Mentorship Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

IBET PhD Project FAQs

Why should I pursue my PhD?

Pursuing a PhD in STEM is a challenging path; however, it is also immensely rewarding. A doctoral degree signifies expertise and will open doors to a variety of different career paths, including tenured positions in academia. The purpose of the IBET PhD Project is to remove the financial barriers which deter Indigenous and Black students from pursuing doctoral studies, and to develop a network of support to ensure these students receive the professional guidance needed to maximize their potential; as such, the IBET PhD Project provides a unique opportunity for Indigenous and Black students in STEM fields to complete their doctoral studies in a way which caters to their needs and experiences.

Why should I pursue a career in academia?

In the current academic landscape, Indigenous and Black scholars are drastically underrepresented within STEM fields. The IBET PhD Project hopes to shift this landscape to better reflect the diversity found within Canada. By removing the barriers faced by scholars from these groups, we hope to recruit more Indigenous and Black professors into STEM fields – this will, in turn, provide role models for future generations of Black and Indigenous students and encourage them to pursue advanced degrees in STEM as well. Ideally, IBET Fellows will become mentors themselves, allowing future fellows to connect with others like them who have undertaken doctoral studies under the same conditions as themselves. The IBET PhD Project understands that your perspective matters: a diverse set of perspectives is the only means through which some of the most pressing global issues can be addressed.

Am I eligible to apply for an IBET Momentum Fellowship?

Please confirm the requirements in place at the institution at which you intend to study; for the purposes of the IBET Fellowship, an Indigenous person is a person who self-identifies as First Nations (Status/Non-Status), Métis, or Inuit as defined in the Canadian Constitution Act of 1982.

How do I apply for an IBET Momentum Fellowship?

To apply for an IBET Momentum Fellowship, please visit the website of the institution at which you are interested in pursuing your PhD studies. The following list contains links for each institution’s IBET PhD Project page; if you are looking to apply to the University of Calgary (Schulich School of Engineering), the University of Alberta, York University (The Lassonde School of Engineering), or the University of Windsor, please contact us.

McGill University

McMaster University

Queen’s University

Ryerson University

University of Ottawa

University of Toronto

University of Waterloo

Western University

Mentorship Program FAQs

What is the IBET PhD Project Mentorship Program?

The Mentorship Program is a vital component of the IBET PhD Project. By having the support of academics and professionals who have gone through the rigorous doctoral process helping them throughout their PhD studies, we expect our young scholars will be even more successful. A network of support will be a key part of building an environment of acceptance and connection. Our IBET PhD Project will provide high-quality mentorship and connect students with:

  • Outstanding research groups and professors
  • Industry research mentors
  • Combined industry and academic supervision

This will provide IBET Fellows with a network of peer support on their journey to becoming members of academia, industry, and government sectors.

Who are the mentees of this program?

Recipients of the IBET Momentum Fellowship, or IBET Fellows, will be the mentees of the Mentorship Program.

A member of the IBET team will be reaching out to the recipients of the fellowship in the first term of their doctoral studies. To better refine the mentor-mentee matching process, IBET Fellows will be asked to complete a questionnaire where they can express their expectations, goals, and objectives from the program.

Who are the mentors of this program?

Mentors are typically PhD holders working in academia, industry, and government institutions. However, there are no definite conditions; anyone working within STEM fields is encouraged to apply to mentor our IBET Fellows. You can apply to be a mentor here, and, should your application be successful, you will be added to our diverse pool of mentors from across North America.

How will the mentees be matched with mentors?

In the first term of their doctoral studies, IBET Fellows will be contacted by the IBET team to complete a questionnaire, in which the fellows can express their expectations and goals from the mentorship program. The IBET team will carefully review the completed questionnaire to match the mentees with a mentor.

How is the Mentorship Program structured?

The IBET Mentorship Program recognizes the benefits associated with incorporating a mutual mentoring structure; as a result, students will be receiving mentorship from multiple mentors over the course of their doctoral studies. The mentorship program will follow a cyclical structure, in which IBET Fellows will be introduced to a new mentor from the industry or academia each year (structure is as shown below). Each year, students will be introduced to a new experienced professional whose research interests are in alignment with their own. The purpose of this program is to assist students in expanding their professional networks prior to the completion of their doctoral studies.

IBET recommends that students adhere to the structure outlined below; however, candidates can opt to follow a structure of their own choosing. The goal of the IBET PhD Project Mentorship Program is to maintain a flexible structure that best suits each individual mentoring relationship.

What’s the frequency of the mentor/mentee meetings?

IBET recommends that mentors/mentees meet approximately once every two months. Expectations, goals, sample conversation topics, and desired outcomes will also be provided in the guide document. Sessions are expected to be approximately 1 hour in length.

A sample schedule is illustrated as follows:

Will the mentorship meetings be in-person or online?

IBET recommends that the program commence with online meetings on a platform of the mentors’ and mentees’ choosing. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco WebX are some viable options that can be utilized. Moreover, geographical barriers may render in-person meetings impossible, making online meetings a necessary alternative. If mentors/mentees do wish to have in-person meetings, it is up to them to make the arrangements. The IBET team will be providing the mentees with the contact information of their matched mentor. Mentees can reach out to their mentor via e-mail or LinkedIn – whichever works best.

What is the duration of the mentorship program?

The official duration for each mentee-mentor relationship is one year, after which the fellow will be matched with another mentor. However, mentoring relationships are life-long, and it is ultimately up to the mentor/mentees to continue the relationship should they wish.

Should any challenges/conflicts arise, whom should I contact?

Potential challenges and mitigation procedures will be provided to the mentors/mentees in the IBET mentor/mentee guideline documents, which will be circulated once pairings are made. Should the mentee/mentor be unable to resolve a challenge or conflict amongst themselves, they can escalate the issue to IBET.

I wish to rate/evaluate my experience as a mentee – will there be an option to do so?

Yes – the IBET team will be conducting a survey every six months to rate your experience as a mentee.

I wish to rate/evaluate my experience as a mentor – will there be an option to do so?

Yes – the IBET team will be conducting a survey every 12 months to rate your experience as a mentor.

Where can I get more details on the program (i.e., goals, objectives, roles, responsibilities etc.)?

The mentors and mentees will be provided with an official IBET PhD Project: Mentorship Program Guide document.

I am not a recipient of the IBET Momentum Fellowship; can I still sign-up to be a mentee?

Currently, we are only accepting IBET Fellows as our mentees.

If I have questions or concerns, whom should I contact?

Please visit our contact page for more details.