For various reasons related to my serving on an insane number of committees that review an insane number of CVs from faculty in many different academic disciplines, I see a lot of different CVs that vary considerably in their content and style.
Fortunately, most such committees have diverse membership so that there is almost always someone who can explain certain 'cultural' differences in CVs.
Sometimes, however, no one knows what to make of certain elements of a CV. For example, lately I have been wondering whether there is a difference in meaning as to whether someone "mentors" or "supervises" a postdoc.
Are these synonyms? If so, presumably the word "mentor" is chosen to indicate that the faculty-postdoc interactions involved a range of activities such as one might encounter in the new NSF-mandated postdoc mentoring statement that accompanies proposals that include funding for postdocs?
Or does "mentoring" mean that someone worked with a postdoc who may have acquired their own funding, whereas "supervised" means that the faculty got the funding for an idea they developed in a proposal? In this case, could "mentoring" include a broad range of levels of interaction, from "I gave the postdoc some advice from time to time" to "I was the primary faculty member interacting with this postdoc"?
What started me wondering about this was a CV that involved the "mentoring" of some postdocs, but the "supervising" of others. Without additional information, it's difficult to know what that means. It seems likely that "mentoring" in this case means interacting with postdocs who are funded by some source other than the faculty member's grants, whereas "supervising" means that the faculty member was more involved in the hiring of the postdoc for a particular project.
But I'm not sure. Has anyone used these terms, either as synonyms or as distinct terms implying different types of interaction?
9 years ago