Mentorship Program: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the IBET PhD Project Mentorship Program?

The Mentorship Program is a vital component of the IBET PhD Project. By having supportive academics and professionals who have gone through the rigorous doctoral process helping them through the process, 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 Mentors 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 a network of peer support on their journey to becoming professors.

 

Who are the mentees of this program?

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

A member of the IBET team will be reaching out to the recipients 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 from STEM fields is encouraged to apply to mentor our IBET Fellows. You can apply to be a mentor here, and 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 where 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. The IBET team has a criteria developed that will be utilized to perform the matching process.

 

What’s the program structure like?

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 –where Fellows will be alternatively introduced to a new mentor from the industry and academia each year. The structure is shown below. In summary, each year students will be introduced to a new experienced professional in their [mentees’] area of expertise or. The purpose is to assist students in expanding their professional networks prior to the completion of their doctoral studies. The structure is illustrated in the figure below.

 

However, candidates can specify if they wish to adapt this structure or any other that works best. The goal of the IBET PhD Project Mentorship Program is that it will not administer any definitive structure but rather a flexible structure that best suits each individual mentoring relationship.

 

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

The IBET Mentorship Program recommends there to be a meeting once every two months between the mentor and mentees. Mentees will be provided with a sample schedule in the Mentorship Program Guide document that they can choose to adapt. Typical expectations, goals, questions to ask your mentor, and outcomes will also be provided in the guide document.

A sample schedule is illustrated as follows:

Timeline for IBET Mentor Process

This is only a recommended schedule, mentor-mentees can choose to adapt a schedule that works best for them.

 

Will the mentorship meetings be in-person or online?

The IBET team recommends that the program kick-off with online meetings at a platform of the mentor/mentees’ choice. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebX are some of viable options that can be utilized. Moreover, due to geographical barriers, it may not be possible for in-person meetings. Thus, online meetings may be the most convenient option. If mentor/mentees do wish to have in-person meetings, it is up to them to make the arrangements.

 

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 it should they wish.

 

Is there an online platform for the mentors to connect with mentees?

It will be up to the mentor-mentees to decide upon a platform that works best for them. The IBET team will be providing the mentors with the contact information of their matched mentor. Mentees can reach out to their via email or LinkedIn – whichever works best.

 

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

Should any challenges arise, mentors/mentees can reach out to the IBET team. Additionally, potential challenges and mitigation procedures will be provided to the mentor/mentees in the Mentorship Guide document.

 

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 [mentor/mentee] get more details on the program i.e., goals, objectives, roles, responsibilities etc?

The mentors and mentees will be provided with 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 the IBET Fellows as our mentors.

 

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

You can reach out at ibet@uwaterloo.ca