Smith Fellows

Smith Mentors

The "mentoring team" is a critical component of the Smith Fellows Program, and a feature that distinguishes it from all other sources of postdoctoral funding. An external academic scientist and other conservation practitioners comprise the team. This group helps the Fellow focus their research on important and feasible research questions that will have real-world impacts on conservation practice. Members of the team also help the Fellow understand better the institutional languages and cultures of their respective organizations. We expect that Smith Fellows and their future research will be literally transformed by their postdoctoral experience in the pragmatic fast-paced world of on-the-ground conservation.

Goals for the Fellow-Mentor Team consisting of Fellow, academic and field mentor(s):

  • Primary role is to help the Fellow be highly successful.
  • Bring together academic and practical/applied aspects of Fellow’s research.
  • Reinforce the dynamic mix of research and application.

Academic mentor should:

  • Attend the initial orientation session.
  • Insure the scholarly integrity of the research;
  • Participate with the Fellow in framing specific research question(s) and methods.
  • Semi-annually review of the Fellow’s research progress.
  • Review the Fellow’s progress and final reports. Supervise Fellow’s preparation of final reports and papers.

Field Mentors should:

  • Attend the initial orientation session.
  • Insure practical nature of Fellow’s project.
  • Help Fellow think through and establish how research project will produce practical results and/or influence and inform policy.
  • Facilitate establishment of a strong working relationship between Fellow and associate partner organization (Fellow home base organization).
  • Assist Fellow in obtaining resources, equipment, office/laboratory space and resources from associate partner organization.