Bolin Centre Call for Mentoring Program 2018

Call to sign up to the Bolin Centre Mentoring Program 2018 as mentor or mentee. The deadline is Monday 4 December. Please sign up though replying to this email with the information requested  below.

Main characteristics of the program:

  • Purpose: To provide career guidance to junior scientists in the Bolin Centre and participating departments (as opposed to scientific support).
  • Voluntary: All mentees and mentors volunteer. This means the program is always only as big at the need it fulfills.
  • Confidential: We never mention who signs up unless permission is given such as for marketing. Mentee-mentor interactions are also strictly confidential.
  • Cross-departmental: The mentees are signed up with mentors in other departments to provide more objectivity and avoid conflict of interest.
  • Mentee-driven: The mentees make the first contact and decide the frequency and format of the meetings. This is because the needs of every mentee are individual and a single format will not be optimal for all.
  • Annual: The program runs annually from the Bolin Days. After that pairs may wish to continue formally, informally, sign up for new pairs, or leave the program.


Signing up as mentee, please provide:
Name, department, field of study and career stage. If a postdoc or more advanced, please state years since Phd. Please also say whether you have any preference for mentors regarding seniority (experience), gender, language, or any other considerations. Please mention if some of your preferences are less important than others in case it is difficult to fulfill all preferences.
 
Signing up as mentor, please provide:
Name, department, field of study and position. If you are a postdoc or researcher, please tell us your years since PhD, number of postdocs, or other indication of experience to that we can link you up to a suitable mentee (we ideally have a mentor with at least 5 years more experience than the mentee).
 
Special call for mentors:
The success of the program depends on good matching. The bigger our pool of mentors, the better our matching will be. A big pool of mentors also means that we don't need to use all mentors every year and that the mentoring of our more junior staff is shared between our more senior staff. Note that the meetings are often about 3-8 lunches per year which is not a huge burden. It is a service to the community which can be stated on your CV. It is also very rewarding. So please do consider to sign up and pay forward for all the help and mentoring you have received yourself in your career.

That is the most important information. For those further interested, please see more specific information below for mentees and mentors.

Best regards,
Agatha & Malin

 
More information for mentees:
You will receive and email from me in the next 3 weeks with information about your mentor. It is your responsibility to contact your mentor to set up a first meeting. Remember that they signed up voluntarily so you do not need to feel guilty about taking up their time but remember everyone is busy to don't get discouraged if they cannot see you right away. At the first meeting you will need to discuss your preferred meeting frequency which can range from three times a year to monthly. You also need to think about whether you prefer an informal or more structured meeting setup. An informal meeting could start with a simple "how are things going?" and proceed from there. In a more structure meeting you could make up a short personal development program for the next two years which may include goals such as thesis writing, courses, conference attendance, publications, career development, personal goals, etc. Then you can discuss at each meeting how progress towards those goals are proceeding and discuss how to overcome the challenges if you missed your goals. It is up to the mentee to choose which setup they prefer since the linking program is there to serve the needs of the mentee. Of course you can choose something in between these choices or change from one to the other at any point.
 
More information for mentors:
The program is mentee-driven and the mentee will contact you to set up a first meeting. It is natural for the mentee to leave it up to the mentor, as the senior, to lead the meetings. The mentor can therefore at the first meeting determine what the mentee's main motivation for mentorship is and which frequency and format they prefer and how the next meeting will be set up. Also, please mention that the interaction is completely confidential and both should commit to that pledge to ensure trust. From previous years' mentor feedback it came to light that it is difficult for mentors to determine whether they were useful while their mentees expressed appreciation for the interaction. So even if it doesn't always feel that you are useful, you probably are!
 
Selected feedback from previous rounds of the Linking Program
From mentees:
It was extremely useful. I had 4-5 meetings with my mentor that were very helpful and a great way to share ideas
Great to get unbiased input on different issues
Able to get advice on a job application 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 provides connections with researchers in neighboring fields.
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.
It is also a good opportunity to meet and learn about other departments and nearby disciplines.
It was good to have someone experienced outside the department to get some feedback from.
 
From mentors:
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.
The program is a really good idea.
I very much enjoyed the meetings and believe we will continue them regardless of the program

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