The BSI sees mentoring as a professional relationship where an experienced person (the mentor) supports another individual (the mentee) through a process of developing and enhancing their career and personal growth.
We feel that many early career immunologists would benefit from a two-way relationship where the mentor acts as a sounding board and shares experiences where relevant.
While many institutes and a few learned societies provide mentoring, we think there is an unmet need for mentoring of early career immunologists – particularly having the opportunity to access a mentor from outside your institution.
With that in mind, the BSI is continuing our mentoring scheme to support professional development amongst the immunology community, fulfilling one of our key aims to support and develop the next generation of world leading immunologists.
We will be running our popular mentoring scheme again for 2023! Following the success of the mentoring scheme in the last few years, the BSI will run the scheme for 2023 to provide mentors for early career immunologists, supporting them in making decisions relevant to their career path and providing them with independent support and advice. Watch out for more details later this year!
We encourage applications from a range of career stages and different sectors, such as industry and clinical settings.
The BSI will pair up mentors and mentees from different institutions and sectors based on overlapping needs and expertise. After pairing up, all new mentors and mentees will be required to participate in a mentoring training session. This initial meeting will allow pairs to establish a maximum and minimum number of interactions, the nature in which communications are made, and help the pairs define what the future relationship will be. We hope that the mentor/mentee relationships will be maintained for a 12-month period. It is anticipated that most of the subsequent mentoring sessions will be carried out remotely via video conferencing, telephone or email.
The BSI will evaluate the scheme from the opinion of both mentees and mentors throughout the programme.
If you feel that you are in a position to offer insight and advice on issues relating to a career in immunology, we’d like to hear from you. Mentors should be UK-based senior immunologists who have been in a senior post for 5 years or more. We are particularly keen to encourage applications from potential mentors who work in industry or in a clinical setting. We’re looking for BSI members who feel that they could offer help and advice for aspiring immunologists on some of the following matters:
- Career planning and development
- Setting up collaborations
- Working with supervisors and co-workers
- Gaining new skills e.g. leadership, management
- Finding the right work/life balance
- Grant applications
- Writing and publishing scientific papers
The mentoring scheme is open to early career scientists from all sectors working in immunology. We encourage applications from a wide range of career stages – from those in the final year of their PhD (or equivalent qualification/experience) to those who are no more than 12 months into a tenured position (within academia, industry or healthcare). We feel that people currently working between these career stages will benefit most from the experience.
As part of the application, you will be asked to provide a statement highlighting the key areas of support you wish to receive as part of the scheme as well as what you hope to achieve from the experience. This statement will also be used to select those who will take part in the scheme if there is an over subscription of applicants.
The BSI mentoring scheme has been running for a number of years and both mentors and mentees have reported back very positively about it. One of the pairs from the 2020 scheme was Professor Ann Ager of Cardiff University and Dr Emily Gwyer-Findlay of the University of Edinburgh. There is also a case study of 2020 mentee Dr Julie Worrell of the University of Glasgow. Take a look at these case studies to give you further insight into the scheme and some of the motivations for joining it.
If you are interested in being mentored but unable to participate in the BSI scheme, there are other schemes that may be able to support you. Below is a list of some national schemes you may wish to consider getting in touch with:
- Academy of Medical Science Mentoring Programme – for clinical scientists
- Mindtorch – for STEMM undergraduates, graduates and postgraduates
- Royal Society – for Royal Society fellowship holders only