Mentor to a doctoral student

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All doctoral students at Karolinska Institutet (KI) shall have a mentor.

What is expected from a mentor?

The purpose of the mentor-mentee relation is that an external mentor will work as a bridge from the doctoral student to the world outside the direct research environment, as well as being a personal asset for discussions without being involved in the student´s projects. The intention is not to be a scientific asset – that is the responsibility of the supervisors. A mentor is supposed to give advice to the doctoral student as an independent person concerning issues such as career planning, contacts with stakeholders outside KI (e.g. researchers and authorities) or other types of advice.

In addition to regular meetings with the doctoral student during the doctoral education period, the mentor is welcome to attend the half-time review seminar and to participate in the meeting with the half-time board and supervisors in connection to that. The mentor is of course also welcome to attend the public thesis defense.

Who can be a mentor?

A mentor may be from a university (KI or other), county council, industry or another sector of the society. The mentor should be independent of both the supervisors and the student. A mentor will be appointed following a proposal by the doctoral student, within a year of admission to doctoral education at KI. The expected role of the external mentor should be discussed and defined in the individual study plan. If desired, a doctoral student can have more than one mentor.

How do  you choose your mentor?

When choosing your mentor (or mentors), it can be helpful to think about what you would like to do in the future. You might ask someone you regard as a role model or someone working in a field that you are interested in.

How often should mentor and mentee meet and who will take the initiative?

It is suggested that mentor and mentee meet at least twice each year in order to get the most out of the mentorship relation. The frequency of meetings can vary throughout the doctoral education. The mentee will take the initiative for suggesting meeting times and for setting the agenda of each meeting.

What is expected from the mentee/adept?

The mentee/adept is expected to come well prepared to the meetings, to have an open attitude, to take initiatives, to set up goals, and to be committed.

What are the benefits for being a mentor for a doctoral student at KI?

To be an external mentor is a commission of trust. If you want, you can indicate in your CV that you are a mentor for a doctoral student from KI. You are also welcome to become part of the KI Alumni & Friends community, if not already a member.

Contact information

Director of studies

Ingeborg van der Ploeg

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 867 00
Organizational unit: Faculty Office and International Relations
E-mail: Ingeborg.Van.Der.Ploeg@ki.se

Doctoral educationDoctoral student