Christians in Science

Mentoring

Christians in Science Mentoring Scheme

The Christians in Science mentoring scheme aims to connect postgraduate and early-career scientists with those further along in their careers for support, advice and friendship. We recognise that moving to a different university to do a PhD or for postdoctoral positions is a busy and stressful time, and often moves people away from where they have previously studied and lived, and from the support networks that may have developed there.

In connecting students and postdocs locally with those more established in their career, we hope to create a link that will be a support, and a place both of career guidance and faith discipleship. In the optimal situation, we would hope to link people who are in the same field and at the same university, but that does not always work; however, we will always try to match one of those. If we can’t find matches at the same university we will endeavour to find someone who lives in a nearby town/city instead.

To get involved with the mentoring scheme, email the Development Officer on DO@cis.org.uk

To view/download a colour PDF version of the following information click here

How it Works

There is no prescribed format for how any individual mentoring relationship might operate; you need to work with what both parties are comfortable with.  However,  below are some suggestions that you might find helpful.

1. Getting in touch
We will first put you in touch by email so you can meet each other virtually, find out a little about each other and make some plans. Obviously, email is convenient for quick questions/short conversations or making plans, but we wouldn’t envision the relationship staying entirely online, so do try to meet up or chat if you can.We know that meeting a stranger out of the blue isn’t always the easiest thing, so maybe arrange first to meet at a place you both know (a departmental café, a local coffee shop, after church if you’re in the same congregation, etc.) If meeting in person is tricky (due to distance or schedules) another option is to video-chat with each other. Spend some time getting to know each other – a mentoring relationship will only really work when that is in place.

2. What should we talk about?
We won’t dictate how your mentoring relationship should work, but a few suggestions for ground to cover could be:

• Talk about your work and how you are finding it. What challenges are you facing? What are you enjoying?
• How is your work-life balance? Are you managing to find community at a church? How is your family life?
• You could, over a period of time, read a science-faith book together, perhaps in relation area of science you work in, and discuss what you read; or stretch yourselves to an area of science that would be new to you.
• Pray together about upcoming challenges

3. What if the relationship doesn’t work?
If you are paired up with someone and it just doesn’t work out – one of you is too busy, or you don’t quite click, etc. – that’s OK, you don’t have to push through a relationship that doesn’t work. Be sensitive to each other if you feel you need to end the ‘official’ mentoring relationship, and we can always try to pair you up with other people.other if you feel you need to end the ‘official’ mentoring relationship, and we can always try to pair you up with other people.

4. Expectations
Be up-front about how much time you are able to give your mentoring relationship, so that you each know what to expect of the other. Leaving emails unanswered or with ambiguous replies for long stretches can be unsettling, so it’s better to know if time is stretched thin. Communicating well, and setting clear boundaries and expectations is important.

5. Keeping in touch with CiS
We obviously don’t need to know all the ins and outs of your mentoring relationship, but every so often we might just send you a message to see how things are working out and if we can do anything to help or resource you. Feedback is helpful, as it means we can improve our systems, and hopefully encourage others to get involved too.

Mentors

  • Be proactive making and maintaining contact with your mentee
  • Foster a trusting relationship
  • Don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions, but be sensitive
  • Share things that you have learnt – be generous with your ideas and experiences
  • Be honest if you feel too busy to meet
  • Be willing to pray together

Mentees

  • Be honest with your mentor
  • Don’t be afraid to suggest what to talk about
  • Be honest if you feel too busy to meet – that’s probably when you need to most

Get Involved

If you’re interested in being part of the mentoring scheme, as a mentor or a mentee, do get in touch and let us know, so we can try to partner you up with someone.

1. As a mentor
If you would like to mentor a student/post-doc, please send:
Your Name
Your Discipline
Your University / City

to the Development Officer, at DO@cis.org.uk

1. As a mentee
If you would like to be mentored please send:
Your Name
Your Discipline
How far through your studies you are
Your University

to the Development Officer, at DO@cis.org.uk