SFCNS-YouCliN Mentoring Program


The interdisciplinary SFCNS-YouCliN Mentoring Program is intended to support to a successful academic scientific and/or clinical career development. The mentors may provide useful and impartial advice. Furthermore, it can facilitate connecting on both a personal and professional level with leaders and role models in the field.

The Mentoring Program follows a «bottom-up» philosophy, in which interested mentees inquire about mentorship or contact with a mentor of their choice in or outside Switzerland. Furthermore, they will actively request continuous career-building advice. The Mentoring Program has been developed for students and graduates with interest in neuroscience and features the following specificities:

  • Mentors and mentees are both active in the field of neuroscience
  • The relationship is individual one-to-one mentoring
  • The initial mentorship lasts for two years but can be subsequently extended on a yearly basis, provided both mentee and mentor agree
  • Regular meetings (3-6 times per year – personal or via telephone/video-call) are expected.


The mentors will use their experience to help the future generation of Swiss neuroscientists acquire the necessary tools to understand how to:

  • plan and pursue an academic scientific and/or clinical career
  • raise research funds and create scientific output with high impact
  • create and foster a professional network
  • develop personal skills, strengthen self-esteem and manage work-life balance.

A further aim of this program is to counteract gender disparity in academic medicine by providing specific advice and support.

Two-tier system

The SFCNS-YouCliN Mentoring Program is built up in two tiers. Tier 1 Mentors are senior faculty and leading experts in their field. Tier 2 Mentors are senior fellows or junior faculty with or without habilitation and provide primarily advice for the initial and intermediate career steps, such as related to specialization, combining research and clinical development, MD-PhD programs.

Become a mentor if you are active in the field of neuroscience and have a particular interest in and availability to support the development and career of young neuroscientists. There is no financial reimbursement for participation. However, SFCNS-YouCliN mentors are eligible for the SFCNS Teacher of the Year Award. We recommend one, maximum two mentees per mentor. Interested mentors can approach the SFCNS/YouCliN to get listed on the website. Applicants as a Tier 2 Mentor should provide a letter of motivation and a CV with a list of publications (max 3 DIN A4 pages). At the bottom of this page, a list of potential mentors is provided. Further, interested mentors are encouraged to contact the YouCliN. Mentees may also propose mentors that are not listed below.

Mentoring Program

Getting started

1.  The mentee sends the following documents by email

  • letter of motivation co-signed by a supervisor (e.g., department head, lab director, attending)
  • a short CV including a list of publications (max 3 DIN A4 pages)
  • the name of a preferred mentor (and two alternatives).

2. The SFCNS/YouCliN will contact the mentor(s).

3. Upon acceptation by the mentor, a “mentoring agreement” will be sent to both parties and a signed copy will be kept at the SFCNS. This document can be renewed on a yearly basis after the initial 2 years, should both parties agree.

4. The mentee is responsible to keep the mentoring relationship running.

5. The SFCNS/YouCliN is available in case of questions / difficulties / issues.


The mentee should have a strong commitment to pursue an academic career. Those with the intention to do a PhD and/or habilitation are particularly encouraged to participate. We encourage you to apply for this Mentorship Program at the end of your studies or at the earliest stages (typically within the first 3-4 years) of your academic career. You are eligible to participate if you are:

  • a master student in neuroscience, neuropsychology, human medicine or any related field with interest in basic or clinical neuroscience (biological psychiatry, neurology, neuropathology, neuropediatrics, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery)
  • a PhD student, postdoctoral fellow or resident
  • < 40 years old

Why should mentees / mentors participate?

The program is beneficial for both sides.


  • receive advice in career planning
  • may be integrated in research groups, networks & cooperations
  • may experience support for setting up (international) rotations, internships, collaborations
  • besides many other aspects.

Mentors, on the opposite

  • may be sensitized for the situation of Swiss young neuroscientists and current issues
  • may involve their mentee with scientific tasks, e.g. journal reviews, etc. which can be considered educational
  • may gain one or several motivated potential collaborators
  • will be listed on the SFCNS/YouCliN website to get non-financial credit
  • will receive a certificate of participation after successful completion of each mentorship.
  • are eligible for the SFCNS Teacher of the Year Award
Mentoring Program

Get in touch!

The SFCNS-YouCliN Mentoring Program has been developed and is managed by
PD Dr. Martin N. Stienen, Dr. Isabelle Beuchat and PD Dr. Arseny Sokolov.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us