See Her Exceed (S.H.E.) Mentorship Programme

An initiative of the Women in Deep-Sea Research (WIDSR) project

The S.H.E. Mentorship Programme is a 12-month initiative launched in 2023 under the WIDSR Project to address the pressing need for tailored capacity development and gender equity promotion in deep-sea research.

In addressing the under-representation of women in marine science, the Women in Deep-Sea Research (WIDSR) project is contributing to the design and development of tailored capacity development initiatives to increase the participation and enable the leadership of women scientists from developing States in deep-sea research. WIDSR also strives to mainstream gender equity policy by decision-makers in deep-sea research-related sectors/academic fields.

A survey of 128 participants across 23 LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS reported that more than half (59 per cent) of employed women have in the past declined opportunities to work or study abroad, which can be vital to success in deep-sea research related careers.

One of the key challenges that was confirmed by the survey participants is that (women) students in deep-sea research face a lack of career guidance, thus reinforcing the importance of the mentoring programme.

As part of WIDSR, we are now extending our commitment by launching a woman in deep-sea research mentoring programme, called S.H.E. See Her Exceed.

 

S.H.E. See Her Exceed

The S.H.E. Mentorship Programme is a 12-month initiative under the WIDSR Project to address the pressing need for tailored capacity development and gender equity promotion in deep-sea research. The first pilot was launched in 2023 and will end in June 2025.

The programme is designed to:

  • Facilitate personal growth and career advancement of women scientists from developing countries specializing in deep-sea research.
  • Support the development of professional networks for women scientists in deep-sea-related fields.
  • Assist in the development of professional skills, with a particular emphasis on leadership skills.
  • Break down cultural barriers within deep-sea research and associated career paths.
  • Facilitate the contributions of women scientists to the ISA Action Plan for marine scientific research.

Mentees are selected through an application review process and carefully matched with a mentor. Once paired, they participate in a comprehensive programme, where they outline three goals focused on personal, professional, and scientific development. These goals align with the research priorities under the ISA Marine Scientific Research (MSR) Action Plan. Currently no applications are accepted as the Secretariat is managing the progress of the first pilot programme consisting of 8 pairs.

Throughout the mentoring cycle, mentors—senior professionals from diverse deep-sea-related research disciplines and careers—provide invaluable guidance, advice, and support to help mentees achieve their development goals. This personalized mentorship ensures that each mentee receives the support they need to thrive in their scientific careers.

What impact will this mentoring programme have on women in deep-sea science from developing countries?

  1. Establishment of a community of practice of women scientists in deep-sea research, especially targeting developing countries.
  2. Advancement of the ISA Action Plan for marine scientific research.
  3. Increased career opportunities for junior women in scientific research.

Schedule

We are now in the pilot stage of the SHE Mentoring Programme, which includes 8 mentees from across Africa and Asia—Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, and Indonesia. These women are mentored by 8 senior experts from diverse professional and global backgrounds, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the programme.

The programme is set up as follows:

Application and Selection:

  • Call for Applications is open for a minimum of two months inviting candidates to apply
  • Selection and Matching: The Secretariat in collaboration with the programme’s champion and its partners from OHRLLS jointly assesses the application and make a selection on the criteria specified in the Call for Application. After the selection mentees are carefully matched with a mentor from our approved panel of experts.

Note: We are not currently accepting applications as the Secretariat is managing the progress of the pilot programme consisting of 8 pairs.

 

Programme Structure:

Kick-off Meeting: Mentees and mentors begin with a kick-off meeting to establish the foundation of their mentoring relationship.

Goal Setting: Mentees outline three goals for their personal, professional, and scientific development, aligned with the ISA Marine Scientific Research (MSR) Action Plan.

Mentoring Sessions: Over the course of the programme, mentees and mentors participate in eight online sessions. These sessions include feedback loops to refine and adapt the mentee’s goals and needs.

Mid-term Workshop: An in-person workshop is envisioned to be held at the programme’s midpoint. This workshop facilitates the exchange of best practices, offers networking opportunities, and connects participants with other stakeholders in the field. This is subject to sponsorship or project funding secured for the programme.

 

Capacity Building and Development:

Personal and Professional Development: Within the programme, mentees engage in targeted capacity-building sessions to enhance their personal and professional skills.

Programme Evaluation:

Midpoint and Endpoint Evaluations: The programme will be assessed continuously. Midpoint and endpoint reviews are carried out to ensure it meets its objectives and provides valuable insights for continuous improvement.

Winding Down:

  • Annual Conference: Mentors and mentees may have the opportunity to meet face-to-face scientific conferences held during the year.
  • Symposia: Towards the end of the programme, mentees and mentors come together for a symposia where mentees showcase their work, discuss the outcomes of the programme, and share their experiences.
  • Both of these activities are subject to sponsorship.
  • Certificates: At the end of the mentoring programme cycle, mentees receive certificates for their participation in the programme.

The pilot initiative of the programme is ongoing and is expected to be completed in June 2025, after which a new mentoring cycle will begin.

Our mentors are senior and experienced professionals (women and men) from the fields of deep-sea related research disciplines and careers who are active in either academia or the industry.

The role of the mentor is to provide guidance, advice and counsel to the mentees to support their development goals.

The mentor, as a role model, provides resources and opportunities for the mentee’s development, facilitates the sharing of a professional network, helps set high but achievable goals, makes realistic plans, monitors progress and provides feedback.

Mentors Photo and Bio

info is here: (https://www.isa.org.jm/widsr-she-mentoring-programme/)

The S.H.E. Mentorship Programme targets women scientists from developing countries engaged in deep-sea-related science. The programme currently includes 8 mentees from across Africa and Asia—Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, and Indonesia. These women are mentored by 8 senior experts from diverse professional and global backgrounds, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the programme.

Meet our mentees (Bio)

info is here: (https://www.isa.org.jm/widsr-she-mentoring-programme/)

How to apply to be a mentee

The application system for the S.H.E. Mentoring Programme is now closed. When the next cycle opens the information will be available here.

The cycle will run from 2025 to 2026 so a 12-month commitment is required of all participants.

Mentor applications

If you are interested in joining this programme as a Mentor, please contact the ISA Secretariat at mentorship@isa.org.jm.

Partnering with us offers numerous benefits, including impact, visibility, networking, and recognition. We welcome financial contributions, resource donations, opportunities for mentees, and endorsements to support the programme’s success and empower women scientists in deep-sea research.

We hope to work with you and other partners to establish a community of practice, advance the ISA Action Plan for marine scientific research, and increase career opportunities for junior women in scientific research.

Coming soon.

Contact us via email at mentorship@isa.org.jm.