Difference between revisions of "C. elegans Community Mentor Match Program"

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Based on support from the community climate survey of July 2020, we proposed a community wide mentoring plan. See additional details of the [[C._elegans_Community_Mentor_Match_Program_Initial_Plan|initial plan]].
Based on support from the community climate survey of July 2020, we proposed a community wide mentoring plan. See additional details of the [[C._elegans_Community_Mentor_Match_Program_Initial_Plan|initial plan]].
== News and Updates ==
* December 13, 2020: Announcing the [https://blog.wormbase.org/2020/12/15/mentor-match-program-mentee-application-phase/ Mentee Application Phase for 2021]
==Mentor match initiative==
==Mentor match initiative==

Revision as of 20:00, 15 December 2020

C. elegans community on mentor match program v1.0 – November 2020 roll-out

Sander van den Heuvel, Brent Derry, Jane Hubbard (WormBoard mentor match sub-committee)
Sander van den Heuvel, Brent Derry, Jane Hubbard, Meera Sundaram, Bruce Wightman, Heather Bennett, Adelita Mendoza (2020-2021 match committee)

Based on support from the community climate survey of July 2020, we proposed a community wide mentoring plan. See additional details of the initial plan.

News and Updates

Mentor match initiative

To foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the C. elegans research community, we propose a “mentor match” program to facilitate mentoring relationships for career development.


Mentoring within the larger C. elegans community, in contrast to intra-institutional mentoring, provides an opportunity for mentees to gain from the collective experience of the community. The community already does this on an ad hoc basis, but a more open and accessible mentoring program is needed, especially for people who are members of underrepresented groups in our community.

Updated (November 2020) overview and logistics for prospective mentors and mentees


The mentor match will focus initially on early career investigators and postdoctoral fellows. Priority will be given to prospective mentees who are members of groups that are underrepresented in STEM (e.g., racial, ethnic, LGBTQ+, religious, disability, disadvantaged), or that otherwise face equity challenges.

  • While we will consider expanding the program to graduate students in the future, graduate students may wish to consider recruiting community members to their thesis advisory committees if this is acceptable within their departmental procedures.

Match Logistics

Match committee: A match committee composed of 2 WormBoard members plus 2-3 members, each, of prospective/past mentees and mentors (total of 6-8 committee members) will coordinate mentor-mentee contacts. The match committee membership will turn over in a staggered fashion every two years to maintain continuity. In this way, many people in the community will be involved over the years.

Prospective mentors – action required by December 1: The match committee will update annually (by January 1 of each calendar year, starting 2021) a list of all potential mentors. These will be collected from an annual survey for prospective mentors that will collect information on their field of study, expertise and experience in both academic and non-academic jobs (e.g. grant review panels, teaching, administrative work, journal work, faculty search committees, industry work), as well as some personal information (e.g., type of institution/workplace, and, optionally, gender, minority group, etc.). The survey includes the timeframe the mentor is available. The prospective mentor list and info will be posted for prospective mentees to access.

The prospective MENTOR survey is now LIVE and can be found
We would like to post results by Dec 1 for the January 2021 match.

Prospective mentees – action after December 1: Mentees will fill out a survey covering your current position, work place, some optional personal information, what you seek help with, your preferences regarding a mentor, etc. In addition, mentees can access the mentor survey results (once available) will have the option to list people they prefer or would exclude as mentors. Based on all your responses, the match committee will reach out to prospective mentors who will contact you. Once the match is mutually confirmed, the match committee will be notified and the match will be posted on WormBase.

  • Prospective mentee/mentor matches can also be made outside the committee. However, we ask that these also be brought to the attention of the match committee, to ensure agreement to guidelines, so that the match can be posted, and so that participants can be contacted in the future to evaluate their experience with the program.
  • If a mentee wishes a mentoring committee, they may reach out to additional listed mentors to fill out the committee and indicate to the match committee the outcome.

A link to the prospective MENTEE survey will be distributed after December 1, once the MENTOR survey closes and results are posted.

Guidelines for mentees and mentors – to which all prospective mentors and mentees must agree:

  • Both parties agree to a general professional code of mentor/mentee conduct including, but not limited to,
    • maintenance of confidentiality, objectivity and equal partnership
    • maintenance of professional communication
    • respect for each other’s time (e.g., adherence to meeting times and to mutually set deadlines)
    • while both parties are expected to honor the commitment, either party may request to end the match if circumstances change or if the match is unproductive or incompatible. Either or both parties must notify the match committee in this case.
    • Frequency and time of mentor/mentee contact will depend on the goals of the mentee.
    • Recommended contact with mentor via email and/or virtual meetings once every three months, or more frequently at first, but subject to negotiation with mentor.
    • For postdocs, 2 years of mentoring as a starting point, but could extend if both parties agree.
    • For early career investigators, mentoring until promotion, but again, this will be negotiable.


  • the match committee is open to feedback throughout the process
  • mentors and mentees agree to participate in follow up surveys


  • November: MENTOR survey open
  • December: mentor info posted
  • December: MENTEE survey open
  • January: match participants notified and matches posted

Watch for updates to the program via WormBase, LabHeads email list & social media.