Mentoring: Space for Mutual Support

2019 was the fourth year of our mentoring program for (post)doctoral researchers. In order to contribute to the current efforts towards greater internationalization of the Czech academic environment, we have decided to “switch” the entire program to English – and it paid off, as the program attracted more foreign women researchers, as well as Czechs than in the previous years. The foreign and Czech mentees thus had an opportunity to be mentored and to improve their expertise in our soft skills workshops. We are also pleased that our mentees have started to meet informally outside the official program, as one of them, with our help, set up a discussion group that met once every two weeks at a café to discuss a given topic. The themes focused on dealing with the different situations to which early-career researchers are exposed, such as pressures on publication performance. Hence, the mentees have created a safe space where they can share their concerns, talk about what they are not doing well, and give each other tips on how to manage a challenging period in their research career. For example, how not to become a boring person who is able to talk only about study and work. You can learn more about our mentees and their mentors from a traditional exhibition we prepare at the end of this year’s program.