11 feb 2015

Call for proposals – Conference “Mentoring Matters: effective advising in the research university”


A multidisciplinary conference to highlight the role of mentoring in the teaching and research missions of the 21st Century university

Dates: 11-12 June 2015
Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands (International Campus Utrecht)
Hosted by UU’s Teaching Fellow initiative and University College Utrecht.
Invited Speakers:

  • Dr. Philip Campbell Editor –in-chief, Nature & founder of Nature’s mentor awards
  • Dr. W. Brad Johnson Professor of psychology & author of The Elements of Mentoring

Today’s universities bear the responsibility of preparing society’s intellectual leaders to address the challenges of the future. The success of students and young researchers depends not only on their intellectual talent but also on their understanding of their personal abilities and the demands of the academic culture in which they are being trained. This understanding is fostered by interaction with university teachers, academic advisers and research supervisors- all of whom can in some way serve as mentors. The expansion of social and international mobility brought by the first decade of the 21st century lends urgency to considerations of effective mentoring practice; increasing social and cultural diversity at European universities requires teachers, advisers and supervisors to recognize and nurture individual potential in an increasingly diverse population. This meeting for university educators — in both teaching and research — provides a forum to share best practices in mentoring across disciplines, and to address the complexities of cultivating individual potential in all stages of academic and professional development.

Possible questions include:

  • What characterizes good mentoring in different university environments? What are the professional and ethical responsibilities of mentors in different contexts? When and how do faculty members reach their potential as effective mentors?
  • How do challenges and goals of mentoring differ in different academic stages (bachelor, master, PhD)? How do advisors meet the challenges the different stages pose? How are principles of good guidance similar in different academic and professional stages?
  • How can advisors draw benefits from mentoring? How can good mentoring practice improve teaching? How does mentoring contribute to research?
  • When and how do advisors get the most out of the students/young researchers they supervise? When and how do students/young researchers profit most from mentoring?
  • What are examples of efficient and effective structures for mentoring? What are the benefits and drawbacks of different formalized systems and structures for mentoring?

Proposals are sought for presentations and workshops that will present problems, ideas, applications and research relevant for mentoring university students and young researchers. Proposals on any relevant topic are welcome, but specific themes might include: mentoring for different stages of development; mentoring 21st Century skills; mentoring honors students; supervising undergraduate research; continuity and consistency in mentoring; ethical dilemmas in mentoring ; developing leadership skills; teaching as mentoring; curriculum advising; contributing to academic identity; mentoring minority students/researchers; inter- or cross-cultural dimensions in advising; gender dimensions in mentoring; structures for peer mentoring; models for thesis/PhD supervision; advising for specific goals (curriculum, thesis, PhD/grant applications, etc.).

Key Dates
8 March 2015: deadline for submitting proposals
31 March 2015: confirmation of acceptance, publication of conference schedule
11 May 2015: deadline for early conference registration
Guidelines for submitting proposals
Proposals must be written in English, the lingua franca for the conference.
Presentations: 30-minute presentation sessions (20 minutes with 10 minutes for discussion) by one or more participants, reporting on implementation, problems, experience, initiatives or research within the conference themes.
Workshops: 45-minute interactive sessions conducted by one or more participants in which strategies, solutions to problems and effective practices within the conference themes can be shared and developed.

Proposals should be submitted as PDF documents of two pages (A4 or 8 ½ X 11). The first page of each submission serves as a cover page and should include the following information:

  • Name(s) and affiliation(s) of author(s)/contributor(s)
  • Contact information of (first) author/contributor
  • Type of submission (presentation or workshop)
  • Title of contribution
  • A summary/short abstract of 150 words or fewer (for final program information)

The second page of each submission should include the following:

  • Type of submission, as on first/cover page
  • Title of contribution, as on first/cover page
  • Proposal /extended abstract (maximum 500 words)

Proposals should include the following elements in a coherent, organized whole:

  • Goals of the presentation or workshop
  • Questions to be addressed
  • Relevance for university teaching/research mission
  • Approaches to be used (including structure if proposal is for a workshop)
  • Expected conclusions or outcomes

Proposals can be submitted as an e-mail attachment before midnight, 8 March, 2015 at ucu.mentmat@uu.nl.

Evaluation of Submitted Proposals
Submitted proposals will be evaluated by two readers; the evaluation considers both the quality of the submission and its value for the goals of the conference. The program committee will accept proposals and determine alternates on the basis of the evaluations. Notification of decisions will be made on or before March 31, 2015 when the preliminary program will be published.

Registration fees
early registration (til 11 May): € 25 (student/AiO), € 75 (professional)
on-site registration: € 40 (student/AiO), € 90 (professional)
Conference dinner (additional): € 40 (costs include drinks)
Registration fees are waived for UU-affiliated participants, and participants who are members of the UCGN (University College Guidance Network). All participants are encouraged to register in advance, due to capacity considerations.
Participants can register for the conference and the conference dinner at this link. Instructions for payment of registration fees appear there.

The conference will be held at the UU’s International Campus Utrecht (ICU), home of University College Utrecht and the Utrecht School Economics. For maps and directions to the UCU click here.

For more information please also visited the website!

Program Committee (Utrecht University)
Alexis Aronowitz
Jocelyn Ballantyne (Chair)
Frank Brandsma
Bouke van Gorp
Mieke Lumens
Adri Thomas
Erwin van Sas


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