Changing the working environment in academia for the better often starts with a good example. PiCLS want to recognise those who encourage improvement through guidance, support, or any other aspects of mentorship for postgraduate students, with an annual award. A nomination form will be sent out in autumn each year so keep an eye out for it!
A good mentor:
- Is willing to share skills, knowledge, and expertise
- Demonstrates a positive attitude - handles stress, disappointment and setbacks regarding their mentee well
- Acts as a positive role model
- Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship
- Provides guidance and constructive feedback
- Values the opinions and initiatives of others
- Provides opportunities for training, to learn transferable skills and in general for personal and career growth
- Values the importance of learning, as well as capability to produce results
- Encourages and includes mentees in networking activities with other professionals
- Generously shares their valuable time to be accessible to their mentee
- Provides support and/or is understanding in case of difficult personal circumstances such as health problems (physical or mental), family emergencies etc.
Please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, there might be many other characteristics that we have missed. Most importantly, even though these characteristics would make a great mentor, we understand that some of them might depend on other factors such as how much experience your mentor has in the field, how many other students they have, how much funding they have at their disposal etc. Do not be discouraged if your mentor does not tick all of these characteristics – even a few of these can lead to a significant impact on your experience and career and we want to hear about it.
All winners are listed in our School of Life Sciences Awards page.