Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to participate in the RD Mentorship Program?
Registered Dietitians in the US who are able to mentor a student virtually are eligible to be mentors. Sophomore, junior, senior, graduate nutrition, and dietetics students or dietetic interns at accredited universities across the US are eligible to be mentees. At this time, no international applicants or individuals who are not in a university-affiliated nutrition program will be accepted (e.g. between graduation and internship).
How do I become a mentor/mentee?
To become and mentor or mentee, please apply on our website during the open application period. You can find the application HERE.
If you are interested before the application period opens you can 'subscribe' to our website and we will notify you when applications open for 2022 - 2023.
How will I be matched with my mentor/mentee?
After completing the appropriate survey, mentors will be matched to a mentee based on their project ideas and needs. Mentees will be matched to a mentor based on their preferences, skills, and goals. Shortly after the match, all participants will be notified through email.
A strategic matching process uses a rank-based approach, similar to what is seen in the DICAS applications. Students are asked to rank dietitians, then when matching each dietitian, application details will be read to have the best match. It is recommended to add some depth as to why you are the best fit for that mentor, as that written portion is often used in matching. Researchers read each application individually to determine skills needed, background, or interest in each particular dietitian.
Once mentor/mentee partnerships are matched, all unmatched individuals will be placed in an unmatched pool. If any mentor/mentee slots open up, we will review applications to find the best fit and reach out to that individual. Being placed in the unmatched pool will not guarantee a future match.
Once I am matched, what is the next step?
Once matched, mentors and mentees are provided each other's contact information and the RD Mentorship Program Handbook. Mentors should reach out to their mentees within 24 - 48 hours after being matched to discuss their method of communication, plan their initial meeting, and complete the mentor-mentee agreement.
Can I withdraw from the program at any time?
Yes, if you choose to no longer participate in the RD Mentorship Program you should contact the program coordinators through email (email@example.com). You should also contact your mentor/mentee regarding your decision to no longer participate in the program.
How is this research and how is my data being used?
This program looks and qualitative and quantitative feedback from both mentors and mentees in the program. Once matched, you will be asked to sign an informed consent indicating your consent to participate in this research program. There will be surveys disseminated to participants at the beginning and end of the program around their perceived abilities in a mentor relationship. Feel free to contact the Principal Investigator of the program at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the time commitment of this program?
You are required to meet at least once per month with your mentor/mentee. Each participant is also asked to complete an initial evaluation survey as part of the program. The amount of time that you dedicate to the program is up to you and your mentor/mentee.
My mentor/mentee is not responding to my emails or phone calls, what do I do?
Please reach out to the research coordinators ASAP (email@example.com) for assistance.
What is the purpose of the RD Mentorship Program? Why are you conducting research for it?
The purpose of the RD Mentorship Program is to create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate nutrition students and registered dietitians (RDs) to expand their network and enhance their profession. The goals of the program are to provide students with hands-on experience working one-on-one with an RD, enhance mentoring abilities and professional development for the registered dietitians, and help increase diversity and preceptors in the field.
We are conducting research on mentoring relationships to explore the value of mentoring and the benefits of mentoring to professional development and the dietetic profession.
What resources are available to program participants to help in the RD Mentorship Program?
There are many resources available to program participants on the RD Mentorship Program website including the RD Mentorship Program Handbook. Specific resources that are useful in developing your mentor-mentee partnership include the Mentor-Mentee Agreement, Mentoring Log, and tips for both mentors and mentees.
Can I participate in the program as both a mentor and mentee?
Each participant will serve as either a mentor or mentee. One cannot serve in both roles. Information on mentor and mentee roles is included in the RD Mentorship Program Handbook and tips for mentors and mentees are located on the RD Mentorship Program website.
Can I participate in the RD Mentorship Program if I am a freshman?
No, mentees must be sophomore, junior, senior, graduate nutrition, and dietetic students or dietetic interns at universities within the United States.
Can I participate as a mentee if I am in the process of applying to a dietetic internship match?
Yes, dietetic students or dietetic interns qualify. However, it is important to note that the RD Mentorship Program will go from September 2022 through April 2023 so mentee participants should be able to commit to and participate in the entire mentor partnership.
If I participate in the RD Mentorship Program, am I required to meet in person?
No, mentors and mentees can meet in person or virtually using the form of technology that the mentor-mentee partners agree.
What should I do if I make a mistake on my mentor or mentee application?
If you make a mistake on your mentor or mentee application, contact the program coordinators so they can assist you in resolving the issue. You can contact the program coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I missed the mentor or mentee deadline to apply. Can I still participate?
Unfortunately, we cannot extend the mentor or mentee application deadline due to the timeline of setting up the partnerships. We encourage you to subscribe to our website to be notified when the next round of applications opens up.