Peer Mentoring Circles Program

Following the success of the first cohort, we are pleased to launch the second cohort of the C-Hub Peer Mentoring Circles Program.

[The Peer Mentoring Circles Program] was single-handedly the most enriching experience for me at OIST

A Peer Mentoring Circle (PMC) is comprised of a group of colleagues/peers who meet regularly to exchange professional experiences, challenges, interests, and goals for the purpose of sharing and discussing strategies or resources, and creating a collegial, supportive community to mentor and learn from each other. 

Research (references below) has shown that peer mentoring is one of the most productive mentoring practices, resulting in long-term impact through the creation of strong networks whose members comprise a diverse collection of professional and personal experience, expertise, and backgrounds. Over time, PMCs establish a strong sense of community whereby its members continue to support one another in various iterations throughout their career. Furthermore, peer learning has a significant, positive influence on psychological well-being (including autonomy, personal growth, positive relations with others, purpose in life, and self-acceptance).

Each Mentoring Circle will be composed of 4 - 6 members. The facilitation of the initial orientation meeting of the Peer Mentoring Circles (PMCs) will be supported by C-Hub to help establish group goals, plans, and provide best practice guidelines. This year, we invite applicants to join following peer mentoring circles. 

  • Women's Leadership
  • Inclusive Communication
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Well-being

To submit your interest to participate in a Peer Mentoring Circle, please fill out the application form.

Application Form 

[*Note: open to OIST members only.]

Please submit your application by Tuesday, August 1st EOD (by 17:30).

Peer Mentorship Circle timeline *please ensure you make yourself available for the Orientation, Mid-program check-in, and End of Year Sharing & Celebration.

  • Orientation session (1 hour): August 28th, Monday 12:00-13:00 @Lab4 E01
  • Participation in monthly Peer Mentoring Circle meetings - to accommodate everyone's schedule, we recommend the group to meet at noon, once a month (minimum seven meetings total)
  • Mid-Year check-in: January 22nd, Monday 12:00-13:00 @Lab4 F01
  • End of Year Sharing & Celebration: May 27th, Monday 12:00-13:00 @Lab4 F01
  • Program Feedback survey


  • DeCastro, R. et al. (2013) Mentor networks in academic medicine: moving beyond a dyadic conception of mentoring for junior faculty researchers. Acad. Med. 88, 488–496.

The authors examined mentoring from the perspectives of a diverse sample of faculty clinician-researchers who were all members of formal mentoring relationships. Key findings: (1) the numerous roles and behaviors associated with mentoring in academic medicine, (2) the improbability of finding a single person who can fulfill the diverse mentoring needs of another individual, and (3) the importance and composition of mentor networks. Many described the need to cultivate more than one mentor and the highly effective benefits of peer mentors, such as pooled resources and mutual learning. Female participants acknowledged the importance of having at least one female mentor. 

  • Kuhn, C. & Castaño, Z. (2016) Boosting the career development of postdocs with a peer-to-peer mentor circles program. Nature Biotechnology, 34, 781-783.

Mentor circles combine the advantages of both mentoring networks and peer-to-peer mentoring. Participants became leaders and role models for other peers, progressively transmitting the benefits of their mentoring experience to their colleagues and friends.

  • Milo, R. & Schuldiner, M. (2009) Weizmann Young PI forum: The power of peer support. Mol. Cell 36, 913-915.

The academic path is a challenging journey full of hurdles and without a clear roadmap. A group of young faculty searched for support in steering through the complexities of our new roles by forming a peer support group. Lessons learnt along the way are shared. Topics discussed include: What they don’t teach you in grad school; what lies at the basis of a fruitful scientific peer support group; dealing with rejection; and imposter syndrome.

  • Pololi, L.H. & Evans, A.T. (2015) Group peer mentoring: An answer to the faculty mentoring problem? J. Continuing Ed. in Health Professions, 35, 192–200.

To address a dearth of mentoring and to avoid the pitfalls of dyadic mentoring, the authors implemented and evaluated a novel collaborative group peer mentoring program in a large academic department of medicine. Participants experienced an enhanced, inclusive, and appreciative culture; clarified their own career goals, values, strengths and priorities; enhanced their enthusiasm for collaboration; and developed skills.

  • Van Emmerik, I. J. (2004) The more you can get the better: Mentoring constellations and intrinsic career success. Career Development International, 9, 578–594.

This study focused on the relationship between mentoring constellations and intrinsic career success. Mentoring was positively associated with intrinsic career success i.e., career satisfaction and intrinsic job satisfaction. The size of the advice network, range, emotional intensity, frequency of the contacts, and years acquainted were associated with intrinsic career success.

  • Yun, J.H. et al. (2016) Mutual mentoring for early-career and underrepresented faculty: Model, research, and practice. Innov. High. Educ. 41, 441-451.

This article describes the conceptualization, design, implementation, and evaluation of a Mutual Mentoring initiative from 2006 to 2014. Findings indicate that faculty members who participated in this initiative were more likely to regard mentoring as a career-enhancing activity as well as to develop mutually beneficial mentoring relationships than were their nonparticipating peers.

  • Jana M. Hanson, Teniell L. Trolian, Michael B. Paulsen & Ernest T. Pascarella (2016) Evaluating the influence of peer learning on psychological well-being, Teaching in Higher Education, 21:2, 191-206