Career & Education Resources



APPAM 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 APPAM Mentoring Program is an essential element of our mission to support the professional development of the next generation of policy researchers. I deeply value the professional​ connections that have emerged from the program and all that I have learned through participating as a mentor.”

 - Scott Allard, University of Washington (Mentor)


“The APPAM mentor match program was a great way for me to gain helpful feedback on my research, job market preparation, and early career advice. It also provided me with networking opportunities that had been limited given the ongoing pandemic.”

-Zachary McDermott, New York University (Mentee)



NEW in 2022: We are pleased to announce that we are advancing the program with Qooper software to streamline the application process, improve the matching process, and to create a more user-friendly platform for our members. If you are a current member, you will receive a link to sign up as either a mentor or mentee in early August. You will then be able to create a profile and download the app at that time. Once you receive the link, please login and explore the new software at your convenience!


While you wait to be matched, you can browse and join Groups or take short learning courses so you can get the most out of the APPAM mentor program. Please note that matches will not be made until late September. Matches will be made quicker during the Fall Conference season as we receive more traffic and applications at that time. Outside of the fall program, matches may take a little longer while we wait for new mentors and mentees to join. If you have any questions while you wait, please contact

Once you receive your match information, you should:

  • Follow the scheduled steps with suggested prompts
  • Set goals and expectations with your match
  • Provide consistent communication with your mentor/mentee and let know if you are unable to stick to this commitment

Below are some upcoming meeting opportunities. We hope to see you there!

2022- 2023 Dates to Remember

Nov. 17, 2022: Fall Research Conference Meet Up (in-person)

2023 Virtual Meet-Ups: To be announced in late 2022


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 Document Review – Resume, teaching statement, lesson planning, and career/goal setting 
  • Research Guidance – Offers feedback on current research, identifies possible collaborators or datasets, reviews research strategies/statements/questions 
  • Overall Professional Development – Provide information on career options, interviewing tips, teaching strategies, and overall long-term career planning
  • Fellowship Application Assistance – Assistance with preparing fellowship applications, budget, proposal, meeting requirements, and managing deadlines

Required Program Activities 

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

  1. APPAM 2022 Fall Research Conference Meet-Up – APPAM invites all mentors and mentees at the 2022 Fall Research Conference to attend the meet-up.  
  2. 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 2022 and spring/summer 2023 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 Membership at