The Progress of the OHBM Student and Postdocs SIG Online Mentorship Programme
Meena M. Makary
Edited by Ayaka Ando and Natalia Bielczyk
In 2017, The OHBM Student and Postdoc SIG launched an International online mentorship programme where mentor/mentee pairs are matched based on their goals and experiences. This is a unique experience where mentees can find direct mentorship and guidance to navigate their career path from mentors with at least three more years of career experience. More details about the history of the programme, the mentor/mentee matching process, and tips on how to launch a successful online mentorship programme can be found in our recently published paper (Bielczyk, N. Z., Veldsman, M. et al., 2019). Currently, there are a total of 558 participants in the programme. In this blog post, we compare statistics from the previous three rounds of the programme (Round 1, 2017, Round 2, 2018 and Round 3, 2019): 252 participants signed up in Round 1, a further 172 participants in Round 2 and an additional 134 participants in Round 3 -- The numbers are decreasing partially due to many of the mentor/mentee pairs from previous rounds of the programme continuing to work together.
In the three rounds, most of the participants were from North America, Europe, China, and Australia. In the future rounds of the programme, we aim to put extra effort into having more participants from under-represented areas such as South America, other parts of Asia and Africa. Interestingly, we did not have many new participants in Round 3 from Europe. This could be due to many of the mentor/mentee pairs in this region continuing to work together from previous rounds of the programme.
Gender distribution was similar across rounds. Although there were slightly fewer females in rounds 1 and 2, more females enrolled in round 3. The programme has had a well-balanced gender distribution over the last three rounds.
Compared to rounds 1 and 2, we noticed a slight increase in the percentage of the newly enrolled participants in round 3 to have interests in people seeking advice on fellowship applications rather than grant applications, advice on postdoc jobs and making the most of your PhD. These increased interests will help us plan our events for the coming year.
Although most of our mentor/mentee meetings happen online, each pair is also encouraged to meet and chat in person at the annual meeting in Rome. To help make this happen, the Student and Postdoc SIG has organised a dedicated room for mentor/mentee pairs to meet during the conference! The details of the room are as follow: Student and Postdoc SIG Space, Studio Rooms 1 and 2 Auditorium Parco Della Musica. Please note that this room will be available during all conference days except for Tuesday, June 11, 2019 (1:10 - 2:00 pm local time) when our Lunch with Mentors event will take place. We encourage all the current participants to use this opportunity and set up a face-to-face meeting with their mentors in Rome.
We would also be happy to receive feedback from both mentors and mentees and any thoughts on how to improve the programme will be greatly appreciated! Please drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org. The fourth round of the programme will start in September and everyone is welcomed to register - stay tuned!
Bielczyk*, N. Z., Veldsman*, M., Ando, A., Caldinelli, C., Makary, M. M., Nikolaidis, A., Scelsi, M. A., Stefan, M., OHBM Student and Postdoc Special Interest Group, Badhwar, A. (2018). Establishing online mentorship for early career researchers: Lessons from the Organization for Human Brain Mapping International Mentoring Programme. European Journal of Neuroscience, DOI:10.1111/ejn.14320