National mentoring program given European boost

A national mentoring scheme for young Australian researchers developed by Assoc Prof Kay Double will now be expanded thanks to financial support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The mentor program was first implemented in 2011 with the aim of formally connecting emerging researchers in all academic disciplines with mentors in their field.

The initiative facilitates relationship-building, personal and professional growth, and funds annual meetings where members meet other mentors and mentees participating in the program.

“This is a great way for young Australian researchers to benefit from the experience and established networks of more senior researchers”, said Assoc Prof Double.

“Mentors give younger researchers an opportunity to receive independent advice on achieving career goals in a friendly and informal way, often over a coffee. Mentoring is established initially for one year is often extended, as both the mentor and the mentees enjoy the relationship they build”, she said.

The mentoring scheme is a joint initiative between the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows and the German Academic Exchange Service.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants up to three Humboldt Alumni Awards each year to promote innovative networking initiatives.

The awards recognise programs that create or extend sustainable academic and cultural relations between Germany and key countries, and that strengthen national networks, in this case, in Australia.

Assoc Prof Double will formally accept the Humboldt Alumni Award for Innovative Networking Initiatives at a ceremony in Berlin in June 2013.