Mentoring Initiative

Education, training and career advice are key components of our science system and essential ingredients for its sustainability. Inspired by the success of Mentoring Lunches at the Society Annual Meetings, the RNA Society now has an Individual Mentoring Program.

Do we need yet another layer of mentoring to our well-established training of new generations of scientists? Structured independent mentoring can provide complementary perspectives and valuable additional assets (see supporting document by KM Poulsen). The simple concept is that an experienced mentor provides -on a voluntary basis- regular feedback to a small number of mentees who are not under his/her direct supervision. The mentee should feel free to pose any problem or question related to his/her current project, career perspectives, interactions with colleagues, networking, etc.

Often the external views of a mentor, not influenced by the day-to-day work, can provide a fresh perspective for the mentee to reconsider the evolution of a project, the need for a strategic switch, for acquiring particular skills, for working out ways to reformulate interactions with a colleague, etc. Examples span from a young faculty member trying to identify a scientific niche, to a postdoc trying to decide between career paths in academia or in industry, to a PhD student wondering about the best strategy to apply for postdoc positions or change research topic. Mentoring could be particularly helpful for young scientists wishing to return to their home country or considering a move to another country or scientific organization.

Periodic meetings (virtual or physical, including the next Annual Meeting of the RNA Society!) can help to establish milestones, outline realistic plans and hopefully help to establish durable links into the future. External mentoring should be neither redundant nor interfere with standard mentoring, but rather complement it and add value.

Society Members interested in enrolling as mentees in the third cycle of the Mentoring Program (Dec. 2019 – Jan. 2020) should complete the application below before November 22, 2019. A full CV should be also submitted. We will evaluate the applications and arrange contacts with potential mentors.

Supporting our younger scientists is one of the best services that our Society can provide for the future of RNA Research. The RNA Society Mentoring Program may, in due time, become an important instrument to sustain our field and further build our deep sense of community.

If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Greenbaum directly at [email protected]

Mentee Application