The BSI sees mentoring as a professional relationship between an experienced person (the mentor), supporting another individual (the mentee), through a process of developing and enhancing their career and personal growth.
We feel that many early careers immunologists would benefit from a two-way relationship where the mentor acts as a sounding board who signposts 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 in terms of having the opportunity to access a mentor from outside your institution.
With that in mind, the BSI is launching a 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 are launching the pilot mentoring scheme to provide mentors for 10-15 early career researchers, supporting them to make decisions in their career path and provide independent support and advice.
The BSI will pair up mentors and mentees from different institutions based on an overlap of needs and expertise.
After pairing up the mentors and mentees, we request everyone attend a mentoring training session that will take place at the beginning of the BSI congress held in Brighton. This half-day session will take place on the morning of Monday 4 December 2017.
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. It is hoped that the mentor/mentee relationships with be maintained for a 12-month period for the duration of the trial.
The BSI will be evaluating the impact of the scheme on both mentees and mentors throughout the period and we hope to evaluate the scheme from the view of both parties at the end of the pilot.
As a mentor
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. To make the pilot a success we need as many potential mentors as possible to be able to best match prospective mentees.
If you are a UK based senior scientist (industry or academia) who has been in a senior post (lecturer or equivalent and above) for 5 years or more, then please sign up.
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
To sign up for the mentoring scheme please complete the following online form.
As a mentee
The pilot scheme will be open to early career researchers who are in their first postdoctoral position (or equivalent if in industry).
For the purpose of the pilot, mentees should hold an aspiration of a research or teaching career within industry or academia at the time they embark on the scheme. (This is due to the area of expertise we expect from our mentors.)
This pilot scheme is not open to clinicians within the NHS, who have access to the Academy of Medical Sciences mentoring programme.
Applications for mentees to be part of the pilot will open later in the year. With full details of how to apply made available in due course.
If you would like to find out more information about the BSI's mentoring scheme, please email Glyn Jones
If are interested in being mentored but not eligible for our pilot, 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