Anyone can benefit from one-to-one independent support to develop their career, and mentors act as independent guides to help you through crucial stages in your career. The Institute runs its own mentoring scheme, particularly targeted at early career staff. Last year we jointed the mentoring scheme with the Ophthalmology Institute, providing an even more diverse range of mentors.
The EI mentoring scheme was set up in 2022 and is currently run by a joint EI/IoO team:
- EI: Mike Bowl, Magdalena Zak (ECR Representative)
- IoO: Maryse Bailly, Maria Balda, Clare Futter, and Andrea Martello (ECR representative).
The team organises training, arranges suitable mentee/mentor matches, and collects feedback. Mentors help mentees take charge of their careers, some of the most successful outcomes include last year's PhD students finding the postdoc of their dream, and postdocs finding jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, and medical sciences and academia (lecturers, teaching fellow).
The EI mentoring scheme currently runs on a yearly basis, providing a mentor/mentee relationship for academic/research staff for a year. This scheme is particularly recommended for early-career research staff at critical stages in their career (e.g., final PhD year, postdoc/fellowship level, starting lecturer/fellow), and those who need guidance to identify the next stage in their career. Although the scheme runs for a year as a standard to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to participate, the mentoring relationship may be extended if the mentor and mentee wish to do so. Everyone can also apply to the scheme more than once if needed, e.g., if your situation has changed and you feel you need specific guidance. We encourage staff to not only seek a mentor but to consider the benefits of becoming a mentor. The next round will be open for registration in September 2023, for a start in November.
For PhD students, we offer a buddy scheme. All new students are automatically paired with a second-year student. This is a less formal set-up than mentoring. Buddies are there to guide you through the start of your PhD and help you with any difficulties you may come across with the work or balancing the PhD with life. For info, please contact Mike Bowl, Magdalena Zak.