YSSP Mentorship

Guidelines for YSSP mentorship 

Mentorship is at the core of the Young Scientists Summer Program. The mentor is the participant’s advisor throughout the duration of the YSSP. It is the responsibility of the mentor to ensure that the candidate’s proposal is feasible and doable, to guide the research, and, if appropriate and consensual, to support and guide the participant if he or she wishes to broaden the research or make it more interdisciplinary.

The primary mentor can be assisted by one or more co-supervisors, but this does not reduce the primary mentor’s tasks or responsibilities.

Qualifications for mentorship eligibility:

  • Sufficient knowledge of a candidate’s topic and methodology (preferably with publications in the general problem area)
  • A PhD or equivalent (if lacking, a record of commensurate research experience)
  • Planned absence from IIASA during the YSSP, including vacations and business travel, limited to about three weeks (there are exceptions to this rule, but they must be discussed with the YSSP team and made clear to the candidate)

Mentory tasks:

  • Making contact with the participant before the summer program commences in June. This correspondence will establish an agreed outline and any requisite background reading so that the participant can begin work upon arrival. In collaboration with the mentor, the participant will prepare a short presentation before arrival, for the early workshop introduction.
  • Meeting regularly with the participant. This will likely entail more frequent meetings in early summer (at least weekly) and less frequent meetings in late summer (at least bi-weekly).
  • Establishing, together with the participant, milestones/deadlines for research progress.  Throughout the summer, the mentor should try to respond with reasonable speed and thoroughness to research drafts prepared by the participant.
  • Checking mid-summer progress (optionally via a program-level workshop) and reporting problems to the YSSP team.
  • Ensuring the scientific quality of the work, including advice on research ethics and good scientific conduct.
  • Assisting with the participant’s presentation for the end-summer workshop, minimally through a rehearsal.
  • Encouraging the participant to meet the report-submission deadline, and supporting the participant as much as is reasonable in follow-up publications, contacts with IIASA, etc.
  • Nominating the participant for a Peccei or Michaelevich award, if deemed appropriate, and preparing the necessary documentation.
  • Engaging more broadly in the YSSP by attending a reasonable number of seminars, workshops and social events.
  • Flagging to the YSSP team issues that may be detrimental to a participant’s summer experience, i.e., if the participant is not making sufficient progress or not engaging productively and happily in the YSSP.

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Last edited: 12 October 2021


Tanja Huber

YSSP Coordinator & Team Leader Young Scientists Summer Program - Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit

Aleksandra Cofala

Postdoc Coordinator & YSSP Administrative Assistant Post Doc - Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313