The Bolin Centre Mentoring System
The Bolin Centre Linking Program a mentorship program from the Bolin Center
If you missed the deadline but are interested in being a mentor or mentee then please email us as well. We will try our best to accommodate you outside the regular scheme. However, signing up before the deadline enables us to better match the available mentors with mentees in terms of seniority, departments, and other preferences.
For those not familiar, the program is a voluntary initiative that links up interested junior and senior scientists in a mentor-mentee relationship. As a mentor you can support a junior scientist by acting as a sounding board, sharing your experiences and expertise. The program augments the normally strong mentorship already in place between researchers and supervisors and broaden the network of the researchers further. According to recent feedback the first round was an overwhelming success and much appreciated by the mentees. See below for some of the quotes. Those willing to sign up as mentors can therefore be assured that their time is well spend and appreciated, even if it may not always feel obvious. So please seriously consider to sign up as a first time or as a repeat mentor.
1) Pairing: Mentees and Mentors sign up by 6 May 2016. Mentors and mentees are linked up in the following two weeks and informed of their linking partner. Unless a person states an alternative preference, they are linked to mentees with mentors in other departments.
2) Structure and frequency: Mentees contact mentors to set up a first meeting. At that meeting, they will decide the format of their preferred mentoring relationship, including type and frequency of meeting. Meeting frequency can range from monthly to three times a year. Mentees may choose between a formal and informal meeting structure. In an informal structure, a meeting can for instance start with a simple "how are things going?" and proceed from there. For those who wish a more formal structure we suggest that the mentee writes a short personal development program for the next two years which may include writing goals, presentation goals, career development, personal goals, etc. Then the pair can discuss at each meeting how progress towards those goals are proceeding and discuss how to overcome the challenges.
3) Continuance: The commitment is initially for one year. The mentee can through the course of the year decide to switch between a formal and informal structure and the choice and well as the responsibility for this lies with the mentee. The program will be annually reviewed and adjusted as required. This will allow for new mentor-mentee pairs but it is of course up to the existing pairs to continue their partnership informally if so desired. Mentees may also request to be linked up to the same mentor if they feel the continuance of the formal relationship will be helpful although in most cases it is envisioned that a mentee will prefer a new mentor to provide fresh ideas and insights.
Selected feedback from the 2014–2015 round of the Linking Program:
"It was extremely useful. I had 4–5 meetings with my mentor that were very helpful and a great way to share ideas"
"It is great to get unbiased input on different issues"
"I was able to get advice on a job applications which was very useful to improve both my CV and cover letter"
"It was especially usefully to get to talk with a female mentor about what it is like being a woman in science, since not many of the people I usually work with can give any good insight when it comes to this aspect. "
"Great that consideration has gone into the matching of mentee and mentor as this worked very well. "
"It was good to talk with someone who is not directly involved in my scientific career."
"I like that there was a formal way to find a mentor and one doesn't have to find oneself"
"It could be especially important for phd students who don't get along well with their supervisors."
"It has been really great. My mentor was the perfect person to speak to regarding the academic process."
"I am sure my mentor and I will be in contact beyond the program and the introduction was invaluable"
"I acted as an extra listening ear able to give some advice"
"Great initiative. I enjoyed the meetings and learned a lot myself. "
"Good to hear how SU and PhD education is working from a different perspective as ones own."
"In general it was fun to meet and see that there are good working groups out there across campus."
"I very much enjoyed the meetings and believe we will continue them regardless of the program"