In August, 2021, we held a training workshop for mentors and mentees, to help get the most out of the mentoring relationship. The workshop focus was on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Notes from the workshop are available here.
Below, we offer a (non-comprehensive) list of topics that could be covered during regular meetings between mentors and mentees. How you choose to navigate long-distance meetings, activities, and the pursuit of the goals of the mentees is up to you.
Some preliminary questions you might explore upon your first meeting:
1. For the mentees: where are you now and where do you hope to be in your next position?
- Current position type & location (year in graduate school/postdoc and where)
- Long-term goal (academic/industry/etc.)
- Desired path from current to long-term goal (more postdoc/industry/teaching experience)
2. For the group: How often should you meet to check in on your goals and/or concerns?
3. For the mentors: Where are you now and how did you get there? What information should you consider providing to your mentee(s) on a regular basis?
- Conference and fellowship opportunities
- Deadlines for grant funding. Offer to help edit/proofread grant applications if you have the time.
- International (possibly virtual) workshops for young researchers
- Names of external people that your mentee may benefit from knowing in regards to her research and/or career interests. Try to introduce mentees to potential collaborators prior to a conference they will be attending.
Beyond your first meeting, one major discussion topic is all things related to job applications, including:
- Cover letters, CVs, research/teaching statements, diversity statements
- Personal website creation
- Common interview questions
- Mock Interviews
As a final meeting, before getting rematched into a new group, have a “wrap up” meeting to say farewell and keep in touch.