MenTa: mentoring beyond academe

What is MenTa?

Under the heading ‘Talent also needs Mentoring’ the Ghent University Doctoral Schools and the Department of Personnel and Organization, jointly organize MenTa, a new mentoring programme exclusively targeted at the labour market beyond academe. A postdoctoral researcher wishing to pursue a career in the private or public sector (the mentee) will be given the opportunity to exchange experiences with, and receive feedback from, an experienced professional working in the same sector (the mentor).

MenTa complements Menza, Ghent University’s in-house mentoring programme committed to helping postdoctoral researchers increase their chances of gaining academic promotion and tenure.

For more on mentoring for postdocs, check this page.

Why mentoring? Why MenTa?

Mentoring has always been vital to personal development and more than ever to professional success.

Mentoring is a unique interpersonal (one-to-one) supportive relationship, that focuses on the needs of mentored participants, encouraging them to think more carefully about their personal ambitions and professional goals.

MenTa seeks to connect postdoctoral researchers with professionals active in the private or public sector for advice and guidance about career issues. MenTa provides mentors who inspire and empower their protégés to reach their full potential.

MenTa is:

  • Person-centered and mentee-driven: it nurtures informal professional relationships whereby the main topics of discussion are determined by the mentee.
  • External: its mentors are external to Ghent University’s fundamental research community.
  • Confidential: it fosters mentor-mentee relationships that are based upon mutual trust and respect. The information shared is kept confidential.

Who are the mentees?

The mentee is a Ghent University postdoctoral researcher who wants to explore career options beyond academe.

The maximum number of mentees admitted to MenTa is directly dependent on the number of available mentors. Priority will be given to those postdoctoral researchers who in their statement of motivation clearly explain their reasons for participating in MenTa. Priority will furthermore be given to postdoctoral researchers employed on non-renewable fixed-term contracts.

Who are the mentors?

A mentor is a guide and advisor fully committed to helping a mentee find solutions to different career challenges. Precisely because they have wide professional experience, these mentors have an outstanding ability to empathize with the concerns facing today’s postdoctoral researchers.

The mentors come from an array of sectors including private and not-for-profit sectors, government and non-governmental organizations, public policy, industry, etc. They are former (post)doctoral researchers, not necessarily alumni of Ghent University, who have become successful leaders in diverse fields.

How to register for MenTa?

The selection procedure for MenTa 2017 is closed. A new programme will be launched in October 2018.

Selected for MenTa? And then?

As soon as the selected mentees have been matched with their mentors, a first meeting can be scheduled. Mentees are requested to do this before 15 January 2017. We recommend to have 4-6 meetings throughout the mentoring year.

Apart from the 1-to-1 meetings, mentors and mentees will be invited to a series of activities and workshops.

Calendar of events

  • 1 February 2018: year-end celebration with Dirk Van Damme and Mieke Van Herreweghe
  • 4 May 2017: lunch lecture 'Myths and facts in the career after the PhD'
  • 28 March 2017: MenTa/MenZa networking @ ICC
  • 2 February 2017: 2nd MenTa/MenZa alumni event on 200 years UGent
  • December 2016: 'Steer Your Career' - a mandatory workshop for mentees selected for MenTa or MenZa
  • 9 November 2016: info session for postdocs wishing to participate in MenTa or MenZa
  • 12 October 2016: launch of MenTa 2017 (mentors only) - slides


Please direct all your questions to:

Project team: Nele Bracke – Dieter De Bruyn – Katrien De Gelder – Jasmien Van Daele – Inge Vanheule

Telephone: 09/264 95 05