the world and develop them into exceptional technical leaders. The Riccio Graduate Engineering Leadership Program (GradEL) focuses on leadership education that develops skills applicable across career paths, from leading research groups to leading companies. The Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership is designed to help graduate students learn and practice the skills needed to have a positive impact in their careers.

Mentoring components

Mentoring Opportunities

Mentoring undergraduate researchers is a valuable way to gain specific experience in leadership by cultivating the professional development of others. Many graduate students participate in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) as mentors to the younger students in their laboratories. To get involved, visit the Faculty & Other Mentors page for an overview, expectations, and upcoming deadlines.

The Teaching and Learning Lab supports learning at MIT and works collaboratively on projects related to mentoring, advising, and graduate student development. Please visit our resource section to see some mentoring specific videos.

PhDs: Suggestions for Every Stage

Close-up of an intricately-woven web of netting.

Research Mentoring Certificate

This certificate program is designed for PhDs and postdocs who wish to develop their mentoring skills and grow their practice of productive and inclusive research mentoring.


MIT Comm Lab Spotlight: Engineers, Express Yourselves

The MIT School of Engineering Communication Lab, which turned 10 in 2023, helps students translate their work for broader impact.

For a decade, the MIT School of Engineering Communication Lab, which originated in the Department of Biological Engineering and has …

By Tara Thakurta
Tara Thakurta Graduate Community Fellow
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New Professional Development Certificates for PhDs and Postdocs

Applications are now open

We are excited to announce that applications are now open for two new professional development certificate programs for PhDs and postdocs for AY 2023-2024: the Research Mentoring Certificate and the Grant Writing Training Certificate. Applications for …

By Amanda Cornwall
Amanda Cornwall Graduate Student Professional Development
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Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership Workshop Series: Fall 2023

The Graduate Program in Engineering Leadership Program is pleased to announce the Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership Workshop Series for Fall 2023.

We invite you to register and attend our series, which count toward satisfying requirements toward our certificate. The …

By Tara Thakurta
Tara Thakurta Graduate Community Fellow
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Build Your Research Community – Free Course

Build Your Research Community is a FREE, 5-module course (with a bonus 6th module!) that will guide you through the steps of identifying mentors and building and maintaining mentoring relationships. Scientists from a variety of backgrounds give concrete steps and …

By Simona Rosu
Simona Rosu Senior Assistant Director, Postdoctoral Career and Professional Development
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“Spilling the Tea” for MIT Graduate Women

The “Spilling the Tea” series is back! At these small-scale, limited-enrollment events, join in a conversation with an alumna leader over (iced) tea and cookies. Each of the “Spilling the Tea” parties takes an important topic as its theme, such …

By Amanda Cornwall
Amanda Cornwall Graduate Student Professional Development
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Featured Resources


Science of Mentorship Report and Online Resource

Mentorship is essential in developing science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) professionals. It is a set of skills that …

Science of Mentorship Podcast

Mentorship is essential to the development of anyone in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine (STEMM), but did you know …

CAPD Podcast Playlist: Professional Development & Career Competencies

Check out CAPD’s ever-expanding playlist of podcasts offering insight into professional development & career competencies.

Social Justice and Anti-Racism Resources for Graduate Education

The Council of Graduate Schools has created a social justice and anti-racism resource list intended to help support reflection, dialogue, …

PLOS Curated Tools for Scientists

“Ten Simple Rules” provide a quick, concentrated guide for mastering some of the professional challenges research scientists face in their …

A Tool Kit for Effectively Mentoring Graduate Students

Check out Penn State’s resources for Mentoring Graduate Students!

Success in graduate school depends in large measure on the quality …