This year, ICMAB is launching a new programme to support the early-stage researchers developing their PhD at ICMAB. The ICMAB Mentoring Programme is led by Deputy Director Riccardo Rurali and Project Manager Laura Cabana.
The programme designates a Mentor for every PhD candidate, a permanent ICMAB researcher from a different Research Unit from the fellow's one. The mentor and the PhD researcher will meet up at least once every six months as a guidance and support from their incorporation to ICMAB until the defense of their PhD Thesis.
The mentor figure offers support for all issues beyond the scientific day-to-day affairs that might arise. This includes areas like the relationship between the PhD researcher and their supervisor and the quality of the supervision received, monitoring of the progress in the PhD Thesis, or the academic and industrial possibilities of the professional future of the fellow.
Career Development Plan
A key element in the relationship between mentor and early-stage researcher is the Career Development Plan, a document the fellow and their supervisor use to establish how they expect the PhD Thesis to develop. It involves establishing long and short term objectives, like the expected publications to issue and seminars to attend, the skills to be developed (both in research and other fields, like communication, networking, project managing or leadership), and any other activity related to the PhD.
In general, the personalized Career Development Plan should include: details on the scientific project, the timeline of training, secondments to other institutions, contacts with industrial partners, list of skills to be obtained during training, activities tracking, objectives monitoring, and quality assessment.
The Career Development Plan lays out all that is expected to come out of a early-stage researcher's PhD Thesis, and will be the template used to monitor their progress until the defense.
This road map as well as the figure of the mentor will help make the process of getting a PhD an easier, less stressful and enjoyable experience.