Research is about People

05 November 2021

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Why mentoring does matter.

Mentoring experiences can be personally transformative. Described as an ongoing relationship between a mentor and mentee, mentoring is meant to guide and support the development of the mentee.

Despite the prominence of mentoring in research culture, it rarely receives the attention, evaluation and recognition of other aspects of the professional development process.

The Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) has recently brought mentoring centre stage introducing a dedicated recognition at the FNR Award 2021.

Empowering the next generation of scientists

Good mentorship goes beyond professional development, shaping individual scientists, impacting on scientific careers, as well as passing along positive research values such as research integrity, scientific credibility and fostering a diverse and inclusive research environment.

Overall, it provides aspects of psychosocial and career support, and may include role modelling, counselling, and helping mentees develop a support network of other mentors and peers. A mentor does not only guide and help people grow – they also teach them how to be a good mentor. If a researcher has the benefit of a great mentor, chances are they will pass on many of the good approaches you learned.

Through its Award for Outstanding Mentor, the FNR wants to recognise outstanding mentorship and reward this important but sometimes unappreciated element of research.

Research Luxembourg’s outstanding mentors are…

Andreas Fickers was recognised by his mentees for his outstanding mentoring skills. The Director of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH), University of Luxembourg, “developed his own style over the years and it’s based on his own experiences.”

“When I think about recognition in academia, most of the time it’s about the output, it’s about publications, about research projects. But it is rarely about the interpersonal dimension of science, which I find to be important. Academic work is about people and if you don’t care about people, you cannot care about the science they do.”

Andreas Fickers, director of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH)

Pablo Morande was also recognised for his outstanding mentoring skills. To all the junior researchers around him, irrespective of being their supervisor or not, he is a great mentor.

“I am very grateful for my former mentor and a few other people along my career, who have impacted me on how I conceive mentorship processes. They definitively were fundamental for how now, I discuss about well-being, all social aspects or scientific aspects with my colleagues here in Luxembourg.”

Pablo Morande, Senior Postdoc in the Tumor-Stroma Interactions Group, Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)

More about Mentorship in Research Luxembourg

Explore how the FNR Award 2021 celebrated science and research in Luxembourg.

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