This term we are going to try starting a mentorship program in the department. The idea is that grads and post-docs who are interested to volunteer an hour or two of their time over the course of a term can sign up with our online form and then be matched to undergrads who share similar research and life interests.

We all know what it is like to be an undergrad and the questions we had (and still have) regarding our academic trajectory. What sort of research am I most interested in? What is important when choosing a school or a research group? Do I even want to do grad school? These questions are tough and we have all faced them in one way or another, and that experience alone is invaluable to undergraduates asking these same questions now.

This idea is inspired by a very successful implementation of a similar project in the department of geography last year. In addition to sharing experience the program can also help foster more interaction between grads and undergrads, giving the department a more welcoming culture.

If you sign up you will be matched with up to two undergrads. You will receive each other’s contact info and it will be left to either party to connect each other over the course of the term. Additionally, participants will receive coffee cards and a mixer will be held near the end of September to encourage participation between you and your mentee. Your only responsibility is to be open and honest with your mentee. To see guidelines on how to best interact with your mentee please visit McGill’s guidelines for mentorship:

http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/services/mentor

Some of you signed up during the previous trial run in the winter semester, in which case we will assume that you are still willing to participate and you do not need to fill out the form again. If you applied during the winter semester and are no longer interested in mentoring a student, then please reply to this email. If you have not previously signed up and wish to do so, then please fill out the registration form at the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/lobu89l

Note that this project is being run in conjunction with the Women in Physics at McGill University group, and that there is a gender preference question designed to facilitate students who would like to partake in female-to-female mentorship.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please don’t hesitate!