For mentors

Updated 4 Sept 2017

PhD candidates are early career scientists. By utilising existing routine and experience from senior scientists (mentors), knowledge is transferred with little cost and effort. Mentors are recruited from the PhDs respective departments, and it shuld thus be viewed upon as an investment in future scientists. High North Academy highly appreciate the mentor’s effort, the courses can not be runned without you.

FSK-8002 Scientific writing

PhD candidates from various fields of science learn about the processes of scientific writing, publication and peer review. The course is divided into three main parts, i) two days of lectures , ii) two days workshop of scientific English writing and iii) improvement of own manuscript (group work).


The group work is supervised by a mentor, who is someone else than the PhD candidate’s supervisor, and we prefer groups of up to four participants with similar scientific background.

  1. The PhD candidates hand in their manuscript via Fronter in advance of the course (2 Oct 2017)
  2. The mentor reads through and give general comments on structure and return the manuscript by course start (16 Oct 2017)
  3. Mentor and the group decide where and when to meet, and the number of meetings equals to the number of participants. At each meeting, one manuscript is at focus. By now, the candidates should have incorporated the comments from the mentor
  4. About three days prior to next meeting, the manuscript at focus should be distributed to the group. This enables all participants to formulate written improvements and feedback
  5. When all manuscripts are discussed, and all feedback is incorporated, the final version should be submitted to Fronter (14 Nov 2017)

Estimated time use is five hours per participant. The group work is mandatory, i.e. it must be approved by the mentor in order to take the exam. The criteria for approving the group work is simply that the participants must have improved their mansucripts significantly. What significant improvement means in practice is difficult to say, but we are not very strict about this. It is only 3 ECTS, and the main point is that the participants learn something useful.

Participants without their own manuscript may be eligible for the exam by participating actively in the group by commenting the other manuscripts.

Based on Qestback surveys, this excersise is rated to be of very high value by the participants.


FSK-8005 Funding your research

The aim is to prepare and enable PhD candidates to submit their own research proposal, with particular focus on funding from EU and the Norwegian Research Council. The course starts with three days of lectures and exercises, and there is an oral presentation of the proposals about two weeks later. Finally, after presentation and peer reviewing from fellow students, the proposal will be finally submitted as an exam.

A few weeks before the course starts, the participants submit a one page draft of their research idea. The process of finding a suitable mentor starts. In the meantime the participants attend lectures and exercises, and will format their proposal according to the requirements. Well before the oral presentation, the proposal is submitted to the mentor.

The mentors are expected to read through the proposal drafts and provide feedback before the oral presentation. Communication via email is ok, but a physical meeting is recommended. The mentor is urged to be present during the  presentation.

A fully developed proposal ready for submission can not be expected within a couple of weeks, but it will be a good starting point for a future proposal when a relevant call appear.