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Introducing: the Earth System Governance Mentoring Initiative

The Earth System Governance (ESG) Project is excited to announce an invitation for ESG Early Career Researcher to join the ESG Mentoring Initiative. This one-year pilot Initiative presents an opportunity to strengthen the ESG network by contributing to the development of future leaders in our field and bringing us closer together as a community.

The ESG Mentoring Initiative has been designed to support and guide early career ESG Research Fellows as Mentees, to hopefully assist in advancing their career trajectories. Mentors are distinguished scholars, invited from the ESG Lead Faculty, who share experiences and provide professional guidance for a small group of 2-4 Research Fellow Mentees each. The maximum time commitment of a Mentor ranges between 6 to 10 hours for one year, dependent on the number of Research Fellows that the Mentor is committed to support.

The ESG Mentoring Initiative will connect Mentees and Mentors that have signed up to partake, working to align the themes, research subject area, discipline and areas of career advice in which both parties have expressed interest. This will be coordinated by the ESG International Project Office (IPO).

While the details and focus of discussions of each mentoring relationship will be agreed jointly by the mentor and mentees, we envision and suggest that the mentor will meet with their mentees both as a small group to talk about common themes and additionally one-on-one to discuss individual questions. We suggest having four meetings over the course of one year, twice with the small mentoring group, and twice individually between mentor and mentees.

Please note the following regarding the Mentoring Initiative:

  • Mentorship meetings will be held online, unless opportunities arise for physical meetings.
  • The number of Mentees will be dependent on the availability of Mentors. In case of limited availability, preference will be given to early career Research Fellows nearer to the end of their PhD.
  • Mentees are required to be Research Fellows of the ESG Project.
  • The Mentees will share the responsibility for arranging, preparing and planning the meetings with the Mentor.
  • The expectation of Mentors is that they share general advice and experiences to help the Mentee rather than solving specific issues. Mentors are not expected to act as informal Research Advisors or comment on specific thesis chapters or publications.
  • In principle, Mentors and Mentees will be asked to commit for one year; we recognize that a mentoring relationship might carry on informally after this commitment period but there is no obligation in this regard
  • We understand there may be cases where a Mentor or Mentee consider that the relationship does not work and decide to discontinue the relationship – in this case we ask the partiers to contact the ESG IPO.
  • The ESG IPO will act as the primary contact point if any parties have questions or concerns about the ESG Mentoring Initiative.
  • The outcome of this pilot initiative will be evaluated and reviewed after the initial first year.


Are you interested in joining the ESG Mentoring Initiative as a Mentee? Please fill in this survey form to notify the IPO of your interest and preferences. We ask you to respond by latest 27 November 2020.

We wish to thank the ESG Early Career Coordinators for bringing forward this idea: Ina Möller (Wageningen University), Jennifer Bansard (Potsdam University) Carole-Anne Sénit (Utrecht University) and Sandra van der Hel (Utrecht University).


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