Studies have indicated that one in two PhD students are at risk of psychological distress during the time of their PhD. This risk can be linked to the characteristics of PhD programs internationally.
Students can experience difficulty in establishing a work-life balance, in coping with the demands of the job, in dealing with the supervisory leadership style, team decision-making culture, and the stress related to future career plans.
For MSCA ESRs, there may be unique risk factors related to the mobility built-in to PhD/postdoctoral programs. This can bring challenges to family-life balance, and cultural or language barriers.
ESRs also operate under their institution and their supervisor(s), while also dealing with the demands of their consortium and external partners. As a result, there can be challenges to know where to go in times of distress. Mentoring is an established method of personal and career development, where a more experienced and knowledgeable individual guides and advises a less experienced and knowledgeable
What is Mentoring?
· Effective Mentors actively listen;
· Empathetic, not sympathetic;
· Guide mentees, without directing or biasing them;
· Strong and reliable communicators;
· Manage overall expectations of their mentee.
We are looking for experienced researchers who have faced issues such
as depression, bullying, or harassment in their careers; and who are
willing to mentor MSCA early stage researchers (ESRs) experiencing
distress during their first academic experiences.
IF INTERESTED, PLEASE COMPLETE OUR ONLINE FORM
The REFERENT initiative is created to organize mental health peer support within MCAA. Using your experience, we can help young researchers to navigate their own issues.
By becoming a mentor for a young researcher, you are committing to talking to your mentee every six weeks for 1 hour online, starting September 2019 and meeting your mentee at least once face-to-face (for instance at the next MCAA General Assembly, or at your country’s chapter meeting).
The Mental Health and the Responsible Research Environment Taskforces of the MCAA Policy Working Group will provide free training on the role of mentors, and the expectations therein. You can take this 1-hour training online, or the Taskforces can provide 1-on-1 training via Skype (available upon request).
Referent will send an email to both parties describing the orientation process. This involves the mentor contacting the mentee to arrange their dates for the duration of the mentorship, and to set realistic goals and expectations. Referent will separately contact both parties to at 3, 6, and 8 months to collect feedback on progress.
Referent is a pilot project run jointly by the leaders Mental Health of Researchers and the Responsible Research Environment taskforces within the MCAA’s Policy Working Group (Darragh McCashin and Stéphanie Gauttier).
Email - email@example.com