Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

  • Applicants have the option to apply as mentors, mentees, or both.
  • Applicants will provide information about their previous experiences, goals they want to achieve, expectations they have from this mentor-mentee relationship, and any other information relevant to be successfully paired.
  • The Steering Committee will pair mentors and mentees based on the information provided in their applications.

Mentor/Mentee Pairing

What are the criteria for being a mentor? Who can be a mentor?

Given the broad range of backgrounds of our mentees, there is no specific criteria in terms of education or years of experience for being a mentor. Mentors with different background and experience levels can offer valuable support to our mentees. For example, an undergraduate student can benefit from having a graduate student mentor and a PhD student may learn about management and leadership skills from a mentor who has an administrative role within the center. The mentor may have a lower educational level than the mentee but can help the mentee by discussing which transferable skills to develop to achieve more success in their own career and life.

In general, we would like our mentors to be passionate about helping others grow, committed to their role as a mentor during the program cycle, and open to sharing their experience with the mentee.    

Anyone who is not an undergraduate student can potentially serve as a mentor. An applicant can be a mentor in one mentorship pair and a mentee in another pair. Given the expected large number of mentees, we strongly encourage anyone willing to serve as a mentor to apply.

Can mentors be from outside the GLBRC/WEI?

Yes. We are aware of the broad variety of career paths our students and postdocs can go into. We want to ensure mentees have the chance to connect with professionals outside GLBRC/WEI to achieve their professional goals and expand their professional network.

What is the format of the mentorship pair?

Depending on the number of applications we receive and how many applicants are interested in being mentors and/or mentees, the mentorship pairs may include one mentor with one mentee or one mentor with multiple mentees.

What if the mentorship pair does not work out during a program cycle?

If a participant of the program has any concerns about the mentorship pair at any point during a program cycle, they are encouraged to reach out to the Chair of the Steering Committee by emailing The Steering Committee will work with the participant to find a solution to address their concerns, which may include re-assigning mentor/mentee to make the pair more effective.

Will this program offer mentorship training?

Mentorship training programs are designed to help mentors understand their roles, align expectations with their mentees, refine their mentoring skills, and develop strategies to best engage and support their mentees. A multitude of mentorship training opportunities are available nowadays, such as the online training “Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring” offered by the University of Minnesota. However, the Steering Committee may choose to organize a guided conversation to support participants of the Mentorship Program in identifying their needs and setting their expectations with their mentor/mentee.

We are aware that mentees participating in our program might already mentor students or might become mentors one day. For this reason, we encourage all our participants to take advantage of training opportunities available online or in person.

The Steering Committee will continue to identify additional programs, resources, and evidence-based literature to support our participants and encourage them to stay up-to-date on the latest best mentoring practices and strategies.

Steering Committee

What are the roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee members?

Roles and responsibilities of the Steering Committee members include, but are not limited to:

  • Sharing discussion topics and valuable resources with program participants;
  • Organizing and facilitating discussions with participants of the programs;
  • Designing surveys to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mentorship Program;
  • Proposing improvements to the program, as needed;
  • Discussing and addressing any issues or concerns raised by program participants during the program cycle;
  • Advertising open call for application to the program;
  • Pairing mentors and mentees for the following program cycle;
  • Selecting members of the Steering Committee for the following cycle. 

How many members are on the Steering Committee?

Our goal is to have 5 members on the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be led by a Chairperson, who is responsible for scheduling the Steering Committee meetings, developing agendas, and leading the conversation. Other members of the Steering Committee are expected to attend meetings, volunteer to take minutes, and provide topics of discussion as needed. All members of the Steering Committee are expected to organize Mentorship Program events, design evaluation surveys and discuss data, optimize the Mentorship Program based on the feedback received, gather resources relevant to the Mentorship Program, and encourage members of GLBRC/WEI to participate in the Mentorship Program.

How do I join the Steering Committee?

You must be an active participant of the Mentorship Program as either a mentor, a mentee, or both in order to be eligible to be a Steering Committee member.

When applying to the Mentorship Program, applicants are asked to express their interest in joining the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee members of the current cycle will choose the Steering Committee members of the next cycle from the pool of applicants who expressed interest.

If we are not able to include everyone on the Steering Committee for a given cycle due to the high demand, we encourage participants to express their interest again the following year. Our goal is to provide the opportunity to serve as a member in the Steering Committee to as many participants as possible.     

How long is the term?

Each Steering Committee member will serve a 1-year term (October-September).

Evaluation of the Program

How do we evaluate the success of the Mentorship Program?

The Steering Committee will be tasked to develop effective surveys to evaluate the success of the Mentorship Program and to solicit feedback from its participants. Evaluation data and feedback from the participants will be used to improve the organization of the Mentorship Program and its offerings.