Report on the SMB Mentoring Program

by Gerda de Vries

The Society for Mathematical Biology piloted a mentoring program to benefit junior scientists attending the Annual Meeting held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, August 3-5, 2000.

The goal of this program was two-fold:

Twenty-two mentees (graduate students, postdocs, and some junior faculty members) signed up for the program, and fifteen mentors volunteered their time. Mentees were matched to mentors according to their research interests or special requests.

Both mentors and mentees found the mentoring program a very enjoyable experience. Interactions between the mentors and mentees ranged from having dinner together to chatting at the poster session. Mentees especially appreciated the opportunity to get to know some of the senior scientists, and their willingness to share information about their career, research area, funding issues, etc. Many mentor/mentee pairs found the relationship mutually satisfying, and are planning to stay in touch via email in the future.

Over the next few months, I will be working with the SMB Board of Direc tors to determine where the mentoring program should go from here. Watch for future announcements in the SMB Newsletter and the electronic SMB Digest. Comments and suggestions are very welcome (email:, fax: 780-492-6826).