Mentoring Programme

Working alongside partners, the BES has expanded its mentoring programme to facilitate networking and mentoring for our members via a user-friendly mentoring platform.


We are launching a new mentoring platform!

Become a Mentor, a Mentee, or both!

Join our Mentoring platform to connect with other BES members and take part in our mentoring programme. You will need to be a member to join.

If you have any questions on how to join or use the platform, or on the mentoring programme in general, please email Fiona Le Ray or Amy Padfield.

Access mentoring platform

What can you gain from mentoring? 

By joining the mentoring programme, you can:

  • Improve your confidence
  • Gain valuable insight and knowledge
  • Develop new skills or enhance existing ones
  • Access networking opportunities
  • Gain access to free BES training webinars
  • Give back to the ecological community

We place an emphasis on increasing networking opportunities with other mentors on the platform. Webinars will be held for mentors to further career development and mentoring abilities.


Useful Resources

Article (by Amy Padfield): Mentoring: Rooting the path for progression (



What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a way to help fellow ecologists fulfil their potential by providing unique perspectives and advice, inspire, and support each other. A mentor’s role is to listen to, guide and support a mentee, allowing them to reach their own conclusions and set goals and assess progress. The BES mentoring programme is based around personal development rather than subject specific knowledge.

What is the time commitment?

It will be up to you to decide how often you meet and how much contact there is in between meetings. For example, some mentoring partners meet once every couple of weeks for an hour, with agreed email communication in between if questions arise. We suggest each mentoring partnership lasting about 6 to 12 months, which will provide enough time and structure to assess goal progression. Don’t forget to set expectations from the beginning!

Who can be a Mentor?

We encourage everyone with at least 2-3 years’ experience in a relevant role (and didn’t do a higher education degree) or a graduate (if did a higher education degree) to consider creating a profile.

The focus of this mentoring programme is professional development (such as, but not limited to, dealing with imposter syndrome, enhancing decision-making skills, or developing networking skills). You do not need to have particular subject expertise – any experience, insight, and guidance you can provide will be valuable to mentees!

I just got a membership, or renewed an existing one, why can’t I access the platform?

Any new memberships need to be registered by our system and the payment may take a few days to go through. Likewise, if your membership expired and you renewed it, it will take a few days for the payment to be registered in our system.

We recommend waiting about a week, after which you should be able to access the platform.
If you got a free student membership, you will have to wait until our overnight server update registers the membership – we recommend accessing the platform 24hours after getting the membership.

How do I sign up?

Use your BES account details to sign-up and create a profile. The rest will be easy to navigate!


History of mentoring at the BES 

The BES has run mentoring in some capacity since 2009. Our highly successful Women in Ecology mentoring scheme paired women from the UK and internationally to provide support in areas such as work-life balance, changing careers, and career development. During 2021 we reviewed mentoring at the BES and looked into how we can expand our provisions and support more members. We have now implemented a new scheme to increase the resources and impact we can have, whilst considering how we can provide more training and webinars for our members. We are keen to discuss the benefits of being both a mentor and a mentee.

Testimonials from a Mentor

“I wasn’t really sure if I would be a suitable mentor; as I approached the end of my PhD and was assessing my next move, however, I thought about how mentoring someone else could also benefit me. Working in both industry and academia has allowed me to develop a wide range of skills and I wanted to pass on information to others about how to gain these skills. The scheme has benefited me by providing me with the opportunity to think about my own career path and where I want to go next; I’d also like to be more involved with teaching and mentoring in the future.” Mentor, 2018/19 scheme.

Testimonials from a Mentee

“As an early PhD student, the scheme has provided me with valuable external support and encouragement. The scheme is flexible for both mentor and mentee but with clear guidelines and exercises. I do highly recommend this scheme to anyone that wants to reinforce their self-confidence and increase their scientific networking.” Mentee, 2018/19 scheme