Current PhD Students

Mentoring Resources and Opportunities

Effective mentoring is an essential component of the research enterprise and can catalyze individuals' potential for discovery, curiosity, and professional growth. The PME supports the development of this central competency through purposeful and sustained training coupled with opportunities to practice mentoring skills in the context of research.  

Mentor Training Resources

Faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students at PME have access to an array of resources aimed at supporting the process of effective research mentoring. Using evidence-based curricula, these training resources provide a framework for effective mentoring, forums for discussing mentoring methods and dilemmas with peers, and access to a community of practice that emphasizes reflective practices and the purposeful development of a mentoring philosophy. 

This workshop series, led by PME faculty members and staff experienced in mentor training for higher education audiences, aims to increase mentoring competencies across the PME through discussion of case studies developed by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). Workshop topics include:

  • Maintaining effective communication 
  • Aligning expectations 
  • Addressing equity and inclusion 
  • Fostering independence 
  • Cultivating ethical behavior 
  • Promoting professional development
  • Promoting self-efficacy 
  • Enhancing work-life integration 

The series comprises eight 1-hour workshops from January through May, and graduate students are invited to take part in as many or as few of the events as they are able to. Those graduate students who participate in all eight workshops this year and complete a final project, receive one-half teaching credit. 

For more information please contact Laura Rico-Beck at

This workshop series, led in partnership between the BSD and PME, explores the key competencies of effective mentoring through the unique role of a postdoctoral scholar. Held in bi-weekly sessions over the winter and spring quarters, this training uses case studies and discussion-based engagement from a Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) curriculum and is led by university staff and faculty experienced in mentor training for researchers. Workshops include:

  • Effective communication
  • Aligning expectations
  • Assessing understanding
  • Addressing equity and inclusion
  • Fostering independence
  • Self-efficacy and ethical awareness
  • Promoting professional development
  • Work-life integration and articulating a mentoring philosophy

For more information please contact Laura Rico-Beck at

Opportunities to Mentor

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars have a variety of opportunities to develop and practice their mentoring skills while at the PME. In addition to research group mentoring, a number of programs provide more structured mentoring possibilities:

The PME Peer Mentoring Program aims to support students of all backgrounds in their transition to the first year of graduate school, the PME program structure, and the broader University of Chicago community. By pairing advanced graduate students with incoming PhD students, we work to facilitate connection and create an inclusive, student-driven social support network and community in the graduate program. 

The program is managed by faculty, staff, and a group of student leaders who serve as advisors, and program planners and implementers. 

If you have questions or would like to get involved, please contact Laura Rico-Beck at

In addition to mentoring undergraduate students in their lab group, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can also mentor undergraduates through the following programs:

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can mentor high school students and teachers through the following programs:

Awards and Certificates

Maria Lastra Excellence in Mentoring Award

Endowed by Prof. Juan de Pablo in honor of his mother, this annual award recognizes the contributions of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who consistently serve as exemplary and effective mentors for graduate, undergraduate, and/or high school students from UChicago and/or visiting from other institutions, and contribute to the student’s personal growth, professional development, and/or academic success. 

Nominations for 2022 will open in October.

Mentoring Certificates

Additionally, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who complete the PME Graduate Student Mentor Training Series or the PME/BSD Postdoc Mentor Training Series, both of which use CIMER training curricula,  receive a certificate of completion for their work. 

2021 Awardees

  • Elizabeth Lee - postdoctoral researcher, de Pablo and Galli Labs
  • Kevin Singh - postdoctoral researcher, Bernien Lab
  • Aaron Alpar, PhD student, Hubbell Lab

2020 Awardees

  • Sam Bayliss - postdoctoral researcher, Awschalom Lab
  • Garrett Grocke - PhD student, Patel Lab

2019 Awardees

  • Priscilla Briquez - postdoctoral researcher, Hubbell Lab
  • Nick Jackson - postdoctoral researcher, de Pablo Lab
  • Chris Anderson - PhD student, Awschalom Lab
  • Elyse Watkins - PhD student, Hubbell Lab

2021 Certificate Recipients

  • Shraddha Anand - Bernien Lab
  • Ben Ketter - Nealey Lab
  • Riley Knight - Esser-Kahn Lab
  • Charles Liang - Littlewood Lab
  • Carlos Medina Jimenez - Tirrell Lab
  • Madison Plaster - Chevrier Lab
  • Cyrus Zeledon - Awschalom Lab
  • Wen Zhuang - Chen Lab 

2020 Certificate Recipients

  • Anchita Addhya - High Lab
  • Jack Arnold - Nagler Lab
  • Fabian Byléhn - de Pablo Lab
  • Sophia Chao-Wei Huang - Esser-Kahn LAb
  • Mike Jones - Ferguson Lab
  • Jeremiah Kim Esser-Kahn Lab
  • Shi En Kim - Park Lab
  • Nick Macke - Rowan Lab
  • Susan Okrah - Tay Lab
  • Tony Pan - Huang Lab
  • Joe Reda - Hubbell Lab
  • Andrew Ye - Park Lab