For mentors

Updated 20 April 2018

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, and the participants report that this is the most useful part of the courses.

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 Canvas in advance of the course (2 Oct 2018), and the HNA coordinator send it to the respective mentors
  2. The mentor reads through and give general comments on structure and return the manuscript by course start (16 Oct 2018)
  3. The mentor and the group decide when, where and how often to meet. The number and duration of meetings will depend on manuscript length and time available for the mentor.
  4. Before the first meeting, comments from the mentor should be incorporated in the manuscripts by the authors, and it should be distributed to the group members about three days in advance of the meeting. This enables all participants to formulate suggested improvements and constructive feedback
  5. When all manuscripts are discussed, and all feedback is incorporated, the final version should be submitted to Canvas (14 Nov 2018)

Estimated time use for the mentor is five hours per participant. Again, this depend on which stage the manuscript is at, and how much time the mentor can spend. 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 manuscripts 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 to get the writing process started.

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


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 (29–31 Oct 2018), and there is an oral presentation of the proposals about a month later (29–29 Oct 2018).

A few weeks before the course starts (11 Oct 2018), the participants submit a one page draft of their research idea and 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 for review.

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 month, but it will be a good starting point for a future proposal when a relevant call appear. Finally, after presentation and peer reviewing from fellow students, the (maximum ten pages) proposal will be submitted as an exam via WISEflow.