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Mentoring Program

Thank you for your interest. The deadline for registering for the 2017-2018 program was 11 August 2017.

Missed the call and need some guidance now? Here's the healthy work habits handout we sent to all mentees this year.

2017–18 Call for participation

The RSA is pleased to announce a new mentoring program that will match mid-career and senior scholars and professionals with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have completed terminal degrees within the last five years.

The purpose of the program is to make more transparent how to thrive as a Renaissance studies scholar, and encourage forthright conversations about how to pursue one’s research, complete a dissertation, seek a job in or out of the academy, and more. The program aims especially to help early-career scholars make contacts beyond their home institutions, and to help those who do not have colleagues in Renaissance studies at their current place of employment. We also hope mentors will help first-time attendees at the RSA Annual Meeting by guiding them in how to make the most of the conference.

Mentor and mentee applications for the 2017–18 academic year cycle will be open until 11 August 2017.

The RSA wishes to thank the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) for inspiring our mentoring program.


Mid-career or senior scholars, as well as professionals from inside and outside the academy: professors, publishers, directors of institutes, administrators, etc. Mentors need not be members of the RSA.


Graduate students at any stage of their careers or post-graduates within five years of receipt of their terminal graduate degree (including PhD, MLS, MA, and JD). Mentees must be members of the RSA.

How it works

  • Mentors and mentees are matched by the RSA Mentoring Committee.
  • This one-year mentoring relationship is intended for September 2017 through August 2018.
  • Communications may take place as often as once a month, either electronically or (where possible) in person, but are intended more commonly as three to four conversations over the course of the year. They might include discussion of the state of a given field, an exchange of experiences on entering a field, and/or conversations in which a mentor offers a fresh perspective on a junior colleague’s plans.
  • Participants are encouraged, but not required, to meet once in person at the RSA Annual Meeting.
  • Mentoring conversations are intended to be reciprocal, in the sense that junior and senior colleagues are interested in sharing ideas and experiences at different locations on a career spectrum.
  • While reading of dissertation chapters or grant proposals aids every scholar, this program defers that labor to the mentee’s local networks. This program entails no commitment to reading on the part of the mentor. The mentor is not expected to play the role of a dissertation advisor. Rather, the mentor will be someone who brings a different area of expertise.

How to participate

Mentors and mentees should select the appropriate link below and submit an application by 11 August 2017. Scholars from underrepresented groups, such as scholars of color, LGBTQIA scholars, scholars with disabilities, and others who wish to be matched with a Mentor or Mentee from the same group or with related experiences are welcome to express such a preference to the Mentoring Committee. The committee will attempt to make appropriate matches, or, if no match is available through our program, to connect Mentees with a subject-specific mentor through our program and also help the Mentee contact other programs capable of providing supplementary diversity mentoring.


  • August 11 - Deadline to volunteer as a mentor or request a mentor
  • Early September - Mentors and mentees will be notified of their matches
  • 15 September 2017 - Program starts
  • 22–24 March 2018 - If possible, schedule a meeting at the RSA Annual Meeting
  • 31 August 2018 - Program ends
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