The importance of IMNIS as an Industry - STEM PhD student mentoring program is its ability to enhance the skills of postgraduates to:

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1 Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) IMNIS Guidelines for the Mentor: Overall IMNIS Value Proposition The aim of IMNIS is to develop a National mentoring program linking PhD students in STEM with qualified industry mentors who can provide advice and role models of industry based STEM careers. Overall we aim to narrow the cultural gap that exists in Australia between business and academia The importance of IMNIS as an Industry - STEM PhD student mentoring program is its ability to enhance the skills of postgraduates to: Develop a career in industry successfully translating research knowledge to commercial product or other end use application; and/or Strengthen their academic research career through skills and capacity to build sustainable engagement linkages with relevant industry and promote translational research. Outcomes expected will include: enhanced skills of PhD graduates to work within STEM based industry, promoting awareness about opportunities for research and innovation collaboration and instigating strong strategic linkages with industry. Value Proposition: The Industry Mentor Being an IMNIS mentor is your chance to connect with a new generation of STEM PhD graduates and make a real difference to their success in commercial science. Australia is lagging the world in applying technology, and the gulf between University and industry is wider here than almost anywhere in the OECD, with disastrous implications for our long term future. Without your help change will be difficult, but with your help we can lift ourselves out of the cultural divide, and see a new generation of commercially literate graduates, who understand it s not always just the technology that counts. By becoming a mentor you will impart your experience to a new generation, gaining the personal satisfaction of seeing your mentee gain new insights into the career opportunities STEM has to offer. IMNIS is a mentoring program aimed at preparing STEM PhD students for better careers in industry/government, and also enhancing skills for careers in academic disciplines, including industry engagement for research translation.

2 You will work with your student and provide the insight to the skills and personal qualities needed to take a PhD graduate to a successful entrepreneur, contributor, and industry leader. Your IMNIS mentoring is a volunteer activity, a personal development and interaction direct from you, and not your company or employer. IMNIS will allow you to: Give back to Australian STEM research Contribute to the development of a new generation of industry-ready PhD graduates Provide a head start to a young person by sharing your hard won knowledge and skills. What is Mentoring? Mentoring is based on the belief that one person can make a difference in the lives of others. It is a voluntary process involving deliberate pairing of a skilled or experienced person with a less experienced, usually junior person. Mentors provide encouragement, act as sounding boards, challenge, support, and share experiences. While mentoring is usually discussed in terms of the work environment (career mentoring), it can be beneficial for all aspects of personal development (personal mentoring). (from a good practice guide for staff.) Australian Academy of Technology, Science and Engineering (ATSE) ATSE s vision is a future where technological sciences, engineering and innovation underpin Australia s social, economic and environmental wellbeing. ATSE has established an IMNIS Steering Committee that will provide program oversight and expert guidance to the IMNIS project. The Academy will also facilitate access to its networks and Fellows to help IMNIS achieve its objectives. The IMNIS Project Team The IMNIS project team is responsible for the overall administration of the program, which includes: Working with the participating universities to enroll students in the program Enrolment of mentors Matching of mentees and mentors Preparation of all documentation Managing the administration tools for all mentee / mentor interactions Evaluation of the outcomes from the pilot programs Point of contact for all participants for any issues arising. 2

3 Getting started with IMNIS The IMNIS Project Team, with input from ATSE and the relevant industry bodies, is responsible for the recruitment of Mentors with industry experience and networks, which would benefit PhD students participating in this program. Mentors will receive, via the Mentorloop website (see more details below), an invitation to enroll in the program. Once they have completed this step they are eligible to be matched with an appropriate student. For the pilot phase of this program the IMNIS management team will do the matching of Mentors to Mentees manually. Once the matching process is completed you will again receive notification via Mentorloop. The Mentoring Process It is our expectation the initial contact will come from the Mentee to you. The Mentee will be encouraged to take responsibility for driving the mentoring relationship, arranging meetings, setting the goals and gain agreement for ways you may assist them. However, you may need to encourage them in the early stages to achieve clarity in their goals and expectations and to assist them in overcoming a reluctance to ask for help or take up your valuable time. It is envisaged the formal mentoring process will last up to 12 months and if possible, the first meeting should be face-to-face. Regular meetings will allow you to get to know each other and explore ways in which you can work together. The frequency of the meetings has also been shown to be an important factor in the overall success of the mentoring relationship. While we expect that most meetings would be only an hour in duration we would encourage you to try and meet monthly with your mentee. Some suggestions for good mentoring outcomes: Be committed to the IMNIS program by making time for your mentee free from interruptions Finish each meeting with an agreed time for the next meeting and action items to be completed prior to meeting Set a learning climate which encourages risk-taking as making mistakes is part of learning Ask lots of questions and help the mentee look at ideas from a variety of perspectives. Use active listening techniques, question intuitively and respectfully, give constructive and specific feedback and where appropriate suggest areas for improvement. Tease out an issue or problem with your mentee and empower them to find their own solutions rather than solve their problems for them. 3

4 Communication The key to the success of the Mentee / Mentor relationship is open and honest communication. Like any other relationships you have to spend time at the start of the relationship to get to know your Mentee. Learn about their background and career experience, establish an agreement with them about the type, duration and frequency of meetings. Understand you may not have the answers to all of the Mentee s issues and it may be appropriate to introduce them to someone within your network who has the necessary expertise. This is also one of the aims of IMNIS, to expand the Mentee s professional network outside of the academic sphere. Privacy / Confidentiality The relationship between the Mentee and Mentor is one of mutual respect and trust. Implicit in this is the commitment to treat all interactions as confidential and not to be shared with a third party without permission. There are multiple safeguards built into the IMNIS program to protect your privacy. Mentorloop is a means of communicating and recording interactions in confidence. To support the privacy and confidentiality policies, IMNIS has selected the Mentorloop platform as the communication and reporting tool. Mentorloop will be used to register all Mentees and Mentors and the vehicle for initiating and recording communication through the life of the relationship. Mentorloop is designed to: Manage the high level communication between Mentees and Mentors; Record the interactions of Mentees and Mentors without access to the content of the communication; Allow the Mentorloop Administrator to provide reports and collect data without referencing the individual. The Mentorloop Administrator can t see or access the content of any communications between the Mentee and Mentor. The Mentorloop Administrator can only see the frequency of communication, the form it takes and the subject line. It is very important for the further development of the IMNIS program that you record your interactions in Mentorloop so we can evaluate how the system is working. We will also use this system to conduct surveys on your views of the program and the benefits of participation. 4

5 No blame exit what to do if the relationship is not working While every endeavour will be made to match you with a suitable Mentee, just like any other relationship you may find this match doesn t work for you. This may be due to different styles, different outlooks or simply not gaining any traction in the relationship. In the IMNIS program you do not have to continue with the appointed Mentee. If you find your mentoring relationship is not working or if you and your mentee can t make time to communicate, it is okay. If you decide to leave this relationship, you should do it respectfully and with a no blame exit. If you feel your Mentee has behaved inappropriately, please contact your IMNIS Administrator immediately. Summary of Keys to Success As in any other one-to-one relationship there are some clearly defined behaviours, which contribute to a meaningful relationship for both parties. 1. Mutual respect and trust 2. Support 3. Empathy 4. Maintaining confidentiality and professional boundaries 5. Clear and open communication 6. Defined goals 7. Agreed timelines 8. Keeping your word and commitment 9. Reviewing progress 10. Modifying goals and agreements as appropriate Reference sources While there are many sources of information on mentoring these are a few of the documents that we have used to help create this guide. The AusIMM National Mentoring Programme. The Mentoring Manual. Griffith University, Griffith Industry Mentoring Program, Mentoring Handbook. University of South Australia. a good practice guide for staff. ASCEPT Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, guidelines for mentors and mentees. The University of Western Australia, Career Mentor Link Pert, A manual for Mentors and Mentees. 5

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