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Announcement of NACBS Mentoring Program

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The North American Conference on British Studies is pleased to announce a new mentorship program. This program pairs advanced graduate students and early-career scholars (who have received their PhDs within the past five years) with established scholars.

The goal of the mentorship program is to draw on the broad experience of the NACBS membership to help graduate students and early-career professionals thrive as British Studies scholars and begin to forge networks beyond their graduate institutions and/or home departments. Mentorship, however, is also meant to be reciprocal: established scholars will also benefit from the knowledge, experience, skills, and networks of those at the beginning of their careers.

Mentorship may take a range of forms, but it is primarily intended as a means to offer concrete advice regarding the academic and professional job markets, developing and sustaining research agendas, publication strategies, finding and sustaining networks of support, juggling professional commitments, and other career-related issues. Mentors are not intended to provide support for dissertation research and writing, or advice with the specifics of meeting the standards for retention or tenure at any particular institution, nor are mentors expected to engage in letter writing for mentees.

The mentoring relationship will run from August 2019 through June 2020. Mentors and mentees will re-apply in summer 2020, should they wish to continue with the program, and at that point may be matched with a new partner.

Communication may take place via email as often as once per month, but the program envisions three or four conversations over the course of the year. An in-person event will be scheduled for NACBS 2019 Vancouver, which will serve as an opportunity for mentors and mentees to check in. However, attendance at the conference is not a requirement of participation in the program.

This program is open to all scholars of British Studies wherever they may reside. We ask that mentors retain active membership status within NACBS throughout their participation in the program, however mentees are encouraged but not required to join the NACBS.

Those seeking mentorship and those willing to be mentors should fill out forms online by July 31, 2019. Prospective mentees can find their form here. Prospective mentors can find their forms here. Partners will be matched and notified by email by the end of August 2019.

NACBS asks that established scholars whose departments will be advertising jobs in a British-related field in the 2019-20 academic year wait until the following year to volunteer as mentors in order to prevent any conflicts of interest.

If you have questions about the program, please contact the Chair of the Mentorship Committee, Nadja Durbach at [email protected].  

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