CDS Mentorship Program

CDS is pleased to announce the second year of our mentorship program. The CDS Mentorship Program pairs mentees (e.g., RAs, 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 a lab manager/RA, 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). Mentees at the graduate student, postdoc, and faculty level are also encouraged to serve as mentors for more junior mentees.

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. In many cases mentees can also be mentors. For example, a graduate student might be a mentee that is paired with a postdoc or faculty, but could also serve as a mentor to an undergraduate or lab manager.


What is the time commitment and length of the mentorship?
The length of the formal mentoring relationship is just under one year, commencing in May 2023, 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 be asked to view a brief kick off video to familiarize themselves with the program expectations and will schedule their first virtual meeting with one another.  A mid-point check-in survey will be provided in October to assess how the program is going and identify areas that may improved to help support the mentor-mentee connection.

Mentee-mentor pairs will meet one-on-one and determine their mentoring plan. They will establish expectations around goals, frequency of meetings, communication and other elements.



March 1st, 2023 – Mentee requests open

March 30th, 2023 – Mentee requests close

April 2023 – Applications for mentors

May 2023 – Mentee mentor matching

May 2023 – Virtual kick-off event for mentors and mentees

May 2023 – April 2024 – Ongoing mentorship activities

October 2023 – Mid-point check-in survey

March 2024 – Formal conclusion of mentorship relationship

March 2024 – Closing event (optional) at the CDS Conference in Pasadena, CA.

Volunteer to be a Mentor

If you are interested and willing to be a mentor, please fill out the form below: