Mentorship Program

The International Society for Bipolar Disorders has always provided opportunities for young clinicians as well as researchers to become actively involved in the Society, from our supported membership programs to our awards and fellowship programs. To further encourage the Society's goal to inspire and educate the future leaders in the field of bipolar disorders, we have now initiated a mentorship program which is focused on creating opportunities for a collaborative learning experience between prospective trainees and mentors. The transmission of knowledge and experience from senior people to young investigators can be invaluable to a junior colleague's future career opportunities in basic as well as clinical research.

What does mentorship entail?

This will largely be decided by mutual agreement between the mentor and mentee and will vary between mentorships. However, all mentorships should begin with an opportunity for an informal meeting:

  1. To identify common professional area of interest within bipolar (e.g. neuroimaging, genetics, cognition, treatment) and
  2. To outline mutually agreed upon objectives.

The next steps will then be:

  1. To define method of getting in touch with each other via (not inclusive): meetings/conferences, email, telephone/Skype, face to face, onsite trainings, etc;
  2. To define frequency and duration of meetings;
  3. To define initial duration of mentorship;
  4. And to evaluate the mentorship experience at the end of agreed upon initial mentorship period.

What are the requirements to be an ISBD mentor?

First and foremost, mentors must have the time and institutional support where necessary to commit to the mentorship. The ability to recognize and encourage strengths of the mentee, as well as guidance with the mentee's own career development have both been identified as qualities of a successful mentor. Mentors are discouraged from simply assigning tasks related to their research.

What is expected of a mentee?

Mentees must also be able to commit to meet time requirements, clearly communicate their educational and professional goals and be respectful of the mentor's time and other commitments. Establishing clear expectations and boundaries at the beginning are important.

Note: Although it is not excluded, the ISBD mentorship program is not intended to created possibilities for research grants. It is also not the intention that the mentee will have to pay an honorarium for the mentor, nor is the mentee expected to receive payment for his/her activities. Nevertheless, a mentorship may lead to a paid research position.

ISBD is calling on all our members to get involved in this program.

For further details and information on signing up to be a mentee, please contact Christina Paternoster via email at