UFAW Mentoring Partnership

UFAW is committed to supporting the development of animal welfare science worldwide. We are especially keen to ensure that animal welfare science develops in areas where it has yet to become firmly established. One way in which UFAW achieves this is through supporting the next generation of animal welfare scientists.  

Not all students have ready access to the help and resources required to plan a scientific research proposal.  Providing guidance in project planning and experimental design to individuals early-on in their careers will help to  ensure that the work that they wish to undertake, and the methodology that they use, will lead to meaningful and scientifically valid findings.  

In an effort to address this issue, UFAW is expanding our new mentoring scheme, piloted in 2020/21, Mentors will be paired with Students wishing to be mentored. Mentors will predominantly be early career researchers (ECRs) with a strong background in animal welfare science who have the capacity, time, and willingness to support the Student. Students will mainly be at undergraduate or masters level (including those studying veterinary medicine) interested in carrying out animal welfare research (although they do not have to be animal welfare students).   

The aim of the scheme is to pair a Student with a more experienced Mentor who can then guide and support the Student in the early stages of project planning to ensure that their project (whether experimental, survey, or  other)  has a solid scientific foundation. UFAW anticipates that the pairing will prove beneficial to both parties:  
  
Mentor:  

  • Opportunity to gain experience of supervision, a skill they are likely to find highly useful later in their career 
  • Obtain credit as UFAW Mentor for their CV 
  • Learn about the culture in another country or a different research area/department  
  • Forge international connections
  • Gain experience of an area of research that may differ slightly from their own work 


Student:  

  • Improve knowledge on experimental design  
  • Forge international connection with ECR from another faculty/country  
  • Improve likelihood of publication  
  • Potential for publishing with international colleague   
  • May encourage students to become supervisors and mentors themselves, thus further expanding animal welfare science capacity  

This year we plan to expand the scheme to include more Mentor-Student pairs. We invite those who think they may benefit from the scheme, as either a Mentor or Student, to register their interest by completing the brief form below or by sending an email to Liz Carter (carter@ufaw.org.uk) at UFAW.   

*
*
*
*

Mentor or student *

 

Unsure whether to take part or not?  Let our previous Mentors and Students inspire and encourage you... 

"This was a great way to expand my horizons and see what it is like to mentor people with a different background, in slightly different research fields, and potentially different personality, goals, or style of working compared to other students I had supervised so far.” (Mentor 2020/21) 

“This mentorship scheme has strengthened my resolve to stay associated with academic/research and increased my interest in a teaching profession in which I am dreaming of becoming a professor of animal welfare in the near future addressing vital welfare issues impacting animal’s lives”. (Student 2020/21)  

“Seeing how the mentee developed and improved his own ideas was very rewarding. It was also good see that my time and my work were really appreciated” (Mentor 2020/21) 

“It has helped me better understand what a scientific writing entails, how best to write and design a great project”. (Student 2020/21). 

“When this mentorship programme came up, I saw a great opportunity of expanding my knowledge in animal welfare from different perspectives, and from someone experienced and is not in my learning environment”. (Student 2020/21). 

“She [my mentor] helped me in developing a good animal welfare project concept, and through her support, I managed to win the HSA Student/trainee scholarship and I am beginning my project in July”. (Student 2020/21).  

“I’ve learned about a new research topic and got to work on my approach to mentoring in a way where I was more independent and had to think about what kind of mentor I want to be.” (Mentor 2020/21) 

“It has been an excellent period for me, I thank UFAW for the opportunity and I look forward to see more students get such opportunities at our university”. (Student 2020/21).  

“This is a great initiative from UFAW, providing a platform for young scientists like myself to discover our true potential towards becoming the next generation of animal welfare scientists. Thank you UFAW for this wonderful opportunity”. (Student 2020/21).  

Advice for future Mentors from previous participants: 
“If you can spare 1-2 hours a week, apply! You can improve your teaching and supervising skills. You will learn a lot on animal welfare science in other countries and cultures. And last but not least: helping someone, seeing someone grow is very rewarding”. (Mentor 2020/21) 

Advice for future Student Mentees from previous participants: 
“Just apply! There are scientists out there who have struggled with the same things as you; they create a very positive atmosphere and are eager to help. Plus, it is a great chance to build your scientific network; mentors may know about interesting conferences, internships, PhD positions etc.” (Mentor 2020/21) 

“This mentoring scheme provides an invaluable source of support needed for students willing to build a career in animal welfare science. It provides an avenue to give you the needed push to be a great scientist”. (Student 2020/21)  

If you would like to ask more about the scheme, then please email: carter@ufaw.org.uk.