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Mentoring Program

New program and web page announcement:
The RSA has announced the fourth cycle of our mentoring program in June of 2020. The reimagined program will form very small professional development discussion groups composed of scholars at all career levels. For more information and details on how to apply, please visit our new Professional Development Groups page.

Program Participation

The RSA will announce the fourth cycle of our mentoring program in May or June of 2020. The program matches mid-career and senior scholars and professionals with graduate students who have completed coursework and postdoctoral scholars who have completed terminal degrees within the last five years.

For the fourth cycle, preference will be given to prospective mentees who did not participate in the third (2019–20) cycle.

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.

Mentor and mentee applications for the 2020–21 academic year cycle will be open until 1 July 2020.

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 who have completed coursework 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 2020 through July 2021.

  • 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.

  • 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. Mentors are expected to take the lead on establishing contact.

  • 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 submit an application by 1 July 2020. The application link will be available in May or June 2020. Scholars from underrepresented groups, such as scholars of color, LGBTQ+ 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.


  • July 1 - Deadline to volunteer as a mentor or request a mentor

  • Late September - Mentors and mentees will be notified of their matches. Program starts.

  • July 31, 2021 - Program ends
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