What is mentoring?

Mentoring is sharing knowledge, skills, and life experience to guide another towards reaching their professional goals. The mentor is someone who has knowledge, insight, or experiences which they are willing to share, and the mentee is someone with well-defined professional goals for which they would like advice on achieving. 

Why a mentoring program?

The committees representing the interests of early career scientists in each of the four large LHC experiments have joined forces to pilot this program. We have been inspired by the success of similar mentoring programs and believe that the knowledge transfer and connections made via a mentoring program have the potential to greatly benefit early career scientists. Joining forces allows us to match mentors and mentees from different CERN experiments, which we hope will help to create a neutral and confidential environment in the mentoring relationship. 

Who is eligible to participate in this program?

This program is open to all members of any CERN experiment. You do not need to be located at CERN to participate in this program. You may choose whether to apply as a mentor or mentee, depending on where you view yourself in your career. Mentors are not required to have previous experience! Acceptance of mentees will be based on whether or not there is a suitable mentor to pair up with.

How does this program work?

Mentors and mentees are able to submit their applications (see Apply) during a one-month period in October. Once the application period closes, we will choose mentee-mentor pairs based on the information collected with the applications. We will announce the mentee-mentor pairings in late November, and the program will last for 9 months. The program is officially started with a kick-off meeting in early December. Paired mentees and mentors can, however, meet already before the official kick-off. During the program, mentees and mentors will meet virtually, unless they happen to be located in the same location (i.e. at CERN) and are both willing to have in-person meetings. The organisers will check in with the participants of the program during a check-in meeting after three months into the scheme.

At the beginning of the program, mentors and mentees will discuss and agree upon terms of the mentorship (i.e. how long/often to meet, how to contact each other, what are the expectations of the mentee and mentor, etc ...), and will sign a mentoring agreement. Mentees will work with their mentors to define obtainable goals which they would like to achieve during the program. We will regularly be checking in with the progress of each mentee-mentor pair. We will also organize networking opportunities for all mentees and all mentors to meet each other separately.

What are the time commitments of this program? 

At their first meeting, mentees and mentors will agree upon how often and for how long they will meet during the program. This of course can change throughout the program, depending on the needs of the mentee and the availability of the mentor. We recommend mentee-mentor pairs to meet at least 1-2 times per month.