Athena SWAN

Mentoring schemes


Mentoring is rapidly becoming recognised worldwide as a highly effective developmental process for employees.

FBS Postdoc Mentoring Scheme

To support the career and personal development of Postdocs within the Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS), Athena SWAN run a mentoring scheme for postdocs with the support of  Postdoctoral Association of Leeds.

What are Mentor Circles?

The scheme consists of small mentoring circles; groups of 4 postdoc mentees to 2 academic mentors. This format incorporates informal peer support networking as well as making the most of our academic mentors.

The circles that have run so far have had postdocs from across schools matched with academics from different schools and research areas.

What have the Mentor Circles provided?

The circles have covered topics such as CVs, interviews, imposter syndrome, alternative career paths, resolving conflict, outreach/public engagement, transitioning from postdoc to PI, fellowships, supervision of students, gender balance, teaching and work-life balance.

This mentoring circle format delivery is also an effective way to utilise informal peer support networking and maximises the use of the mentor's time.

The basis of the mentoring scheme is that:

  • Participation is on a voluntary basis.
  • Mentoring conversations are confidential and private.
  • The mentor is outside the mentee's direct line management chain, but is a PI within FBS.

If you are interested in participating or would like to find out more about the scheme, please email Julie Aspden (

University Mentorship Scheme

If you would like support and guidance from a colleague in order to help and manage your own learning and development then please register as a mentee by following the link provided below.

To sign up as a mentor or mentee please visit our mentoring website

For more information, and to find resources for mentors or mentees you can visit the mentoring website or contact Sarah Farrell, SDDU.