Career & Education Resources


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. APPAM will host one virtual meet-up and one in-person meet-up in the fall and we'll send quarterly reminders to encourage individual meetings as well.

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.

Mentees must be active APPAM student members, but membership is not required for professional or retired mentors. 

Mentor Applications are now open! 


Mentee applications will open in August, 2024.



"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)



Dates to Remember

Mentor Applications Open: May 2024

Mentor Applications Close: July 12, 2024

Mentee Applications Open: August 2024

Virtual Meet Up: Fall 2024

Individual Meet Ups: Fall 2024

Mentor Match Speed Mentoring: Hosted by APPAM and The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families: November 2024 at #2024APPAM


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

How the Matching Process Works 

Policy academics, practitioners, and researchers will have their mentor profiles posted on 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 2024 Fall Research Conference Meet-Up – Mentors and Mentees should schedule a time to meet at the 2024 Fall Research Conference 1:1. If program participants are not attending the conference, a virtual meeting must be held.
  2. Program Summary – Once they've settled in the program, mentors and mentees will be asked to complete a survey about their program. 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 once each quarter between summer/fall 2024 and spring/summer 2025 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.

Questions? Email Michelle Avaroma,