Hear From a Mentor


I have enjoyed getting to meet and talk with students from other Schools, to learn about their interests, as well as their programs.  This has been helpful in terms of reflecting on our program and ways we might do things differently.  I've also appreciated connecting with students interested in similar areas of research who have been trained by different faculty and bring different perspectives, ideas, and frameworks to our conversation.  It's always inspiring to meet smart, motivated young people in our field who are becoming the next generation of scholars.

Dr. Sarah Jane Brubaker, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2017 Mentor


Hear From a Mentee


The mentor matching program was a great opportunity for getting candid feedback and advice from someone experienced in the field.  My mentor was very helpful with both my academic research and thinking through career paths. I certainly recommend the program for anyone looking to get focused attention and an expert perspective.

Kirk Heffelmire, PhD Student, Schar School of Policy and Government - George Mason University


Mentor Matching Program


_DSC3401Interested in Mentoring?

Are you an APPAM student member in search of career development support, research guidance, and networking? The APPAM Mentor Matching Program is right for you! This program matches student members with professional members to connect one-on-one regarding professional development topics. We host meet-ups at the fall conference and various online events to connect throughout the year. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to check-in at least once per quarter.

The APPAM Mentor Matching Program began in 2016 by the APPAM Student Activities Committee as a means to better serve the APPAM student member population. What started out as an informal speed mentoring program has now grown to dozens of one-on-one mentor/mentee pairings between policy academics, researchers, and practitioners and student members. We encourage both students and professional members in the program to connect and expand their professional networks throughout the year and beyond.

The 2020 Mentor Matching Program will open soon


Dates to Remember

7/13 Mentor Application Opens
8/13, Mentor Application Closes
Week of 8/14 List and Bios of Mentors Available
8/19 Mentee Application Opens
9/18 Deadline for Mentee Application
Late September, Pairing Announcement
10/20 Twitter Chat
2020 Fall Conference, Meet up


Types of Mentoring Available 

The mentor/mentee relationship can be structured in whatever manner best suits your needs and the skills of your mentor. As a mentee, please have an idea of what you want to gain from this program when you initially connect with your mentor. Here are a some ideas to get you started, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Job Doc Review – Resume, teaching statement, lesson plans, and career & goal setting 
  • Research Guidance – Feedback on current research, assistance identifying potential collaborators or datasets, research strategies/statements/questions review 
  • Overall Professional Development – Provide and receive information on career options, interviewing tips, teaching strategies, and overall long-term career planning
  • Fellowship Application Assistance – Assistance with preparing fellowship applications, budgeting, meeting application requirements, and managing deadlines

How the Matching Process Works 

Policy academics, practitioners, and researchers will have their mentor profiles posted on APPAM.org. The profile will include a bio sketch, research interest(s), and type of mentoring they will provide (see above). Students may view all mentor profiles and then indicate their top 3 mentors during the mentee application process. Once the match has been confirmed with the mentor, mentees will be notified and then make initial contact with their mentor.

Required Program Activities 

MentoringTo help facilitate meaningful connections, all mentors and mentees are required to participate in the following activities:  

  1. APPAM 2020 Fall Research Conference Meet-Up – APPAM invites all mentors and mentees at the 2020 Fall Research Conference to attend this meet-up where you may meet your match in-person during the conference.  
  2. Online Activities – We will host various online activities, such as a Twitter chat focused on navigating the mentoring relationship.
  3. Program Summary – Once they've settled in the program, mentors and mentees will be required to provide a short written summary of their experiences. This will provide future participants with examples of what the program entails and will provide feedback on the program so APPAM can improve upon it in the future. Participants will be asked how the program helped them in their career, what they learned, and why they chose to participate in the program.

Additional Information, Helpful Tips & Guidelines

  • Mentee must make initial contact with mentor within one week of matching.
  • Mentor must respond to mentee within one week of initial contact.
  • Mentors and mentees are strongly encouraged to check-in at least once each quarter between summer/fall 2020 and spring/summer 2021 as well as make yourself available and respond in a timely manner.
  • Be respectful of your mentor’s/mentee’s existing time commitments.
  • Respect your mentor/mentee, including their identity including race, ethnicity, gender, and gender expression, age, visible and non-visible disability, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, religious/non-religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socio-economic class, or any of the other differences among people.
  • Mentor agrees they are a professional working in the field of public policy, public affairs, and/or management.
  • Mentee agrees they are a APPAM student member enrolled in a policy related degree program at an institution of higher education.
  • Upon First Meeting: Agree on goals for the mentoring relationship during the first meeting between mentor and mentee and put them in writing and set expectations in terms of how often, when, and where to meet.

Have a question? We have answers! Email Ryan Martz at rmartz@appam.org.

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)
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Phone: 202.496.0130 | Fax: 202.496.0134
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