Calling all Trainees! Looking for Mentorship?
Expansion of the Mentorship Program for 2017!
The CPSR NTA Mentorship program is back for 2017. In response to your feedback, we’ve made some changes to the program to make it more user-friendly and responsive to the needs of mentees, and mentors as well. This year, mentor-mentee pairings will now be mentee-driven!
This year we are calling on our ALL our trainee members to be willing to take on the role of a mentor, if asked. Rather than trying to assign mentee-mentor pairings, we are inviting all trainees looking for mentorship to seek out potential mentors who might be a good fit for them. This is a great opportunity for all NTA members to gain some experience being a mentor, help out fellow research trainees, and increase their network. For useful tips on being a mentor, click here or visit the CPSR website under Training…Mentorship. This approach is mentee-driven and will allow mentees better control in finding a suitable mentor. Find someone (or multiple people) who interests you!
Note: While we strongly urge all NTA members to be willing to take on the role of mentorship, we do understand there may be extenuating circumstances that may make it difficult to be available as a mentor – if you are unable to be a mentor in 2017, please send us an email and we can flag it in the membership list.
Why find a mentor? What are the expected benefits?
Overall, to help you in your career path. Benefits of mentorship highlighted by past members included the opportunity to network and receive guidance on research projects, publications, career trajectories, and future directions. The goal of the mentorship program is to encourage junior trainees (mentees) to find a senior mentor (which could be anyone with more experience) from whom to seek guidance and advice. To broaden the mentee’s network, the mentor could be from a different institution and the informal pairing provides junior trainees with access to a senior mentor’s experience and expertise. It also allows junior trainees the opportunity to network outside of their current training environment, and even in a different discipline, especially if someone was considering a change.
Interested in finding a mentor? Here’s what you should do:
Find a mentor – Browse the CPSR NTA membership list: ALL CPSR NTA members could be potential mentors – one of the benefits and expectations of being a CPSR NTA member. The NTA membership list contains details about a trainee’s status, geographical location, and research focus (basic/clinical) and a brief description about their research interests.
Alternatively, if you are interested in finding a more senior mentor who is a scientist, browse the list of CPSR Scientists willing to be a mentor: Depending on your situation (e.g., post-doctoral fellow), you may be interested in finding a more senior mentor who is a scientist. We reached out to our CPSR scientists to identify those willing to be a mentor. Click on the link above to search for CPSR scientists who have agreed to be a mentor to NTA members.
Send an initial email – Once you’ve found a possible mentor, send them an email. Need help crafting that first email? You can download a helpful draft email template for you use in your own email program, just fill in your details. Be sure to include information on how best to contact you.Please also cc [email protected] in the initial email, to help us keep track of mentor-mentee partnerships.
Follow up: After the initial email has been sent and responded to, decide how you want to progress. Skype calls every few months? Monthly emails? Plan a face-to-face meeting at a meeting you are both attending (e.g., CPSR’s annual Advances in Stroke Recovery conference, CPSR’s Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN) Workshop, Canadian Stroke Congress – all three of which will be occurring concurrently in early Sept this year in Calgary). Consider using CPSR’s Mentorship Meeting Plan as a guide to help you create a meeting plan with your mentor, which will help facilitate clear communication and expectations. However, it’s up to you and your mentor to decide how best to communicate!
Consider participating in the NTA mentoring program and expand your network!
If you have any specific questions please send them to [email protected]
Quotes highlighting the value of participating in the CPSR Trainee Mentoring Program from trainees:
“I like the fact that the program is un-structured so each mentor-mentee pair can find an approach which suits their needs.”
“…a really valuable part of this process is getting to work with someone from a different field and location as it is broadening I think both our perspectives regarding stroke research and rehabilitation in Canada.”
Other trainees commented on the rewarding value of networking and guidance on research projects, publications, future directions etc., and on being able to share a new, fresh view of the future with another trainee.