CDS Mentorship Program

CDS is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot mentorship program. The CDS Mentorship Program pairs mentees (e.g., students, postdocs, early career faculty) with more senior CDS members to provide mentees with valuable insights, guidance and advice on topics of interest to those mentees.

Who can be a mentee?

Anyone who is an undergraduate or graduate student, post doc or junior faculty. This opportunity is open to all regardless of whether or not they are a member of CDS.  There are no restrictions on where mentees are geographically located or the institution where they are based. The mentee will be asked to indicate the topic for which they are seeking mentorship (e.g., a research topic, writing a grant, applying to industry jobs, work-life balance, etc).

Who can be a mentor?

Anyone who is a member of our society and is the right fit for the mentees’ interests can be a mentor. There are no restrictions on where mentors are geographically located or the institution (or field) where they work. Academics and members of industry, for example, can both be appropriate mentors depending on the need.

What is the time commitment and length of the mentorship?

The length of the formal mentoring relationship is one year, commencing in April 2021, but the partnership may continue informally thereafter (see timeline below). It is expected that the mentee and mentor will meet a minimum of quarterly (and a maximum of monthly) over the course of the year for at least one hour.  Pairs may arrange to meet more frequently at their own discretion.  Mentor and mentee decide on the format of their interactions (emails, virtual meetings, etc.).

What is the application and matching process?

Mentees are required to fill out our brief survey to initiate the matching process. The survey asks for basic information about the mentee, as well as what type of mentorship would be valuable to the mentee.  Mentees and mentors are matched based upon the mentee’s needs and the mentor’s expertise. The mentee’s interest in learning from the mentor and the mentor’s enthusiasm to serve are the primary requirements for the success of a mentoring relationship.

Is there an orientation or training for mentors or mentees?

At the outset of the mentorship program, mentors and mentees will attend a brief virtual kick off event to meet one another and to familiarize themselves with the program expectations.  A mid-point check-in meeting will be scheduled with the mentor and mentee to help support their connection.

At the end of the kick-off event, they will meet one-on-one and determine their mentoring plan. They will establish expectations around goals, frequency of meetings, communication and other elements.



March 22, 2021 – Mentee requests open

April 17, 2021 – Mentee requests close

March/April 2021 – Applications for mentors

April 2021 – Mentee mentor matching

April 2021 – Virtual kick-off event for mentors and mentees

May 2021 – April 2022 – Ongoing mentorship activities

October 2021 – Mid-point check-in meeting with mentorship program administrator

April 2022 – Formal conclusion of mentorship relationship

April 2022 – Closing event (optional) at the CDS Conference in Madison, WI.