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Design and User Research Mentoring Program

Hi everyone! It’s officially time for us to kick off our mentorship program.  Now is the time to apply to be a mentee or to sign up to be a mentor. 


If you want to participate as a mentor, a mentee or both, you must fill out the questionnaire by February 28th.


Here are the core parameters of the program:

  • All mentors and mentees need to fill out this questionnaire to apply to be in the mentorship program by FEBRUARY 28, 2019.  

    • If you are a mentee, you should identify a challenge that you want to work with your mentor on in the next 6 months.  This might be around building skills, navigating organizational challenges, career development, soft skills or anything else related to your career as a researcher.

    • If you are a mentor, you’ll be asked to share a little about your background and what type of things you would feel comfortable mentoring someone on.

  • Not everyone will be accepted into the program this first round. We will match people who want mentors (mentees) with people who want to mentor, based on the mentoring challenge that you want to tackle and the prior experiences of the mentors.  If you are matched, you will receive notification by March 15, 2019.

  • The program will run from March to September.  If you and your mentor/mentee partner want to continue your mentoring relationship after that time, that’s okay too. We’ll be asking for feedback and suggestions to improve the program at the end of September.

    • ​We do ask that you can commit to connecting with your mentoring partner once or twice a month for the six month window.  If you cannot make this commitment, we’ll likely not include you in this first cohort.

  • All people in the program will need to comply with our Code of Conduct.

  • We will have a mid-point meetup with the mentors to discuss progress, challenges and any issues that arise. We will also create a seperate forum where mentors can communicate with each other (we’re a community that has each other’s backs!)


This is our V1, meaning that there are bound to be bugs and challenges to the program, and not all features we’d like to ultimately have will be included.





FAQ for the Design and User Research Mentorship Program


How can I be part of the mentorship program?

You will need to apply to be a mentor or a mentee by filling out this questionnaire by February 28, 2019.  We will select people for the program based on the match with their experiences and what they are trying to achieve.


Who is allowed to participate in this mentorship program?

For this first cohort, we’ll limit participation to people who belong to the Design-User-Research Google Group (a supportive community of researchers that we want to nurture and grow). In the future, we may open this up to others in the field.


Does it cost me anything?

It will not cost you money, but it will cost you time. You need to be able to commit to meeting with your mentoring partner at least once or twice a month, probably for an hour each time.


How often should we meet?

It is up to you and your mentoring partner to determine this, though we recommend that you meet every couple of weeks to keep the momentum going. It will depend, of course, on both parties and what you are trying to achieve.


What do I do if I don’t get along with my mentor/mentee?

If the feeling is mutual, you and your mentoring partner can choose to dissolve the relationship.  If you have any specific challenges, please reach out for help.


What do I do if I was not selected to have a mentor?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to select everyone to be in the program.  So, if you are not selected, we’ll send you a set of alternatives that might work for you.  Please know that we will try our best to partner everyone who applies.


How long does the program last?

We will run this first cohort from March until September. At the end of September, we’ll be asking for feedback and reflections so we can improve the program for the next cohort.


Can I continue meeting with my mentees or mentor after six months?

Of course! Many of us have had long-term relationships with mentors/mentees that lasted far beyond our original engagement.  But, recognize that the end of this six months is an opportunity for you to re-evaluate the value of the time you are putting in and whether it makes sense to change your relationship.


What if I need more time with my mentor?

Because your mentor has other things going on in their lives, we have not asked them to commit to more time than the hour or two a month for the next six months.  If you need more time, determine whether it makes sense to hire a coach that can meet with you more frequently. You can, of course, have both a mentor and a coach.


What’s the difference between a mentor and a coach??

It is a fuzzy distinction.  However, a mentor will generally use his/her experiences to help you gain experiences, improve things or gain access to their network.  A coach will help you make progress against your goals by helping you get clear on what you are trying to achieve, helping you reflect on your experiences and holding you accountable to what you have said you will be doing.  Your mentor may do these things, too… and your coach may also be a mentor… so it’s a little fuzzy.


What types of support do I have as a mentor?

We want you to feel fully supported as a mentor.  So, we’re going to provide you with a mentor-only forum for sharing your questions and issues and getting feedback and suggestions from the other mentors.  We will also have a check-in meeting mid-way through the six months (date TBD). Also, we’ll provide you with an agenda for what you might do with your first meeting with your mentee.


What types of resources do I have as a mentee?

In addition to your mentor, we want you to be well supported in your mentorship experience. We’ll provide you with an agenda for what you might do with your first meeting with your mentor.  We’ll also share a code of conduct with you, that helps you understand what to expect and how you should behave. You, as the mentee, drive the direction of the relationship by defining the mentoring challenge (what you want to accomplish with your mentor over the next 6 months) and the focus of the help you are seeking.

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