Finding a mentor can be especially daunting for underrepresented and under-served scientists, who, because of largely white/male cultural dominance in the geosciences, rarely have the opportunity to find someone who truly understands them and reflects their values.

The INSTAAR JEDI Task Force has created the Junior Scientist Mentoring Program (JSMP) to make it easier for our underrepresented and under-served early-career scientists to access in-depth mentoring.

The program helps junior INSTAARs:

  • Feel welcome in our community,
  • Make connections, develop a sense of belonging, and gain community support,
  • Build confidence to be comfortable promoting themselves and their work,
  • Access advice, encouragement, and strategies for both professional and personal success, and
  • Learn from sharing the experiences of both senior scientists and peers.

JSMP is modeled after MPOWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention).


The program is open to all INSTAARs who self-identify as an underrepresented and/or under-served scientist, whether an undergrad, grad student, postdoc, or PRA.

How it works

The program consists of small group mentoring meetings. Groups of 3-4 junior scientists meet monthly with 1-2 senior scence facilitators via an audio-only Zoom call for approximately 1 hour (video is an option if all agree).

Meetings consist of individual check-ins and group discussions about issues or topics that are of mutual interest (e.g., time management, work-life balance, navigating conferences, career advice).

Meetings are meant to be a safe space for discussion. Meetings will never be recorded.

Learn more

See the JSMP Handbook (PDF) for more information on the program's purpose, meetings, membership, and group facilitation. Also included is a guide to listening, promoting growth, and giving/receiving feedback. For questions or concerns, contact Nikki Lovenduski.


Join the Junior Scientist Mentoring Program as either junior scientist or senior facilitator.  New mentoring groups are being established in Fall 2021, and new groups will be added as needed in Spring 2022 and beyond on a semesterly basis.

Sign up for JSMP mentoring