Would you like to have a mentor?
​Picture: Pixabay

​What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a guidance process during which a competent and experienced expert (mentor) provides support to a person (mentee) motivated to develop their skills. Mentoring can be useful, for example, for planning or redirecting one's career, expanding networks and recognizing one's expertise.

Requirements and schedule

Mentoring is based on openness, confidentiality and commitment. Taking part in the mentoring programme requires commitment, active participation and professional interest in the mentor and his/her expertise. 

Mentees for the mentoring programme are selected based on the applications. The application period takes place from 10 September to 30 September 2018.

How to apply for the mentoring programmes of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers

Eligible applicants are the doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. Grantees are also welcome to participate in mentoring programmes. Applying to the mentoring programme is done by filling in an electronic form to which a motivational letter and a CV are attached as one document. In the form, you are expected to describe and characterize the type of person whom you wish to be your mentor. In addition, you may, with brief explanations, name 1—3 persons one of whom you wish to be your mentor. Please note that you are more likely to be accepted to the programme if you have a proposal for your mentor. Therefore, before filling in the form, think over your expectations for a mentor. Based on the application, the task group and your mentor will get a picture of you, your interests, and what your expectations for the programme are. The opening seminar of the mentoring programme takes place on 24 January 2019 and the programme will end on 24 October 2019. During the programme, the participants and their mentor are expected to meet 5—6 times.

Application form

The application period for the 2019 mentoring programme takes place from 10 September to 30 September 2018. Please note that applying is binding, i.e. presence in the opening seminar on 24 January 2019, closing seminar on 24 October 2019 and active participation throughout the mentoring programme are required.

Link to application form

Doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers: here

Guidelines and tips for the contents of the motivational letter:

The task group will use your motivational letter to find a mentor. The motivational letter will also be sent to your mentor in order for them to be able to get to know you and your aims. Thus, address the letter to your future mentor.

In the motivational letter, tell about yourself, your professional goals, and expectations for the mentoring programme. The clearer you are able to communicate your expectations, the more likely it is for the task group to find you a mentor and for you to be accepted to the programme.

You may apply the same principles to the motivational letter as you would to a job application, for instance. The letter is ca. 1 page long organized text in which you market yourself and tell why you are interested in participating in the mentoring programme. Write about why you would be a good and motivated participant and what aims you wish to achieve during the mentoring programme.

While drafting the motivational letter, feel free to use the following questions as an aid.

  • tell about yourself, your studies, and your professional career briefly and succinctly
  • in the letter, tell about your strengths and what type of things you are especially interested in
  • how do you see in your future as a researcher and/or an employee like?
  • what type of tasks in your own field interest you?
  • why do you wish to participate in the mentoring programme and what do you expect to gain from it?
  • what type of a professional in your own field would you like to get to know?
  • what themes would you like to go over with your mentor?
  • what tasks do you find challenging and what areas of expertise would you like to develop?
  • the letter can reflect your personality!

For more information, contact the coordinators of the mentoring programme!

Doctoral candidates
University of Turku, Doctoral programme coordinator, Research Career Unit
Tiia Forsström
tel. +358 50 358 4596

University of Turku, Doctoral programme coordinator, Research Career Unit
Sanna Niukko
tel. +358 50 339 7683 

Åbo Akademi University, Research coordinator, Research Services
Maria Ljung
tel. +358 46 921 6031

Postdoctoral researchers
TCSM coordinator, Research Career Unit
Kaisa Hakkila
tel. +358 50 526 7057




20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Tel. +358 29 450 5000

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