Mentoring Associates

The SiS Catalyst Mentoring Associate Programme was launched at our conference in Porto in November 2012. It involves 36 organisations, including universities, networks, science institutions, museums, and NGOs from over 20 countries. Each organisation is paired with another to work together on a key issue of science communication or social inclusion.

Over the next 18 months these partners will engage with each other in both the physical and digital worlds in order to gain insight into the workings of each others' organisation and projects, which in turn will help them evaluate their own. Together they will look at range of issues such as  potential solutions to mutual problems, or gauging the effectiveness of different approaches to the same issue. The scope of this programme is huge, and we expect a lot of fantastic learning that we will be able to share more widely.

The Mentoring partnerships will be split into three themes: sustainability, models and targeting. These three themes are key for any person or organisation wishing to work in either science communication or social inclusion. The partnerships involved in targeting will look at the best ways to engage with groups who are underrepresented in the education system, ensuring that those who would benefit the most from interventions are reached. Sustainability partnerships will be focusing on different methods of making sure projects receive the correct support to keep them running. The final set of mentoring partnerships are concentrating on a range of delivery models, to compare and learn from different methods of science communication and social inclusion. 

You can read  what Dr Kerry Ferguson, pro vice chancellor of La Trobe University, Australia has written about the importance of mentoring partnerships here.