FPN to start pilot with mentor for young researchers

21-04-2021

MAASTRICHT. From career advice to support in finding the right balance between work and private life. From September, young post-doc researchers and assistant professors at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences can reach out to a mentor.  

The faculty recently held a survey with the question: Do scientists need supervision after they have completed their PhD? Having a mentor with whom they can exchange ideas now and again, discuss important choices. More than 70 per cent said ‘yes’.

So, a pilot will start in September. The couples will meet twice a year, the topic of conversation is completely open. In addition, there will be a group session once a year. The mentor will be from a different department, so that the young researcher is in no way dependent on him or her, said initiator Jill Lobbestael, associate professor of Clinical Psychology, to the faculty council last Thursday.

This does not mean that she wants to take away anything from existing informal mentor relations, she added. “They can continue to exist. Participation in the project is voluntary, we are not going to force anyone to switch mentor if they have a good relationship with someone within their department.”

Also for the mentors – who are to take one or two researchers under their wings – participation is voluntary, but “it should be part of the culture,” said dean Harald Merckelbach in the council. “When a professor is not a mentor, I will ask why not?”

The pilot will be evaluated after a year.