Mentorship Program

Please note: matching is complete for Round 1 of the Mentorship Program.  For those who missed out, please stay in touch, sign up to the mailing list, and please re-visit this site periodically for updates. We hope to re-open this program in the next 6-12 months to facilitate the creation of new mentorship relationships if there is sufficient interest.


The international women in multiple sclerosis (iWiMS) group had its inaugural meeting on the 11thOctober 2018 at the ECTRIMS meeting in Berlin, Germany.  iWiMS is a diverse group that includes clinicians, scientists and clinician-scientists.  At our initial meeting, we had the opportunity as a group to discuss both our aims and how to achieve them.  We identified a clear need to provide support for women at all career stages through the development of a formal mentorship program.  

Mentorship encompasses two way relationships in which support is given and received.   As female clinicians and scientists, we face unique obstacles and have a different perspective of medicine and research than our male colleagues. Mentorship within iWiMS has the potential to provide a practical means by which like-minded women with an interest in MS (and related disorders) can be enabled to support each other, allowing us to become the best scientists and clinicians possible.

Background

We recognize that mentorship alone is not enough to achieve career aims. Sponsorship is at least as important as mentorship; that is, peer nomination for memberships on committees, assessment panels, editorial boards etc., and we hope that this scheme will enable women to foster such opportunities.

This is our first step towards the practical solutions we as a group proposed in our letter to the editor published in Annals of Neurology 2018 in response to Moneim et al 2018

Aims

We propose a formal, elective iWiMS mentorship program for group members.

The mentorship program will have two arms:

  • A mentor/mentee arm (one-on-one)
  • A peer mentorship arm (group program)

Proposal

In order to facilitate pairing and the creation of groups, each potential interested mentor/mentee/peer will complete a basic profile and indicate areas of interest so that matching can occur. Pairing and group creation will be based on broad research interest, career path and level of seniority.

No formal mentorship training will be provided at this stage, however mentors are encouraged to explore locally available opportunities for training.

There will be quarterly email check-ins and oversight to ensure that the mentor/mentee/peer relationships are developing and are useful. For pairings that may not work (for any reason) new pairings will be offered where practical.

Pairings will take place during a specified enrollment period, with opt in periods twice/year for new members or interested parties to join.

Optional meet-ups with mentors in a group setting will be offered during the annual ECTRIMS, AAN and other subspecialty meetings and conferences as interest and logistics allow.

After the scheme has run for 1 year, we will ask for feedback from all participating members (mentors and mentees) for evaluation, and for future development of the program.   

iWiMS Mentorship Program Team

Head of Mentorship Program:

Dr Vilija Jokubaitis, Monash University, Australia

Co-Heads Mentorship Program:

Dr Regina Troxell, UCSD, USA

Dr Ruth Dobson, Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Participate

To participate, please fill in our brief survey found here
If you have any questions you can email us at mentorship@iwims.world