World Federation of
Science Journalists

Mentor in Science Journalism

The World Federation of Science Journalists is set to continue its mentoring project in Africa and across the Middle-East. Building on its first phase SjCOOP will twin experienced science journalists with journalists keen to improve their skills at covering science and technology. Participating journalists and mentors will be organized in three groups: English-speaking Africa, French-speaking Africa and the Arabic speaking countries. Each group will be led by a regional coordinator and will include 5 mentors and some 20 to 25 journalists (mentees). The mentoring will extend over two years. It will mainly be distance mentoring but will also include four face-to-face meetings between mentors and mentees, associated to field visits and scientific conferences in Africa and the Middle East.

The mentors are key players in the Project. Each one will accompany 4 to 5 journalists during two years of learning on how to become professional science and technology reporters. The mentoring will be based on a peer-to-peer relationship, i.e. the mutual sharing of professional challenges, best practices and expertise between colleagues. The project is looking for mentors who not only have a solid experience of science journalism, but who can also inspire and act as role models.


Beyond the continuous mentoring relationships, mentors will have to commit to the following activities:
  1. During the first year:
    • One five day training session for mentors (June 28 - July 2nd 2010);
    • One five day regional workshop in Africa or the Middle East;
  2. During the second year:
    • One five day face-to-face meeting in Africa or the Middle East;
    • One five day regional workshop in Africa or the Middle East;
  3. During the third year:
    • Hosting internships for mentees (when available);
    • One five day face-to-face meeting; 

If you want to be a Mentor
Mentor: essential qualifications and requirements
  • At least 5 years of experience in journalism with a minimum of two years in science journalism
  • Experience in editing, directing or training;
  • Being able to give the time needed for the mentoring;
  • participate in the program activities (all above);
  • Mentors will have to submit 3 samples of their science journalistic production;
  • Strong recommendations from leading science journalists or trainers in science journalism;
  • Strong interest in helping, sharing and motivating;
  • Respect and openness;
  • Internet connection; and
  • Good English language skills.
Mentor: useful experiences and qualifications
  • Presently working as a science journalist, freelance or for a media;
  • Previous experience in mentoring, coaching, or teaching of science journalism, or in the organization of training workshops in science journalism is a plus;
  • Professional track record recognized by prizes, awards or scholarships.
Mentor: Tasks and responsibilities
  • Participate in Training Session for Mentors (June 28 - July 2nd 2010);
  • Mentor 4 to 5 journalists during 2 years;
  • Learn about the 4 or 5 mentees, their achievements and expectations in science journalism;
  • Build a relationship of trust, respect and friendship with mentees;
  • Provide advice, comments and suggestions on the best practices in science journalism;
  • Share with mentees information on available resources (manuals, contacts, online courses, internships) as identified by the World Federation of Science Journalists;
  • Tutor the mentees in the lessons of the Online Course of Science Journalism developed by the World Federation of Science Journalists during the first months of the SjCOOP project;
  • Design with each mentee a customized individual mentoring scheme for the whole mentoring period;
  • Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of articles or audio productions of mentees in a constructive way with the goal of improving the mentees’ ability to cover science and technology;
  • Participate to two regional workshops with the mentees in Africa or the Middle East (approximately one week);
  • Participate to two face-to-face meetings of the whole group (approximately one week);
  • Make sure that articles or electronic productions of mentees are copied to the regional coordinator and project secretariat with comments;
  • Lead a team of mentees during the transborder stories aiming to implement evidence-based policies;
  • Produce regular reports regarding his mentees achievements; 
  • Evaluate progress of mentees to prepare final report and recommendation for awarding a certificate of the World Federation of Science Journalists for participation in the two-year mentoring project.
Contract and stipends

The different tasks of a mentor will be detailed in a contract between the mentor and the World Federation of Science Journalists.

As recognition of the mentors works, each mentor will receive a maximum of $10,000 CAD per year during 2,5 years. The Project will also cover the costs of travel to training session and the regional and face-to-face meetings.

Note: additional information was posted in the news concerning this announcement, please check this page:
If you have any questions, you can also use the comments section to ask questions to the project Manager Ms. Olfa Labassi.

The Mentor application process is now over