The PLANTS program could not exist without mentors. Every PLANTS scholar is assigned two mentors: one peer mentor and one experienced mentor. We will be soliciting graduate students, postdocs, faculty members and professionals in the field of botany who would like to serve as mentors during the meeting.

Mentors work with PLANTS students and attend talks with them, introduce them to colleagues, network and generally make the meetings a welcoming place for them. The most important thing to remember is that you are helping the scholar get what THEY want out of the experience.

Expectations for Mentors

Mentors need to be prepared and do their homework, read the mentoring articles shared with them and attend a training webinar in the late spring prior to BOTANY conference. During the conference, mentors will work in pairs are expected to attend talks with the scholars every day. The scholars must attend at least three talks each day with at least one of their mentors. Mentors and scholars will typically meet each day to figure out which talks they are going to go to and check in about how the conference is going. There are several meals planned for all PLANTS participants (see the sample schedule for an idea of what this might look like) and an optional field trip on Saturday.

As a mentor, you will…

  • Help guide your scholar through the meeting in a way that is enjoyable, accessible and of professional and personal benefit to the scholar
  • Listen to and discuss their questions and desires about graduate school and/or career path
  • Share your personal experiences in graduate school, the field of the botanical sciences, and/or your career path generally
  • Help them network and introduce them to colleagues at the conference and beyond,
  • Connect with your mentee before and after the conference to offer support
  • Connect with your co-mentor and other mentors in the PLANTS cohort to ensure the diverse needs of your scholar are met

Costs of conference registration and lodging are covered for peer mentors. The cost of a field trip and two meals are provided for all mentors. It is a very rewarding experience to mentor this group of students. A brief application form for mentors will open in February.

For further information or questions, please contact the PLANTS Program Coordinator:

Resources for Mentors


From Deficits to Possibilities: Mentoring Lessons from Plants on Cultivating Individual Growth through Environmental Assessment and Optimization,” Dr. Beronda Montgomery from Lessons from Plants

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Summary: describes strategies for cultivating growth-focused and appreciative-inquiry-based mentoring (as opposed to a hierarchical/fixed/deficit-based approach)
2     Strategies to Address Mentoring Challenges” From the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research:
3     Mentoring Resources on iBiology
  • Length: a website with over 20 unique resources
  • Summary: The iBiology site has a number of different open access resources about mentoring. Some are geared towards the mentor and some towards the aspiring scientist
  • Google ‘Mentoring Resources on iBiology’
4     The Science of Effective Mentoring in STEMM” from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Length: website with over 20 unique resources
  • Summary: A compilation and analysis of current research on the characteristics, competencies, and behaviors of effective mentors and mentees in STEMM resulting in a practical resource guide for mentoring practitioners to create and support viable, sustainable mentoring support systems. This guide includes a podcast, an online guide, several published reports and papers, and workshop proceedings
  • Mentoring beyond Hierarchies: Multi-Mentor Systems and Models Beronda Montgomery and Stephani Page
5    Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train a New Generation of Scientists” from the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching

Mentor Application

If interested in mentoring for the 2024 PLANTS Cohort, please complete this application by March 30. The application is used to make the best matches possible depending on the backgrounds and interests of our cohort of scholars each year. You will be contacted by mid-April with news regarding the program and whether you have been paired with a scholar for the conference this summer.

Mentors Apply Here