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Good mentorship is one of the most important cornerstones for success in a scientific career, but too often, finding a mentor who is the right fit is left largely to “good luck” in stumbling upon the right person at the right time. This task is even more daunting for underrepresented and under-served scientists, who, due to the largely white and/or male cultural dominance in the geosciences, rarely have the opportunity to find someone who truly understands them and reflects their values.


Holly Olivarez (INSTAAR grad student, on right) with her advisor and mentor Nikki Lovenduski (ATOC Assoc. Professor) at a workshop for the NCAR/UCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM).


INSTAAR Junior Scientist Mentoring Program (JSMP)

The INSTAAR JEDI Task Force has created the Junior Scientist Mentoring Program (JSMP) to make it easier for our underrepresented and under-served early-career scientists to access further mentoring. The JSMP is modeled after MPOWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention).

The program helps junior INSTAARs:

  • Feel welcome in our community,
  • Make connections, develop a sense of belonging, and gain community support,
  • Build confidence to be comfortable promoting themselves and their work,
  • Access advice, encouragement, and strategies for both professional and personal success, and
  • Learn from sharing the experiences of both senior scientists and peers.


The program is open to all INSTAARs who self-identify as an underrepresented and/or under-served scientist, whether an undergrad, grad student, postdoc, or PRA.

Group meetings

The program consists of small group mentoring meetings. Groups of 3-4 junior scientists meet monthly with 1-2 senior scence facilitators via an audio-only Zoom call for approximately 1 hour (video is an option if all agree).

Meetings consist of individual check-ins and group discussions about issues or topics that are of mutual interest (e.g., time management, work-life balance, career advice).

Meetings are meant to be a safe space for discussion. Meetings will never be recorded.

Learn more

See the JSMP Handbook (PDF) for more information on the program's purpose, meetings, membership, and group facilitation. Also included is a guide to listening, promoting growth, and giving/receiving feedback. For questions or concerns, contact Nikki Lovenduski.


Join the mentoring program as either junior scientist or senior facilitator.  New mentoring groups are being established in Spring 2021, and new groups will be added as needed in Fall 2021 and beyond on a semesterly basis.

Sign up for mentoring


Better Fieldwork Future Program

May 12, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Professional training with the goal of ensuring field settings that are safer, equitable, and more welcoming for the next generation of field scientists. INSTAARs engaged in any kind of fieldwork strongly encouraged to attend.

Accessibility in STEM and Science Communication

May 17-18

Students and postdocs are invited to join the Science Speak-Easy team and WiSE for a virtual science communication workshop on how we can make our research more accessible for all.


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