Hi everyone! My name is Gemma. I’m a YI Board member from the U.K. Today on the blog I am posting on behalf of Dr Enrico Pozzo, who is a YI committee member and contributes to our Mentorship working group. Here’s what Enrico had to say:
In the journey to become independent clinical scientists, Young Investigators (YI) in pediatric oncology require guidance to gain knowledge on pursuing research projects. However, the new generation of doctors are not mentored in the steps needed for the development of their career, and by working in peripheral hospitals most young pediatric oncologists do not have the structured path required to learn how to become independent scientists. Thus, in order to provide a platform to help in the career development of pediatric oncologists around the world, the SIOP-YI board has inaugurated the mentorship program to bring YIs in contact with the research experience of established pediatric oncologists. Pilots of the mentorship program recently started in Europe and Latin America, with the latter in collaboration with SLAOP to involve YIs from low and middle income countries.
In order to be eligible, mentees need to be junior onco-hematologist, fellows, residents or researchers that are either currently in a training program or have completed their training within the last 5 years. As well as SIOP membership, fluency in a shared language by both mentor and mentee is required. Mentorship can be provided in several ways: including career advice to navigate in the world of pediatric oncology, liaison by the mentor between the mentee and SIOP’s scientific communities or disease committees, and the possibility to have the mentor and the mentee working together on a common research project. Periodic evaluation of the mentorship program is performed, in order to evaluate the progress as well as the level of satisfaction from both parties. The program officially lasts three years, with the hope that the guidance offered by the mentor will continue after the official mentorship program.
Mentorship is a key element to career success that will add value to the mentee both from a scientific as well as a human point of view. If you would like to participate in the mentorship program as mentee or as a mentor, you can contact us at SIOPYImentoring AT siop-online DOT org