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Is having a dissertation mentor allowed? What will my school say?

Doctoral candidates frequently have mentors or coaches to support their progress. Accessing professionals to in this model is a smart way to ensure you have the support you need on this journey.

Some schools will ask you to identify the mentor or mentoring service. This is to protect against conflict of interest. For example, it would be unethical to pay a member of your school’s faculty to be your mentor.

Keep in mind, the work produced is YOUR work. The mentor does not research, write, produce, or in any way create the products. A mentor guides you in the process to keep you on track to successful, timely completion.

When should I start working with a mentor?

This is a very personal choice. A mentor’s first contact with the researcher is very often at a moment of crisis. The researcher reached out as a looming deadline with the university, is about to walk away from the research due to fatigue and frustration, ideas have stopped flowing, ….. the list goes on. A mentor is instrumental in navigating these difficult times.

Why wait until the crisis? A mentor cannot promise these events and others will not occur. Working with your mentor, a plan can be developed to minimize the impact of these situations.

Writing a dissertation is a complex process. A well-structured plan coupled with a strong relationship between you and your mentor, can make surfing the highs and lows of this journey more manageable. This planning can save a great deal of anxiety and time.

Just what is a mentor?

Your mentor is your coach, trusted advisor and companion on the dissertation journey. Working with your mentor, you will develop benchmarks to organize your progress and help you maintain your vision. Along the way, your mentor will provide guidance for problem solving, suggestions for organizing your thoughts, and a sounding board for your frustration. Most importantly, the mentor reminds you that you are not alone in the process.

Remember, the leading reason those who are ABD report dropping out of the dissertation process is a feeling of isolation.

How is My Dissertation Doctor different than other services?

My Dissertation Doctor is unlike other services in the following ways:

All mentors have doctorates in their field. Other services link doctoral researchers with support services staffed by Master’s level or Bachelor’s level providers.
All mentors receive extensive training and continuing education based in the most current research in doctoral mentoring.
• A full array of wrap around services is available through My Dissertation Doctor. They can include short term, professional services in statistical support, editing, style formatting (ALA, MLA, Turabian, etc.), research methodology, preparation for your final dissertation presentation.

Why do you set up weekly meetings with the mentor?

The research shows that frequent contacts with a mentor has a strong correlation to success. This model promotes the development of a strong relationship between mentor and researcher. It also fosters accountability. There is, of course, flexibility. Changes to this weekly pattern are discussed with your mentor and are agreed upon mutually.