Mentoring programme for doctoral students at SLU

Last changed: 05 March 2024

During the autumn 2019 EPU will launch an exciting new mentoring programme for doctoral students at SLU. We welcome doctoral students that would appreciate independent, extracurricular support and senior researchers that are willing to support young colleagues who have only recently started their academic career.

Why is a mentoring programme helpful to doctoral students?

Mentoring programmes have recently gained much attention and have been introduced both internationally and at universities in Sweden. Exchange of opinions, encouragement and learning from the experience of senior colleagues are important examples of the kind of support we intend to offer.

"My mentor really helped me to realize my own potential, and I became a more independent doctoral student who dared to stand for my own thoughts and ideas."

This new line of support will contribute to making young researchers feel more at home in their academic institutions and will provide incentives for completing the doctoral education.

What is the role of a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser that takes a professional interest in developing a doctoral student's career and well-being based on that individual's goals and desires.

A mentor may share with a mentee information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, foster mentee reflection and role modelling. The mentor has a relation with the mentee that is not supposed to interfere with the supervision of the education.

Who could be a mentor?

If you work at SLU and if you have supervised at least one doctoral student, you are welcome to register for the programme. There will not be any financial compensation for the mentor but the mentor will take part in a short mentor briefing that addresses, for example, expectations, effective mentor-mentee meetings, roles and responsibilities.

A mentor should preferably not work in the same research group as the doctoral student. However, the suggestions by EPU will be tentative and can later be changed should any mentee or mentor wish so. Doctoral students can also proactively propose mentors and this preference can be noted in the registration form above.

Since Alnarp have a similar programme (Växa mentoring programme), our programme aims at doctoral students and mentors in Umeå and Uppsala.

Register and improve the research culture at SLU

In a first pilot phase, we will start with a group of 15 mentees and match them with suitable mentors.

Both mentors and mentees should register below and answer some short questions. The answers will help us to identify suitable matches of mentees and mentors.

 NB. The programme is full. No new admission for the moment.


The programme will commence with an introduction on 15th January 2020, a halfway meeting in October 2020 and a final meeting in April 2021.

This will include briefings for mentors and opportunities for mentees to meet and discuss. Katarina Billing, Leg. Psychologist and senior partner will act as facilitator of these meetings. She has been running mentor- and leadership development programs in academia for more than ten years. Mentors will receive a certificate for their participation in the programme.

More information

For more information about academic mentor and mentoring - please see the presentation "Academic Mentoring at SLU – A Humble Attempt of a Personal Initiative To Help Others Tread a Stony Path" made by Arne Pommerening at a lunch seminar last November.