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

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.



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.





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