Early Career Researchers Mentorship Scheme

The ASO Early Career Researchers (ECR) network is currently setting up a mentorship scheme to link up ECRs with senior ASO members to promote professional and personal development. The scheme will be open to all ECRs* who are members of ASO.

* We define ECRs as researchers who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post in a university or comparable institution. ECRs should not have held any substantial grant income as a Principal Investigator and / or should not have already established their own research group. There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience. Our definition of ECRs includes postgraduate students, doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, and researchers transitioning to independence.

Call for mentors

We are looking for researchers, academics, and practitioners in the field of obesity research who are willing to mentor early career researchers (ECRs). We welcome applications from academia and other sectors including, for example, industry or the public sector.

Apply to become a mentor

What would mentoring involve?

Mentoring would involve meeting with your mentee approximately 3 times per year (online or face to face as preferred) to discuss a variety of topics, including:

  • Work / life balance
  • Self confidence
  • Goal setting (set goals and review progress)
  • Career options and career progression
  • Understanding UK research structures
  • Building networks
  • Time management

What are the benefits of being a mentor?

Some of the benefits of becoming a mentor involve:

  • Developing leadership and management skills
  • Improving communication and personal skills (e.g., active listening)
  • Raising your profile; by mentoring ECRs within ASO, you’re demonstrating your commitment to supporting the research area and enhancing your own reputation within it
  • Improving self-reflection by exploring your successes and challenges with your mentee
  • Expanding your network and making connections with new people in your field
  • Boosting confidence and motivation by teaching and supporting others

How much time would mentors need to commit?

At least 3 meetings per year, ~1 hour duration. A mentorship relationship will last 1 year. The frequency and duration of meetings can be handled flexibly and tailored to the preferences of the mentor and mentee. Meetings are likely to be held online, as mentors and mentees may not be based in the same geographic location.

What career level should mentors be at?

Mentors should have progressed to a stage of their career considered post early career researcher. We define ‘early career researchers’ as researchers who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK university or comparable UK institution, who have not held substantial grant income as a Principal Investigator and have not already established their own research group (this includes PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and those transitioning to independent researchers).

Apply to become a mentor

A mentor is / can/ may be:

A mentor is not / cannot be:

  • Role model
  • Guide
  • Sounding board
  • Performance coach
  • Thinking partner
  • Tutor
  • Line manager (mentor should be outside current hierarchical relationships)
  • Supervisor
  • Advocate (acting on behalf of/representing the mentee)
  • Counsellor/therapist