EFOMP Mentoring in Research programme

Even though research and development are important in medical physics, not all young professionals and residents are offered an adequate environment to acquire the research methodology and skills to successfully develop/explore their innovative ideas.

The new programme “Mentoring in Research” aims at supporting earlycareer Medical Physicists (MPs) who want to set up a research project. It is about mentors helping mentees who have little access to research resources. The programme aims at establishing high-level exchanges to foster the per-sonal development of the mentee.

Potential mentees are earlycareer medical physicists (less than 7 years’ experience in the field of medical physics after their undergraduate degree) in situations where it is hard or impossible to find an experienced MPE (or a medical doctor/radiobiologist) who is willing to advise on a research programme or innovation.

Mentees will be advised by an experienced professional, able to help young medical physicists to “see the forest for the trees” in the land of Research, or even better, helping to see “the bigger picture or broader situation”, i.e. the context of the research idea or innovation. The mentor will lend practical help to young people to start developing some research. The EFOMP mentor does NOT supervise the work and mentor responsibility is restricted to the advice given. Mentor and mentee do not necessarily have to work in the same specialty.

The mentor can advise on matters including research set up, instrument building, ethical and patient safety issues, finance, patents, building a network, information exchange, literature, presentations, and publications, etc. The mentor is not supposed to lend financial support.

The EFOMP mentor will communicate with the mentee using electronic communication (E mail, Tconf). The initiative for communication can be taken by both the mentor and the mentee. A response will be given within a week. In case of no response, this must be reported to the chair of the EFOMP Science Committee who will take further action.

In order to promote mentor turnover, mentorship is supported by EFOMP (i.e. the Science Committee chair) no longer than 1 year. However, mentor and mentee may agree to prolong their coopera-tion if they think this is necessary.

Selection of mentees
Interested candidates should send an email with CV and motivation letter to science.committee@efomp.org by September 1st, 2020. The selection will be made in terms of personal interests, geographical diversity, motivation and needs. A first virtual meeting (because of CoVID-19 pandemic) between mentors and potential mentees will take place in November (dates to be confirmed). A reduced (in number of participants) version of the programme will start running after that meeting.

Presentation of the programme
Due to COVID-19, the ECMP2020 congress has been postponed to 16-19 June 2021, where an official presentation of the Mentoring programme will be held during a network event organized by EFOMP. The event will host 25 potential mentees. More detailed information about the event will be announced at the ECMP2020 and EFOMP webpages.

The Mentoring in Research programme is being prepared by:
Yolanda Prezado (Chair of Science Committee), Brendan McClean (ViceChair of Science Committee), Ad Maas (Chair of Professional Matters Committee), Ana Tornero (Dr. Negrín Hospital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), Joao Seco (DKFZ and University Heidelberg), Per Poulsen (Aarhus University Hospital) and Richard Amos (Proton Therapy Physics Research Group, UCL).