The Mentoring Project For Pre-tenure Women Faculty in Philosophy

The call for applications is out for the 3rd Biennial Workshop. The deadline is Feb.1, 2015, and the workshop will be held June 14-16, 2015. I was a participating mentor at the second, and I hope previous mentors and mentees found it as rewarding as I did! UPDATED to add that in light of the erroneous application deadline on the official website, I’m just pasting the invitation to apply here:

Information and Application Instructions

3rd Biennial Workshop
June 14-16, 2015
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Co-Directors: Louise Antony (UMass) and Ann Cudd (Kansas)

There is mounting evidence that mentoring is important for success in academia. The Mentoring Project aims to build long-term mentoring relationships between eminent senior women and junior women in the field of philosophy.

The Mentoring Project conducted its inaugural workshop in 2011 following a model designed by women in the American Economics Association, which has proven remarkably successful. The third biannual philosophers Mentoring Project will again involve a three-day workshop involving small-group intensive working sessions interspersed with plenary panel discussions on professional development and work/life issues.

Mentees will be assigned a networking group consisting of a mentor and four or five fellow mentees working in similar fields. Each mentor will be responsible for providing written feedback on the workshop papers of each of her mentees, and for participating in discussion at the workshop. Mentees will take responsibility for providing written feedback on the papers of their group members, and will serve as discussion leader and first reader for one paper and second reader for another. In the long term, group members will actively monitor the progress of each others’ careers, offering philosophical feedback and, in the case of the mentors, advice about professional development along the way.

Why Attend?

Women are underrepresented in the profession of Philosophy, and many explanations have been offered for this fact. Two recent special issues of journals that address this issue include a virtual issue of Hypatia and a special issue of the Journal of Social Philosophy. Though there are several causes of this imbalance, good mentoring has been found to be important for success in academia, and women do not receive as much of it as men do. The Mentoring Project aims to build long-term mentoring relationships between eminent senior women and junior women in the field of philosophy.

To Apply

To apply for the workshop, send a CV and an abstract of the paper you will discuss with your networking group by email attachment to lantony at philos.umass.edu  and acudd at ku.edu with subject line: “Mentoring 2015 application” by Feb. 1, 2015.

In addition, we would appreciate an email from you indicating in the subject line your AOS (you may list two fields in preference order). We need this information in order to invite mentors as soon as possible. You need not say anything in the text; we just need a subject line that reads: “AOS xxx and yyy” where xxx is your first area of expertise, and yyy is your second.

In choosing a paper to discuss, you should take care to choose a paper that is squarely in the area of philosophy that you work in. This is very important because we will place you in a mentoring group according to the topic of your paper. That means that the papers you will read and comment on will also be in that area of philosophy. We will do our best to match members of the cohorts and their mentors, subject to availability and space in the workshop.

  • Eligibility:  Any self-identifying woman entering or holding a faculty position in Philosophy at a college or university. The workshop can accommodate up to forty mentees.
  • Cost: There is no charge for participation in the workshop, but we expect mentees’ home institutions to cover the cost of their transportation, and room and board (est. $325).
  • Accessibility: The Mentoring Project is committed to making the Workshop completely accessible to disabled philosophers. All meeting, dining, and guest rooms are wheelchair accessible. Philosophers needing ASL interpreters or assistive technology are asked to communicate such needs as soon as possible to Louise Antony ( lantony AT philos.umass.edu ) who is handling local arrangements.

Louise Antony – lantony at philos.umass.edu
Ann Cudd – acudd at ku.edu

The Mentoring Project Workshop is a project of the Women in Philosophy Task Force. It is funded by a grant from the American Philosophical Association, and one from the Marc Sanders Foundation, and by the Department of Philosophy at U Mass Amherst, and by the University of Kansas.

5 thoughts on “The Mentoring Project For Pre-tenure Women Faculty in Philosophy

  1. I sincerely hope it creates a working group of women who actually stay in touch rather than it’s simply being for just the weekend. That’s the point right? I was there one year and this was not my experience at all. Not to poo poo it. I got a lot out of it, but a network of support, I did not. Hopefully organizers will try to work on this for futures ones.

  2. I’m not sure how helpful or relevant this is, but I am currently running a variant of a “Preparing Future Faculty” program at the University at Albany, and we incorporate a mentoring component in which participants are expected to find a mentor from a different institution and have 6-9 monthly synchronous meetings. They can connect via phone or Skype, but no email. This has only been running for a few years with a few students, but it seems to be working well.

    I used this guide when developing the program: http://www.albany.edu/academics/mentoring.best.practices.toc.shtml
    Students have already taken a 1 cr hour course, “Preparing for the Professoriate” and as part of that have drafted a mentor contract using versions of the documents found in the “Guidelines and Resources” parts of Best Practices page. They meet with us to refine it before they have their initial mentor meeting, during which they negotiate the relationship, then they return a copy signed by both. Students have not reported this format as being a problem for them or their mentors, and they have told us that getting a perspective from outside their graduate department as very helpful to their development as future faculty.

  3. I dunno. Maybe a schedule of paper sharing date deadlines or something for a certain period afterwards?

  4. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t like mine, Aspasia. I met and have stayed in touch with at least 20 people from the year I attended. We share ideas for teaching, navigating the profession, paper drafts etc. But that involved with connecting with a lot of people who were outside my mentor-group. I’ve only really stayed in contact with one other person in my group.

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