Annual MASS AWIS Mentoring Circle Program

A mentoring circle is a group of individuals that meet together on a regular basis for an agreed-upon length of time. The group’s primary purpose is to help mentees accomplish two tasks:

    • Set important development goals
    • Build competence and character to reach those goals

The group exchanges experiences, challenges, and opportunities for the purpose of enhancing self-confidence, communication skills, leadership practices, and commitment to one’s career.

    • Each mentoring group consists of 1-2 mentors and 3-5 mentees, carefully matched using information gathered from Mentee and Mentor Applications. Our mentors are an experienced group of women working in either academia or industry.
    • Circles are expected to meet for 2 hours per month over a 9 month period (Sept-May). Meetings may take place in person or online depending on public health guidelines and the discretion of the circle.
    • All participants (mentors and mentees) must attend the Kick-Off Event in the third week of September (online) and the End-of-Year Appreciation Event in May.
    • New mentors must attend a Mentors Orientation in early September. Returning mentors are encouraged to attend as well. A mid-year mentor training workshop will be held in early 2023.
    • There is a nominal mentee fee ($25) to defray the costs for the program events. MASS AWIS Bucks can be applied here. Mentors do not pay for the program.
    • Mentor and Mentee recruitment will take place in July 2022. Mentees will be selected according to suitability to the program, and preference will be given to those that apply early.
    • Once all applications have been received, the mentoring committee will do their best to match applicants into circles based on common goals, backgrounds, and other preferences. We regret that we are not always able to place all applicants. Each applicant will be notified of their status by September 2nd, with circle assignments announced in early September.


Mentoring Circles Program 2023-2024

Check back here for event and application information.

Have more questions about being a mentor or mentee?

Check out the Mentoring Circles brochure or read the Nature Biotechnology article by MASS AWIS 2011 President: Masha Hareli, “A Mentoring Program for Women Scientists Meets a Pressing Need”.

Please contact the Mentoring Committee Chairs for more information:

Feedback from past Participants:

“Personally the best thing I got out of this circle was the support and encouragement from everyone.  It felt really good to set some concrete goals for personal/career development, and even better to be able to check them off when completed!” -Elizabeth Heilig, mentee

“As a mentor, I enjoyed seeing how our mentoring circle recognized, set, and achieved goals throughout the year.  Even though I was a mentor, my mentees taught me a lot about myself and helped me figure out how to balance my hectic schedule.” -Lynnelle Pittet, mentor