IEA Mentorship programme – a call for participation

IEA would like to establish a programme through which 10-20 pairs of people are
matched up in reciprocal mentorship relationships. The aim of this is to ensure that the future objectives and activities of the IEA are shaped by a broad range of views,
reflecting different cultures and experiences. Our pairs will consist of a senior mentor
and a junior mentor. Both partners in the team will act as mentor and mentee. The
scheme will formally run for one year, but, as with many mentoring partnerships, we
hope that through this scheme there will be partnerships formed which will persist for
much longer than the formal mentorship period.

What is involved in being a senior mentor?

If you agree to be a mentor you will agree to share your details with the IEA. The team
there will then match you with a less experienced IEA member from another country.
You will then have shared contact details. It would normally be expected that the senior mentor is a certified HFE professional.

The junior mentor will be expected to take the lead in organising three one hour
meetings or communications with their senior mentor over a 12 month period. The
method of communication can be up to the senior-junior mentor team to agree, but
skype or telephone are recommended.

How do I apply to become a junior mentor?

If you consider yourself to be an early career HFE student or professional you can apply to become a junior mentor. We are asking our early career members of IEA to contribute 250 words to outline your vision of the future of HFE. When you complete these words you should tick a box to indicate that you would also like to apply to be a junior mentor.

You will be asked to describe your location, contact details, and current
roles/projects/activities within HFE. You should also confirm that you are prepared to
commit to three remote meetings of one hour each per year.

How do I volunteer to become a senior mentor?

You should fill in a short form which indicate your current role/projects/activities within HFE, your contact details, and confirm that you are able to commit to three remote meetings of one hour each per year.

What happens during a mentorship meeting?

A traditional mentor-mentee relationship involves a confidential, trusted and open
conversation between two people. A good mentorship meeting is two way, and the more senior person can often gain as much from the discussion as the more junior mentor (this notion can also be applied within the concept of ‘reverse mentoring’).

Activities that can take place during a mentorship meeting include:

• A short (10 minutes) verbal description of your personal and professional history,
helping your mentor to understand your values, motivations and past experiences

• A question and answer session, where one asks the other questions. These could
be very wide ranging, and can work best if the partnership feel comfortable
enough to discuss their personal and professional difficulties, values and

• Practical advice about how to tackle problems. These problems might be to do
with opportunities for career progression, or they might be practical guidance as
to how to solve a difficult HFE challenge. Note though that mentorship should not
be a substitute for project collaboration, a mentor should not act as an additional
supervisor to a student studying for a PhD, nor should it be a route to ‘free
consultancy’! It would not normally be expected that a mentor would be a co-investigator or researcher on a project for their mentee or vice versa.

• Work through reflective exercises that have been done in advance of the meeting.
There are many examples of these, but three examples might be:

o Think about the possible opportunities that you might want to pursue in
the future. What are the positives and negatives of these opportunities?
How will they affect your family? What financial opportunities will they
give? Will they present you with your desired level of challenge or
influence on change? Would you rather work in an academic or practitioner

o Think about the following questions: ‘What do you love doing?’, ‘What did
you used to love doing?’, What would you like to do more of in the
future?’, What do you not want to do?’. The answers to these questions
can then form the basis of a useful discussion

o Both write a description of your ‘typical week’ – this can then be shared in
the mentorship meeting, and provides a really interesting tool to help
understand each others contexts and challenges.

I haven’t mentored before, is that a problem?

Not at all! We really welcome applications from first-time mentors.

What happens at the end of the mentor-mentee relationship?

The IEA is really interested to hear your experiences of mentorship during 2019, the
60th year of IEA. The IEA leadership team may well contact you to ask you to share your experience of mentorship, and you are encouraged to share your thoughts with the IEA via social media and other routes during the year. The IEA team will try to touch base with each partnership early on just to make sure things have been set up OK and you have managed to have one meeting. It would be great to hear from mentor partnerships at the IEA world congress in 2021.

How will junior and senior mentors be matched?

We will not be employing any complex algorithms to organise the matching! The only
thing we are going to try to do is to set up diverse teams of mentors, reflecting the
international outlook of the IEA. So you are very unlikely to be mentored by someone
from the same country, or even the same continent, as you.

Goals of the mentorship programme

1. To build an understanding of diverse experiences of HFE in different parts of the
world and with different levels of experience
2. To ensure that the goals and work of the IEA are informed by the views of more
junior IEA members
3. To support the careers of IEA members internationally
4. To develop the leaders of IEA of the future