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Call for Articles: Mentor-Mentee Relationships in Academia: Nature, Problems and Solutions

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Summary

This is a call for articles that explore different perspectives of the Mentor-Mentee Relationship in Academia.

Full Article

Mentoring, and being mentored, are key aspects of the academic experience. A successful mentor-mentee relationship is enriching for both. This is a call for articles that explore different perspectives of this relationship: what works, what doesn’t and how does one navigate this relationship in these changing times. We request contributions that analyze these issues, as detailed below.

Here are the published articles in the series:

  1. The many ways of doing a PhD by Raghavendra Gadagkar

 

 

Details of the call

A. Mentor-Mentee Relationships

We plan to focus on three kinds of relationships:

A1. Teacher-student relationship in the context of classroom teaching
A2. Supervisor- PhD Student / Post Doc relationship in a research group
A3. Senior-Junior Faculty in a department / institute / university

 

B. Points of reference:

B1. The nature of the relationship,

This includes (but is not limited to) questions like:

i)  Should there be a hierarchy in the relationship? If yes, then what should be the nature of the said hierarchy?
ii) What are the rights and duties of each party?
iii) How to deal with / address issues like class, caste, gender,  sexuality, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, neuro divergence, mental health etc.?
iv)  How to deal with challenging and being challenged, questioning, and critiquing each other, calling out, cancelling-being cancelled, in the context of the mentor-mentee relationship?
v) How to develop respect for each other and ensure a supportive ambience amidst the pressures of deadlines and general productivity?
vi) Motivating each other in the pursuit of knowledge and developing a belief in the importance/ worth  of an academic life.

B2. When does the relationship break down and why?

For example, some possible reasons can be:

i) Performance / peer pressure (for both sides)
ii) Too high (overambitious) expectations
iii) Lack of responsibility/accountability from either side
iv) junior partner’s output being connected to senior partner’s performance etc.

B3. Possible solutions, including

i) Institutional remedial suggestions (both personal and administrative).
ii) Possible extra-institutional resolution strategies.

 

C. Guidelines:

a) Please comment on any 1, 2 or 3 of the above points of references (i.e. B1-B3), in the context of any one of the mentor-mentee relationships (i.e. A1-A3) stated above.

b) The style of the article should be simple, precise and lucid, presenting your thoughts and reflections on the theme. No personal attacks or statements targeting individuals please, such articles will be summarily rejected. The purpose of this series is not to merely focus on the hardships faced by any one side. The purpose is to define the nature of the relationship, identify the points of friction and the reasons for the same, and come up with concrete suggestions for resolving the issues.

c) The articles should be approximately 1,500 to 3000 words.

d) The articles should be written in English. Please distinguish between data and opinion. Cite sources for the former.

e) The editorial team will read and decide the merit of your article, and decide whether to publish it or not. We are primarily looking for well-written, logically well-constructed articles that present a relevant, and preferably fresh, point-of-view. We may also suggest you to revise the draft before publishing. In any case, the decisions of the editorial team will be final and binding.

f) Please email your article IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL to confluence.caretakers@gmail.com on or before 31.10.2021 (Last Date extended). Please note that we are NOT going to open any attachments. Therefore, if you attach your article, we will simply not read it, and not get back to you either. It can take up to 2 weeks for us to get back to you with a decision.

g) Contributions must carry the real name of the author and aliases are not allowed. Please include a statement at the end of the article stating the name, status and affiliation of the author.
A sample author statement will look like: ABCD is a PhD scholar at XYZ University.

h) In case of any queries, please email: confluence.caretakers@gmail.com.

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