IANPHI Mentorship Program

Frequently Asked Questions
Mentorship Program Fact Sheet
Program Plan Template

Other Mentoring Tools & Publications

Making the Right Moves (Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Burroughs Wellcome Fund)
Mentoring for the New Millennium
Nature’s guide for mentors 
UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) - Mentoring Program 

IANPHI Mentors - Global health

From left to right: Dr. Richard Rothenberg (USA),  Dr. Mushtuq Husain (Bangladesh)
Dr. Omar Khan (USA), Dr. Oni Idigbe (Nigeria), Dr. Amabelia Rodrigues (Guinea Bissau)

Mentorship Frequently Asked Questions

You can get a printable version of the FAQs HERE

Q. What is IANPHI?
Q. What is mentoring?
Q. What is the IANPHI Mentorship Program?
Q: What does participation in the program involve?
Q: What are the responsibilities of a fellow?
Q: What are the responsibilities of a mentor?
Q: What are the desired characteristics of a mentor?
Q: What are the desired characteristics of a fellow?
Q: What are some sample mentoring activities?
Q: How do I indicate my interest in being a mentor?
Q: How do I indicate my interest in being a fellow?
Q: How will mentoring pairs be matched?
Q: How do we get started?

Q: What is IANPHI?
A: IANPHI is a catalyst for the development and growth of the world’s national public health institutes (NPHIs). With funds and expertise from countries, members, and partners, IANPHI focuses on establishing and enhancing NPHIs in low-resource countries, with an emphasis on the public health functions most critical to improved and sustained health outcomes.
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Q: What is mentoring?
A: Mentoring is a mutually agreeable relationship intended to foster professional development through shared experience and strategic advice. 
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Q: What is the IANPHI Mentorship Program? 
A: The IANPHI Mentorship Program aims to encourage public health leadership growth by facilitating one-on-one relationships between established public health leaders and less-experienced counterparts in low-resource countries. It is part of an ongoing IANPHI effort to build human capacity and provide a career path for public health professionals through training in strategic leadership and management. Part of this commitment involves providing current and future NPHI leaders with the tools, training, and support they need to develop their full potential.

The IANPHI Mentorship Program provides each mentee (“fellow”) an opportunity to develop an ongoing relationship with a mentor with career experience as a public health expert and leader. The program focuses on current and future leaders of NPHIs in IANPHI project sites and strategically targets persons interested in guidance, coaching, counseling, and professional development. 
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Q: What does participation in the program involve?
A: The program takes account of the demands on the time of both mentors and fellows and therefore allows mentors and fellows complete flexibility in choosing the mode and frequency of communication to fit their busy schedules. However, to ensure the quality and success of the program, participants are expected to:
  • Work together to discuss expectations, set objectives, and complete a formal Program Plan. The purpose of the Plan is to ensure that the participants understand their responsibilities as a team and individually as mentor and fellow. The Plan also identifies goals and milestones that the pair agrees to work toward.
  • Communicate regularly to maximize the value of the mentoring relationship.
  • Fulfill commitments or provide adequate notice of changes to your mentor or fellow.
  • Participate in periodic evaluations. Although the Program Coordinator will be communicating regularly, participants will be asked to formally report their activities twice per mentorship period, via a mid-exercise report and a final report.
  • Communicate with the Program Coordinator to keep her informed of any mentoring relationship changes or concerns, or changes in contact information.
  • Observe confidentiality and professional standards of behavior and safety
Back to Top Q: What are the responsibilities of a fellow?
A: Specifically, a fellow is expected to:
  • Be willing to commit to a 2-year mentorship program.
  • Do a self assessment of current and desired skills.
  • Create a Program Plan in collaboration with the mentor.
  • Communicate with the mentor at the agreed-upon intervals, either in person or by phone call or e-mail consultation.
  • Ask for and accept advice and constructive criticism
  • Actively participate in the mentoring relationship, and follow through on agreed-upon activities
Back to Top Q: What are the responsibilities of a mentor?
A: Specifically, a mentor is expected to:
  • Be willing to commit to a 2-year mentorship program.
  • Work with the fellow to create a Program Plan.
  • Build a personal relationship with the fellow, and serve as an advisor by listening, guiding, and providing non-evaluative feedback.
  • Be accessible to the fellow, and communicate with the fellow at the agreed-upon intervals
  • Assist the fellow in establishing short- and long-term career goals
  • Assist the fellow in identifying the skill and knowledge areas on which they most need to work and assist in improving their skills and knowledge, or suggest other resources for assistance
Back to Top Q: What are the desired characteristics of a mentor?
A: Desired characteristics of a mentor are:
  • Genuine interest in helping to build a personal relationship with the fellow
  • Commitment to the fellow’s continuing education and career development
  • Personal insight, empathy, and listening skills
  • Availability of, and willingness to commit, time to share with the fellow.
  • Ability and desire to act as a role model and resource person for the fellow
Back to Top Q: What are the desired characteristics of a fellow?
A. Desired characteristics of a fellow are:
  • Self-motivation and willingness to take advantage of available opportunities
  • Eagerness to learn new skills and develop existing skills and abilities
  • Commitment to actively participate in the mentoring process
Back to Top Q: What are some sample mentoring activities?
A: Mentoring activities could be:
  • Discuss various management or leadership styles – what works, and what does not.
  • Provide direction to or lists of relevant books, web resources, articles, or other materials.
  • Discuss training and educational opportunities.
  • Exchange and discuss ideas relevant to the fellow’s professional roles, particularly upcoming, concrete challenges.
  • Discuss specific problems, and share views on their most effective resolution.
  • Attend a meeting or training session, or present together, in the mentor’s organization.
  • Exchange and discuss a list of future personal and professional goals.
  • Introduce the fellow to persons and resources that might contribute to skills building in management, planning, policy, etc.• Provide networking opportunities, or assist the fellow in professional networking.
  • Recommend developmental activities.
  • Communicate experiences and challenges as a leader.
  • Request or offer long-term career guidance.
  • Acknowledge areas in which you do not have the necessary skills, and refer to other resources.
Back to Top Q: How do I indicate my interest in being a mentor?
A: Potential mentors will be selected and solicited by members of the program’s Advisory Committee.
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Q: How do I indicate my interest in being a fellow?
A: A request for applications for the first group of fellows will be sent to the directors of NPHI development projects in Africa. Directors will be asked to nominate members of their leadership teams for participation in the program. Nominees will complete and submit an application form for consideration by the Advisory Committee.

The application form provides the fellows an opportunity to identify the experience and abilities, values, knowledge, and interests they desire in a mentor, as well as their goals for the mentoring relationship. Mentors provide corresponding information and perspectives that they would like to share.
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Q: How will mentoring pairs be matched?
A: Once all applications have been received, the Advisory Committee will conduct a matching exercise based on information provided. This will include consideration of such factors as professional field (discipline), educational focus, career aspirations, professional interests, leadership experience, and time availability, as well as geographic location and language competence as applicable. 

Access to the Mentorship Program depends on the availability of mentors and fellows. If a match is not immediately available, the Program Coordinator will notify you and ask to maintain your information and use it to match you with a mentor or fellow in the next round of applications.
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Q: How do we get started?
A: After the matching process is complete, mentors and fellows will be notified of their match. The Program Coordinator will provide each participant with contact details for their match. Contact can be initiated by either party.

Once contact is established, a mentor and fellow start the mentoring process by collaboratively completing the Program Plan. The Plan is important as it helps build the foundation of the relationship by communicating and recording the agreed-upon mentoring objectives, method and frequency of communication, and plans for achieving goals.

Successful mentoring requires the “right” relationship between a mentor and fellow. If for any reason a mentor and fellow are unable to build the “right” mentoring relationship, the Program Coordinator will re-match the individuals as an opportunity becomes available.

The Program Coordinator will monitor the mentoring arrangements and provide assistance where necessary.
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