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Register now for the second edition of our Cluster mentoring scheme


A new round of our I@I mentoring for all Cluster PhD students and postdocs will be starting this fall. Mentoring provides you with the opportunity to be supported by a mentor (someone senior, typically a professor from outside your working group, who is not involved in your work in any way) in your career development. Regular meetings, typically every 2-3 months, with your mentor will be accompanied by useful workshops and networking sessions where you will get to know your peers and some interesting PIs. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that may help you to get a better idea what mentoring is.

If you’d like to know more about how mentoring works and what the advantages are, please join us for the information session on 21st September 2017 in Kiel at the CCIM (Comprehensive Centre for Inflammation Medicine), conference room (2nd floor, UKSH Campus Kiel, Arnold-Heller-Straße, 3, Haus 5, 24105 Kiel), 5 pm.

To participate, please send the registration form and your CV (will be forwarded to your potential mentor) to our training coordinator Dr Kirsten Emmert before the information session. If you are unsure whether you’d like to join this mentoring round, you can also fill out a form at the event. Please remember to bring a copy of your CV in this case. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the mentoring programme.

Cluster Office “Inflammation at Interfaces”

Mentoring FAQs

How can mentoring help me?
Mentoring may help you at two stages of your career development:
1)    Do I want a career in academia? Speaking to mentors that have succeeded in building a career in academia can help you determine whether this career path is for you.
2)    How do I get from where I am now to the career that I want? Mentors can help by offering their knowledge and experience as well as insights into the rules of the science system and scientific community.

How do I find a mentor?
We would advise you to name your own mentor. This person does not need to be a Cluster member, but should be someone that:
•    You are not dependent on (e.g., not your supervisor or co-supervisor)
•    Has experience in academia (or industry/science communication/… if you are thinking of going in that direction)
•    Someone that seems available and accessible. The mentor should be ready to invest some time in you and encourage your professional (and possibly personal) development.
•    Someone with whom you think that you can have an honest conversation
In addition, you should take into account your personal preferences e.g. would you like someone form a related field of research or a non-related field? Would you prefer someone of the same gender or ethnicity? Once you start thinking about these questions, you may already get an idea who might be a good mentor for you. When you have identified someone, we are happy to establish the contact for you (but you can also contact the mentor on your own if you prefer). If you can’t think of anyone for now, come along to the information session, where we will give you some more information on how to find a mentor.

How often should I meet my mentor?
We encourage you to meet in person once every 2-3 months. In case both you and your mentor feel like you would benefit from more or less frequent meetings, you are welcome to adjust the frequency of your meetings.

What about the accompanying workshops and networking sessions?
Every 2-3 months all mentees are invited to attend a group event in addition to the individual mentoring. This may be a networking session, where a successful PI talks about their career path and you can discuss with him or her and your peers in an informal setting, or a workshop on topics such as leadership skills or grant applications for example, to help you develop your professional skills. An introductory workshop will give you some advice on how to manage your mentoring relationship and prepare the first meeting with your mentor. The rest of the programme will be adjusted to the group’s needs (you will be asked for your workshop preferences during the registration).

Will I get in trouble if I talk about problems I am facing at work?
The aim of mentoring is to create a relaxed atmosphere where you can talk about obstacles that hold you back from achieving your career goals and try to find solutions. Both you and your mentor will sign an agreement to keep the content of your conversations confidential.

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