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Doctoral School of Behavioral Sciences & Humanities


Doctoral School of Behavioral Sciences & Humanities

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Mentoring trajectory for PhD students

Doing a PhD can be fun and hard at the same time. You all experience ups and downs; you all occasionally experience problems which you then overcome. It's a learning process that is easier for some than for others. But everyone needs someone to talk to from time to time. Doing so, you might already have noticed that talking to a more experienced colleague can be especially useful and perhaps even comforting.

For this reason, a mentor/mentee project was launched in 2015. Based on feedback from participants, the specific formula changes a bit every year, in order to enhance the quality of the process and the satisfaction of both mentors and mentees.

Mentees are PhD students in the first half of their PhD.
Mentors are more advanced PhD students (second half) and postdocs.

The mentoring process is meant to be more than just Q&A with respect to practical aspects. Mentors and mentees can talk about anything, including what it means to be a PhD student, which difficulties or pitfalls one can be confronted with, professional goals, etc. There are no explicit rules, except for the fact that mentor and mentee need to be from two different research groups. Respect, confidentiality and professionalism are considered self-evident.

If you are interested to be a mentee in academic year 2017-2018, please register here before November 19, 2017. (registration closed)
If you are interested to be a mentor in academic year 2017-2018, please register here before November 19, 2017.  (registration closed)

The further procedure will be as follows:

1. The doctoral schools coordination team will make pairs of people, trying to pair up people from the same doctoral school (as far as possible). People who already have a specific person in mind to serve as mentor or mentee can send us an e-mail.

2. On ... (date to be determined), there will be an introductory workshop explaining the concept of mentoring and discussing aspects like the mentoring process, personal expectations, possible conversation topics, etc. The workshop is organized for mentors and mentees intermixed. Attendance is not obligatory, but is considered very helpful as it can give some guidance to the later meetings. The workshop will take place in room A4 (building D, Campus Diepenbeek). 
The workshop is organized specifically for people participating in the mentor-mentee trajectory, but is also open to people interested in the topic who are not a mentor/mentee this academic year.
If you would like to attend the workshop, please register here. (registration closed)

3. All mentors and mentees will receive a lunch voucher, so they can plan their first meeting at one of the university restaurants.


Mentoring trajectory for postdocs

There is also a mentoring trajectory for postdocs, meant to support young academics in their career planning.

The mentoring is a one to one interaction between an experienced academic (mentor) and a less experienced one (mentee). It is a nonhierarchical relationship. Mentor and mentee are meeting each other on a regular basis and exchange experiences. Mentoring = intensive role-model learning.
Advantages for the mentee are: career progression, job satisfaction, increased self-esteem, personal development, and a broader network.

The duration of the mentoring trajectory is one to two years. Selection of mentees and matching of mentees and mentors is done by a steering committee. New mentees have started in 2017-2018 and the current trajectory will continue during academic year 2018-2019. More information: Bie Nielandt.