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Stepping out of the comfort zone – kick-off with the new NanoLund Mentoring program

Photo of people in a room.
The NanoLund Mentoring program kicked off with 12 PhD-students meeting Tina Persson, a Global ICF Coach. Photo: Mirja Carlsson Möller

Last week, NanoLund arranged a kick-off with a pilot round of 12 PhD students who are about to meet their mentors. The PhD students are all well over halfway through their PhD studies. The mentoring program intends to guide the students and open new networks for them.

“We have matched them with mentors after the PhD students submitted an application in which they told us a bit about their thoughts and considerations for their career after their PhD. Our aim has been to find mentors outside their research group and preferably outside their organization”, says Mirja Carlsson Möller, NanoLund center coordinator.

“The mentors have come from our network or tips from the network. All mentors have been very positive and have been happy to volunteer.”

Discussing professional opportunities

The mentoring program has been established to provide young researchers in NanoLund independent support and guidance as they navigate their career paths. The ambition is to allow program participants to discuss their professional opportunities together with an independent mentor.

Provide guidance and challenge preconceptions

The NanoLund mentoring program aims to support PhD-students in navigating their carrier choices. In the mentoring program, students get an opportunity to discuss their professional ambitions and challenges with an independent mentor from outside the research group, and often outside academia. The program is intended to provide guidance tailored to the student’s needs and open additional networks. The mentor’s role as an independent resource to the mentee is to offer perspectives and perhaps challenge preconceptions formed within the academic training environment.

NanoLund has applied a coordinated mentor-mentee matching based on the mentee’s ambitions relative to their career trajectory. Each pair agrees on meeting a certain number of times and to contribute to the discussion and resolution of issues raised in meetings. The program is running during the spring, ends by summer, and is planned to be offered once a year.