The SER Team Mentoring Program is an annual program developed to connect SER members across training and career stages.
The goal of the mentoring program is to facilitate long-term connections and conversations that will help participants expand their professional networks and achieve their career goals in epidemiology.
The mentoring program will be run annually throughout the academic year (approximately 10 months), beginning in the Fall and culminating at the SER annual meeting. The program will use a team mentorship structure, with groups including 5-6 individuals at varying career stages (e.g., trainees, investigators, professionals). Individuals who work in academia and non-academic settings are welcome to apply; all SER members are eligible, but, each year, the program will be capped at 100-120 participants.
Participants will be selected for the program using a stratified random sampling design. Applicants will be stratified by career stage and each mentoring team will be comprised of individuals randomly drawn from each stratum. This will ensure fair representation of individuals from different career stages and a diversity of perspectives and experiences in each group. The program is structured to maximize cross-level mentorship, including top-down mentorship and peer mentorship. Please note, for 2021-2022, we will prioritize applications from individuals who did not participate in the mentoring pilot program.
Most mentoring teams will not have a specific theme beyond general career mentorship, but if there is sufficient interest, we will have some affinity groups (e.g., navigating careers as a person of color, balancing caregiving and career). Affinity groups will be composed of individuals who self-identify on the application form as having shared characteristics or experiences.
Each mentor team will have a Team Facilitator, responsible for facilitating group discussions and organizing or delegating administrative tasks. Optional discussion topics and supporting materials will be distributed each month, but mentor teams are free to decide on the topic that fits best for their group.
Applications for the mentoring program will only be accepted once per year. For the 2021-2022 program, the enrollment will run from July 7 to August 4, 2021. Participants will be notified of program acceptance, mentor team assignment, and other relevant information in September 2021. Mentor teams will meet monthly during October 2021-June 2022. The program will culminate with an in-person event at the 2022 SER annual meeting in Chicago.
Mentor teams should meet (e.g., in person, over video, or by phone) for one hour each month. Topic suggestions and resources for discussion will be provided, but mentor teams may discuss other relevant topics of their choice.
Anyone interested in participating in the pilot program as either a mentor, mentee, or both will be able to sign-up for the pilot program by clicking the “register” link on the pilot program website during the entire month of October 2019.