Cambridge University looking for industry mentors

  • Date 3 Apr 2019

Cambridge University has set up a mentoring scheme for postdoctoral researchers at the University and linked research institutions. Nearly half of the postdocs in our current intake indicated interest in talking to someone working in industry. Very often, postdocs are at the point where they feel they should leave academia but at the same time often do not know a lot about the outside world and do not have any contacts who could tell them about working in ‘regular’ jobs.

Our approach is that of developmental mentoring, i.e. mentors are not expected to provide references, help with any kind of applications or even set up the meetings. A mentor rather acts as a sounding board and provides their own experience to help their postdoc making up their minds about any of their concerns and issues, and to support the mentee with setting and keeping deadlines for any actions they come up with. The OPdA think it is important that both mentor and mentee (postdoc) understand and agree on the approach and therefore provide obligatory reflective induction sessions.

Once these sessions have taken place, the OPdA match mentor and mentee based on the information provided; the mentor receives the postdoc’s CV and the postdoc receives the mentor’s form. Should either side decide at this point or later ask for a different mentee or mentor, the OPdA acts as an intermediary for this.

Time commitment

-        Filling in the attached form

-        A 2 hrs induction session, either face to face or online

-        3 – 5 meetings with mentee over nine months, each of 30 – 60 min lengths. Time and place individually agreed between both parties

-        One end of scheme survey with 4-5 questions (about 10 – 15 min to fill in)

Time line

The next round of mentoring is scheduled for early 2020; however in case of high interest, we may start another cohort earlier.

We are happy to receive non-obligatory notifications of interest at any time during the year.

To obtain a form and for more information, please get in contact with Dr Anke Friedrich [email protected]

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