Reaching out to support veterinary researchers
High-quality mentorship is important in both encouraging vets to enter research and in supporting them to maximise their career opportunities once this journey has started. Numerous scientific organisations offer mentorship programmes, with the Academy of Medical Sciences’ programme being particularly well established within the sector. Until recently, however, there was no dedicated mentorship programme for veterinary researchers. The Veterinary Schools Council (VSC) Research Mentoring Scheme was established to fill that need, and since its launch in 2019 it has created a list of signed-up mentors ready to be linked with mentees.
Open to all
The scheme works by connecting mentees with at least two experienced mentors who will be able to offer support on career development issues. For both mentees and mentors the scheme is open to all, regardless of their current job role and sector, including practice, academia, industry, government and charitable organisations. Experience in clinical and non-clinical research is equally welcome.
Becoming a mentee will be of value to veterinarians at all career stages, but it is anticipated that it will be of particular benefit to recent graduates thinking about embarking on a research career. Previous mentees have ranged from early career veterinarians considering undertaking a PhD, to postdoctoral veterinary researchers contemplating postdoctoral appointments, fellowships or tenured positions in academia or industry. To ensure that mentees receive an outside perspective on their circumstances, they will be matched with mentors from different organisations.
Mentors at all career stages are invited to join the scheme, although early-to-middle career researchers may be particularly helpful role models to recent graduates. Mentors without any veterinary qualifications, but with experience in veterinary research, are also welcome to sign up – the important thing is they are interested and willing to support veterinary graduates.
For more information, and to apply as either mentor or mentee, see the VSC’s Research Mentoring Scheme.