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 orientation 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

Next Call for applications in 10 September- 10 October, 2021

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 2022 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. You don't need to contact the persons by yourself. So, 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 application period for the 2022 mentoring programme takes place in Septemper-October 2021. Please note that applying is binding, i.e. presence in the opening seminar in January 2022, closing seminar in October 2022 and active participation throughout the mentoring programme are required. The mid-programme seminar will be organized in May. During the programme, the participants and their mentor are expected to meet 5—6 times.

>> Link to the application form

The application form questions are in English. However, you may also give your answers in Finnish and write your motivation letter and CV in Finnish, in case you wish to have a Finnish speaking mentor.

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

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

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