World Federation of
Science Journalists

Mentor in Science Journalism

POSITION: Mentors Coordinator

Following the launch of the Online Course in Science Journalism, we have received many requests for training in science journalism. We would like to respond to this interest in the online course by creating a new activity, tapping on the skills and goodwill of science journalists, worldwide.

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) is looking for a science journalist with experience in training or teaching science journalism. As the Mentors Coordinator, the person would coordinate the pairing of mentors with mentees interested in improving their skills in science journalism. Essentially, the task would be to find mentors and assign them to interested mentees. The mentoring will be at a distance and will include walking the mentee through the WFSJ Online Course.

Candidates are invited to submit proposals on how they would establish and manage this pairing of mentees with mentors. Mentees would have to pay for the mentoring, though access to the Online Course will remain free.

Eventually, this activity could evolve, depending on the investment contributed by the incumbent, the interest of mentees, and WFSJ’s interests. The quality of the proposal and the qualifications of the candidate will determine who will be awarded this unique opportunity.

The proposal

WFSJ will provide some initial support (to be discussed with the selected individual) but this is essentially an opening for a self-starter entrepreneur. WFSJ is open to innovative and practical ideas.

At this stage, the Federation is looking for an individual who would at the minimum establish and manage a program that would pair a person interested in being mentored in science journalism with a mentor. Eventually, this distance mentoring in science journalism could develop the following features:
  • mentoring at a distance anywhere in the world;
  • recruiting and matching a mentor with a mentee; mentors who can mentor in any language but who would need to be fluent in one of the languages of the coordinator;
  • fee-based mentoring and training that will make the activity self-sustaining (the mentees’ fees should cover the honorarium for the mentor, honorarium for the coordinator, and a small overhead for WFSJ);
  • mentoring should include following the WFSJ online course; mentoring could also include career advice;
  • mentoring should be completed in a specific time;
  • mentees who complete the mentoring will be assessed before being awarded WFSJ certificate.
  • Launching date: 15 December 2008.

Proposals should include information on the following elements;
  • fee structure
  • mentoring plan for mentees: content, duration
  • evaluation of mentees

WFSJ will promote the program and help in recruiting mentors and mentees. If necessary, it can also provide private web spaces where mentees could upload their productions to be commented by their mentor. It will collect and administer the fees, pay the Coordinator and the mentors. WFSJ will also provide a guidebook for mentors. The Federation will share with the coordinator and the mentors its experience in mentoring as well as names of potential mentors and mentees.

The Federation will also initially offer some scholarships for candidates from the developing world.

Qualifications of the Mentors Coordinator

Beside the quality of their proposal, candidates will be evaluated according to their qualifications in science journalism, their training experience in science journalism, their experience in managing training activities in science journalism, and according to their language skills and letters of recommendations.

DEADLINE: complete proposals including candidates’ CV and letters of recommendations (not more than three) should be received at WFSJ before midnight (Canada’s Eastern Daylight Time) on 3rd November 2008.

WFSJ plans to launch this program pairing mentors and mentees in science journalism on 15 December 2008.

Send your proposal before 3rd November 2008 to info@wfsj.org