Early results from BSN's mentorship scheme
"The mentorship scheme guides ECRs to visualise different career options with well-grounded academics while enjoying an attentive and amicable mentor-mentee relationship." - Mauro Silva, BSN Mentee
Mentoring is about helping people to develop more effectively. It is a relationship designed to build confidence and support the mentee so they are able to take control of their own development and work. BSN launched the mentorship scheme in March 2020 to support its early career researchers In February-March this year we surveyed our current mentor and mentee matches to see how they were getting on. Since we launched the mentorship scheme in March 2020 we have had six mentor-mentee matches. Of the four mentors and four mentees who responded to our survey, most had met once or twice at the time of the survey. Here's a summary of their responses - perhaps they'll inspire you to seek or become a mentor too?
What mentees gained from the scheme
All four mentees who responded said the mentoring has helped towards achieving the goals they set at the start:
"My mentor reassured me on my goal and helped me narrow the path I would like to take for my career"
"My mentor told me a lot about her trajectory in the scientific life, which was really great for me to have an idea about my future steps"
"The mentorship program has helped me to identify different fellowship programs and job opportunities within the British neuroendocrine academia. As an early career researcher currently living outside the UK, I had struggled with understanding the routes to enter the academic system through fellowship programs and teaching opportunities. [My mentor] has greatly assisted me on visualising how my competences fit within job opportunities and how I can apply to fellowships in the UK to start my future independent research career."
What worked well?
Survey respondents said mentor-mentee relationships went well because of good matches, e.g. similar academic interests and expertise, opportunity to meet with mentors mentees admire, learning about job and funding opportunities mentees would otherwise not have known about. These good matches are in part thanks to the excellent mentor profiles on the BSN website.
Why mentors enjoy the scheme
"Mentoring is one of the most enjoyable parts of a scientist's job." - Kevin Murphy, BSN Mentor
"We can sometimes think that the path of those before us has been smooth its good to let mentees know that there can be ups and downs and advise how to deal with the ups and downs of a career in science"
"It is of mutual benefit to value the time to listen, encourage and share experiences of life in neuroendocrine research and education, to be the most effective community we can be to nurture our ECR's in these challenging times."
If you think you would benefit from a mentor in the field of neuroendocrinology, why not take a look at the BSN mentor profiles and see if you can find a good match: https://www.neuroendo.org.uk/ecrmentors.php