AASSREC Mentoring Initiative (AMI)

The AASSREC Mentoring Initiative (AMI), is a pilot mentoring program designed to support early- and mid-career social science researchers in the Asia-Pacific region, especially for the benefit of researchers working in the most under-resourced, least advantaged parts of the region.

It provides informal mentoring support and research career development guidance to social science researchers who are, because of their career stage and the resource constraints of the institutions in which they work, most in need of such support and least likely to have access to it otherwise.

Mentor-Mentee Meetings

Duration and Dates: AMI shall run for an initial trial period of 12 months during which participants will commit to a minimum of four virtual/online or telephonic meetings (in addition to the initial ‘icebreaker’ group meeting mentioned below) on such dates and times as are agreed between each mentor and mentee pair.

Language: AMI mentor-mentee meetings may be conducted in any common language as agreed between each mentor and mentee pair although participants will be expected to communicate with the AASSREC Secretariat in English.

Topics: The topics for discussion shall be agreed between each mentor and mentee pair, but following is an indicative list of the kinds of topics that it is envisaged that mentors and mentees could potentially discuss:

  • Expectations and goals of the mentorship – what the mentee hopes to learn and what the mentor hopes to offer;
  • Mentee career trajectory, goals, and obstacles or constraints;
  • Scholarly publication strategies – writing book proposals; targeting journals across different jurisdictions and fields;
  • Peer review – being a peer reviewer; receiving and responding to peer reviews;
  • Identifying and applying for research funding opportunities;
  • Promotion applications and planning for career progression;
  • Work-life fit and navigating workplace challenges;
  • Research supervision best practices;
  • Reconciling teaching and research commitments;
  • Recognising and addressing burnout;
  • Research networking and collaboration strategies, local and international.

Application and Selection Processes

The AASSREC Secretariat will select at least 3 and up to 5 each of mentors and mentees and proposed mentor-mentee pairs for nomination to, and approval by, the AASSREC Executive Council according to the following criteria:

Criteria for Mentees

  • Currently pursuing a career as a social science researcher in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Commitment to the principles and objectives of the AMI program;
  • Willingness to meet the expectations of mentees set out in the AMI guidelines;
  • Interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Compatibility of career goals with the record of mentor applicants;
  • Existing access to career support (i.e., those with least access will be prioritised); and
  • Institutional/manager support for the mentee’s participation, if applicable (not essential).

Criteria for Mentors

  • Currently pursuing a career as a social science researcher in the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Commitment to the principles and objectives of the AMI program;
  • Willingness to meet the expectations of mentors set out in the AMI guidelines;
  • Experience in formal or informal mentoring of researchers (desirable but not essential);
  • Professional experience, interpersonal and communication skills; and
  • Compatibility of skills and experience with the career goals of mentee applicants.

How to Apply

Prospective mentors and mentees should complete the relevant application form and submit to the AASSREC Secretariat via email at fellowship@socialsciences.org.au.

Applications for the mentoring program in 2023 have now CLOSED. 

After selection, successful applicants for the mentee role will be confidentially advised of their proposed mentor and asked to confirm their willingness to proceed, after which successful applicants for the mentor role will be advised of their proposed mentee and asked to confirm their availability to proceed. All mentors and mentee applicants, whether or not successful, will be advised of the outcome of their application.

The AASSREC Secretariat will arrange an initial online ‘icebreaker’ event to which all mentors and mentees will be invited at which the objectives and principles of the AMI program and suggestions for proceeding with the mentorship will be outlined and participants will be given an opportunity to ask questions.

Expectations of Mentors and Mentees

For a full description of the expectations of mentors and mentees as well as the objectives and principles of the program, please refer to the AMI guidelines.

Program Review and Reporting

At the conclusion of the initial 12-month pilot of the AMI mentorship, the AASSREC Secretariat and/or any members of the AASSREC Executive Council who are directly involved in the AMI program will seek feedback from all mentors and mentees and, on this basis, prepare a report for the AASSREC Executive Council evaluating the pilot outcomes and the resources expended in its delivery and making recommendations as to the continuance, cessation and/or reform of the AMI program.

Key Dates

Timing Action
30 November 2022 Closing date for applications for mentees and mentors
December 2022 Applications are assessed and mentors and mentees selected
Jan-Feb 2023 Applicants are notified of the outcome and an online introductory group meeting is held for AMI participants.
June-July 2023 6-month check-in with all participants to identify and address any concerns or difficulties
January 2024 End-of-pilot survey of all participants
~March 2024 Report to AASSREC Executive Council on pilot outcomes and resulting recommendations

Contact for Enquiries

If you have any questions or require further information about the AMI please contact Michelle Bruce or Zoe Perry in the AASSREC Secretariat via email: fellowship@socialsciences.org.au or phone: +61 2 6249 1788.