The EPS is committed to supporting the work and development of early career researchers (ECRs). As part of this commitment, the Society organises the EPS Pairing Scheme, which establishes new mentoring relationships between more junior and more senior members of our scientific community. Mentors and mentees participating in the scheme commit to meeting regularly over a period of two years (meeting twice per year). This allows ECRs to extend their professional and scientific networks beyond their home institutions, fostering new relationships between psychologists at different career stages.
The next call for mentees and mentors will be in Spring 2024.
Who is the pairing scheme for?
The pairing scheme is targeted at researchers in the early stages of their career. Any EPS Postgraduate Member is eligible to apply as a mentee. This category includes current predoctoral research assistants, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers who received their doctorates in the past two years. Ordinary EPS member are also eligible to join the scheme as mentees. This includes postdoctoral researchers, independent research fellows and those holding permanent academic posts (e.g., lecturers) who identify themselves as early career researchers.
Any EPS member may join the pairing scheme as a mentor, irrespective of their career stage. Postdocs, research fellows , lecturers and professors are all encouraged to apply. Indeed, the Society notes that mentoring relationships where mentor and mentee are at similar career stages (e.g., postdocs mentoring PhD students) can be particularly valuable, and we are interested in attracting a diverse set of mentors with different levels of experience.
It is also possible to join the scheme as both a mentee and a mentor.
What does pairing scheme involve?
Pairings between mentor and mentee will last for two years. During this time, pairs will be expected to meet twice per year. It is recommended that these meetings take place during scientific meetings of the EPS in January, April or July, and that at last one meeting per year is in person, though other means may be used (e.g., video or phone calls if mentor or mentee are attending the conference remotely).
Mentors are welcome to keep in touch with mentees between these regular meetings at their discretion. However, the Society appreciates that two meetings per year already represents a significant time commitment, and mentees should not expect additional availability unless their mentor explicitly offers.
What can I discuss with my mentor?
The precise structure and format of mentorship meetings is for mentor and mentee to decide. However, we expect that mentees will be able to discuss a whole range of things with their mentors – including their scientific ideas, advice on starting out in an academic career, and balancing a research career with other responsibilities. As far as possible, pairs will be matched based on the topics they are keen to receive and offer advice on.
How are mentees and mentors matched?
Prospective mentees and mentors will fill out a form detailing the kinds of researcher they would like to be matched with and the kinds of topics they would like to discuss. The EPS administrator and the ECR Committee Member will pair potential mentees with potential mentors based on these responses. As a goal of the scheme is to widen the networks of ECRs as far as possible, mentor and mentee will not be drawn from the same department or institution.
The number of successful pairings each year will depend on both the ‘supply’ of mentors and the ‘demand’ from mentees. Regrettably, in years where we have more mentees than mentors, appropriate matches may not be possible. If demand from mentees is greater than supply from mentors, preference will be given to prospective mentees at more junior stages of their careers.
What financial support is available?
The Society wants to ensure that no mentees are precluded from benefitting from the scheme for financial reasons. Thus, all mentees on the scheme will be able to apply for two Grindley Grants per year (max £500) to cover travel and accommodation costs involved in attending an EPS meeting whether mentorship meetings will take place. Mentees are allowed to use one of the two permitted applications to apply for a Grindley Grant to be used to pay for an in-person meeting outside of an EPS meeting. (NB: This limit of two Grindley Grants per year does not apply to mentees who are Postgraduate Members, who are eligible for an unlimited number of Grindley Grants to attend EPS meetings).
To thank mentors for supporting the scheme, the EPS will provide a free conference dinner ticket to each mentor at each EPS conference where a mentorship meeting takes place.
How will pairings be monitored?
Mentees will be expected to report to the EPS administrator in May of each year of the two-year pairing to indicate when and how they have met with their mentor in the past twelve months.