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.

Note for individuals affected by the war in Ukraine and prospective mentors

We stand in solidarity with all our friends and colleagues caught in this crisis, and our thoughts go out to all of those affected. We, the LHC Early Career Mentoring Programme Organisers, reiterate the message of the promotion of peaceful collaboration around the world.

From this round of the programme onwards, individuals affected by the war in Ukraine can apply to the programme all year round. As long as there is a matching mentor available, such individuals who register will be paired with a mentor. 

How will this program work?

Mentors will first submit their applications (see Apply above). Once the mentor applications close and we know how many mentors we have, we will open the applications for mentees. When the mentee applications close, we will choose mentee-mentor pairs based on the information collected with the applications. We will announce the mentee-mentor pairings in early January, and the program will last for 9 months. 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.

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.