The Bolin Centre Mentoring System

The Bolin Centre Linking Program – a mentorship program from the Bolin Center

The Bolin Center Linking Program is a voluntary initiative that links up interested junior and senior scientists in a mentor-mentee relationship. The program normally runs from the Bolin Days in November each year for at least one year at a time. The program started in 2012 and normally has about between 20-30 pairs of mentee and mentors.

Characteristics of the program
• Voluntary: All mentees and mentors volunteer. This means the program is always only as big at the need it fulfills.
• Cross-departmental: The mentees are signed up with mentors in other departments to provide more objectivity and avoid conflict of interest.
• Targeted pairing: The mentees who sign up are able to mention mentor preferences that are important to them for example a specific gender, language requirement, seniority, or international experience.
• 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.
• Confidential: We never mention who signs up unless permission is given such as for marketing. Mentee-mentor interactions are also strictly confidential.

For questions or comments, please email the program administrators Agatha de Boer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Malin Kylander (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Selected feedback from previous rounds

From mentees:
"I have found it useful to openly discuss my research problems, interactions with other researchers, the nature of criticism and feedback in science, and other issues. It’s also great to get a perspective of someone who is not connected to my project, but is very experienced and knowledgeable about this kind of work. I wish I had sought out something like this program when I was a PhD student. I think that would have helped me back then."

"The program has been incredibly helpful. At the time I reached out I was the middle of my PhD, I had not much supervisor time and had serious concerns about getting delayed. The mentorship has helped to keep focused and get back on track. "

"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. "

"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."

"Personally the program was very helpful to me. One important point for me is that I have three male supervisors, so having a female as a mentor is extra important. Want I like the most in the program is the freedom to choose the informal contact, since in the academic world everything is already so formal."

"I am sure my mentor and I will be in contact beyond the program and the introduction was invaluable"

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."

"I very much enjoyed the meetings and believe we will continue them regardless of the program"


Bolin Centre for Climate Research
A collaboration between Stockholm University, KTH and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute | Web administrator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.