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.

 

 Library Marie Curie Alumni

Why Mentoring?

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
individual.

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.

 

Call for MCAA mental health mentors!

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.

You will receive an introductory training on what the program is about and hints on how to develop the mentoring relationship. You and your mentee will also be able to join group sessions and further events related to mental health to broaden your perspectives on the issues of interest to you as well!

 

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE COMPLETE OUR ONLINE FORM

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.

 

 FAQ

 

 CONTACT

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 - mcaa-mhpp@mariecuriealumni.eu

 

 

Mental health peer support

Looking for mental health peer support?

Doing a PhD is a demanding undertaking, and doing it in a country that is not yours, in another academic culture, can be complicated. Many MCAA fellows suffer from this situation in isolation.

However, being supported by individuals who have had the same problem could help you to feel better. MCAA is setting up the REFERENT initiative in order to provide young researchers experiencing such issues as distress, depression, harassment, or bullying, the possibility to talk with an experienced MCAA fellow who has faced similar issues.

Last year, a group of 15 fellows has benefited from REFERENT. 75% of the fellows taking part in our follow-up survey has indicated that REFERENT has been extremely helpful to their professional development.

 

This year again we offer you the possibility to get a mental health mentor. This person will not be related to your ITN/Cofund program or to your field of study. That way, it is someone with whom you are in a safe space to explain your situation, express your feelings, and figure out for yourself what options you have. Your mentor will not be a therapist, but will be able to relate to the issues linked to early-stage career researchers within the MSCA.

You will also get the opportunity to take part in group sessions or webinars to continue to develop your understanding of your situation and learn about ways to care for your own mental health. You will always be able to participate anonymously!

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.

 

Call for MCAA mental health mentees! 

We are looking for early stage researchers who are facing issues such as depression, bullying, or harassment in their careers; and who are seeking support from peers who have faced similar experiences.

 

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE COMPLETE OUR ONLINE FORM

online form

Going up

 

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.

 

 FAQ

 

 CONTACT

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 - mcaa-mhpp@mariecuriealumni.eu