Doctoral candidate or postdoctoral researcher, would you like to have a mentor?

The mentoring programme supports doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers in their career development and in recognizing one's professional skills and expertise. Mentoring programme is a joint programme between University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. Mentoring is based on openness, confidentiality and commitment. Mentoring is carried out in small groups or in pairs (1 mentor and 1-2 mentees). The mentoring programme begins with an orietation seminar in January and the programme ends in October. The seminars will be held in English.

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.

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

Call for applications September 9 - October 6, 2020

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. Please note that in 2021 there will be also a mentoring programme for international staff and grant researchers aiming at a career outside of academia.

Applying to the mentoring programme is done by filling in an electronic form to which a motivation 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 will be held on 21 January 2021 and the mid-programme seminar in May. The programme will end in closing seminar on 21 October 2021. During the programme, the participants and their mentor are expected to meet 5—6 times.

The application period for the 2021 mentoring programme takes place from 9 September to 6 October 2020. Please note that applying is binding, i.e. presence in the opening seminar on 21st of January 2021, closing seminar in October 2021 and active participation throughout the mentoring programme are required. The mid-programme seminar will be organized in May.

>> Link to the application form

Guidelines and tips for the contents of the motivation letter

The working group will use your motivation letter to find a mentor. The motivation 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 motivation 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 motivation 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 motivation 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!

>> What is mentoring? Read more about the mentoring programmes

>> Read about mentors and mentees' experiences in the mentoring process

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

University of Turku, Coordinator, Research Career Unit
Jenni Kankaanpää
p. +358 50 572 3219

University of Turku, Doctoral programme coordinator, Research Career Unit
Nina Lehtimäki
p. +358 50 358 9413

University of Turku, Doctoral programme coordinator, Research Career Unit
Sari Järvi
p. +358 50 358 4596

Åbo Akademi University, Research coordinator, Research Services
Maria Ljung
p. 046 921 6031