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Fermi LAT Mentoring Program

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Within the LAT Mentoring Program (MP)

Mentee: graduate students within the LAT Collaboration (e.g. Masters students, PhD students, etc.)
Mentor: PhD-holders within the LAT Collaboration (e.g. postdocs, faculty members, research scientists, etc.) Mentors do not supersede or interfere with the role of the research advisor, but rather serve as an additional resource.
MP Committee: Mentoring Program Committee, volunteer-based group responsible for overseeing the mentoring program. The current AC/DC are aware of/active in the workings of this committee.
DEI Committee: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in the LAT Collaboration, overseeing the MP Committee.

Goals of the program

  1. Creating an effective mentoring structure
  2. Fostering strong and lasting relationships between mentors/mentees
  3. Sharing resources and communicating advice in order to remove barriers to success, both personal and professional


  • Effective and early mentoring is crucial for student’s success and retention, in particular for students from underrepresented groups in astro/physics

  • Supporting and welcoming environment for the current junior members; inviting to the new members. This, in long-run, will increase the diversity of our collaboration

  • Onboarding of graduate students through research advising: no explicit mentoring expectations or training are structured into the current advising model within the LAT Collaboration

Program structure

MP will be organized and operated by a standing MP Committee (volunteer-based)

MP Committee roles: 

  1. Operational (mentor/mentee selection and matching, mentor/mentee training)
  2. Administrative (program overview, expansion, and interface with other DEI efforts within or out the LAT Collaboration)

Mentor/Mentee Recruitment & Matching

Mentee Recruitment:

  • Whenever a new student joins the Collaboration
  • Bi-annually, at each Collaboration Meeting

Mentor Recruitment:

  • Bi-annually, at each Collaboration Meeting

Mentor/Mentee Recruitment & Matching

  1. Matching based on questionnaire answers, weighted by mentee/mentor’s preference indicated in the questionnaire
  2. Career advice; navigating the field with given identities, such as gender, race, ethnicity, etc.; outreach advice; research advice; preferred language of communication; time zones; desired frequency of meeting, etc.
  3. Nominally sent out bi-annually; re-matching or joining in the midst of a mentoring cycle if expressed interest

Mentor/Mentee Expectations

  • Training
  1. Required on an annual basis, unless a special circumstance communicated with the MP
  2. Online/in-person options
  • Time Commitment
  1. Cycle lasts six months. Re-matching with a new mentor encouraged, staying in the same
    mentoring arrangement only if strong desire indicated
  2. Meet at least monthly, for at least an hour
  • Setting the expectations
  1. During the first meeting, set mentoring goals. Guidance questions provided
  • Feedback
  1. Quick form at the end of each mentoring session. Feedback survey at the end of the mentoring cycle
  • Confidentiality
  1. Conversations must be kept confidential, unless specified otherwise by the mentee/mentor, notwithstanding disclosures required by superseding policies or laws


First Mentor/Mentee Training scheduled during the WAM time, on Friday, April 9 at 8am/11am/5pm/12am PDT/EDT/CEST and SAST/JST via Zoom (to register send an email to the MP Committee).

It will be run by Dr. Rania Sanford, the Director of Faculty Professional Development at the School of Medicine at Stanford University.



1. Kickoff Workshop: Mentoring myths and facts: Getting started (~1h 15 min session for both mentors and mentees).
- Learn about recent studies on how mentoring is defined, its functions and its impact (compared to other forms of guidance such as advising, coaching, or counseling)
- Develop self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses the mentor brings to the relationship (including elements related to bias)
- Identify specific behaviors related to starting, sustaining and ending strong mentoring relationships (covering both tactical tips and conceptual frames such as trust)
- Understand role of emotions in shaping the quality of mentoring and its outcomes
2. At a later stage: High-impact mentoring conversations/Giving Advice: Conflict Resolution Strategies
3. Mentee Networking (mid-point, month 3):
Facilitated social hour for mentees. Depending on the size of the group, this could involve some professional development activity with an equity/diversity focus. Can survey the group on a possible set of topics that include: Diverse team dynamics; emotional intelligence; or implicit bias