Violence and Injury Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions about MENTOR-VIP

1. What is MENTOR-VIP and what is it trying to do?

MENTOR-VIP is a global mentoring programme to help develop skills for injury and violence prevention. It provides a mechanism for matching less experienced injury practitioners looking to improve their skills in a given area with mentors having more skills and experience in that particular area.

2. Does the mentoring involve travel and meetings between mentor and mentees?

MENTOR-VIP does not finance activities related to mentoring, and the mentoring arrangements within MENTOR-VIP are meant to be structured around low cost forms of interaction such as e-mail and telephonic communication.

Mentors and mentees jointly plan the mentorship and ensure costs are balanced to mutual satisfaction and clarified beforehand. If the opportunity exists to enhance mentoring through meetings or other activities this may be pursued and supported financially through channels available to the mentor and mentee, however the mentoring arrangement should provide for sufficiently regular and substantive contact between the pair through low cost means to provide for high quality mentoring.

3. How are mentors and mentees matched and how long does a mentorship last for?

People hoping to be mentees apply to the programme using an online form available on this website. All applications are assessed by the Core Group of MENTOR-VIP which consists of 9 members coming from diverse backgrounds relevant to the injury area and includes one WHO member. The Core Group assesses candidatures on the basis of the strength of the application, the degree to which prospective candidates match with the pool of available mentors, and the overall principles and objectives of the programme. Mentorships last for 12 months.

4. How are mentors chosen?

The Core Group offers input to WHO regarding potential mentors based on a range of factors including relevant skill sets, an established ability and interest in exchange of skills with less experienced individuals, as well as diversity among the skill sets held within the overall pool of mentors and their regional and linguistic diversity. WHO approaches potential mentors on behalf of the Core Group to determine if they would agree to serve as mentors for MENTOR-VIP.

5. Can I be mentored in my own language?

Possibly. An objective of MENTOR-VIP is to enhance skills development among injury practitioners in all six WHO regions. The application form for MENTOR-VIP asks applicants to indicate the language or languages in which they are prepared to communicate during the mentorship along with whether they would prefer that their mentor resides in the same or a different country than they do during the mentorship. The responses to these questions will be matched with similar information from the mentors available for a given year and will be part of the criteria by which mentorships are awarded.

6. Are some people more likely to be awarded mentorships?

Yes. MENTOR-VIP has a limited number of mentors to which mentees will be matched. Due to global capacity building needs, a general orientation of the programme will be to give preference to more junior injury practitioners from low- and middle-income settings. The Core Group will keep this general orientation of the programme under review. It is important not to conclude that this should rule out individuals from high income countries applying to the programme. A strong and demonstrable track record of involvement in and commitment to the injury area is another important criterion considered when awarding mentorships.

7. What are the important dates and how many mentorships are awarded each year?

Candidates wishing to apply to be awarded a mentorship may submit their applications online between the middle of February and the middle of May each year. Precise dates for each year are indicated on this website in the section allowing individuals to apply. All applicants are notified of the outcome of their application by the end of June, and mentorships begin in September of the same year.

MENTOR-VIP will be pilot tested during 2007 and 2008 and a total of 15 mentorships will be awarded in each of these years. The expectation is to increase the number of mentorships to approximately 30 each year after the pilot test phase is completed.

8. What can I do if I am not awarded a mentorship? Can I apply again for next year?

Due to the limited number of mentorships awarded the fact is that many people who apply to MENTOR-VIP will not be awarded a mentorship. If your application is not successful it is important to realize that the awarding of mentorships is only partially based on your application. Other factors include the profiles of mentors for a given year and the overall principles and objectives of the programme. All candidates may re-apply to MENTOR-VIP over subsequent years but you will have to submit a new application during the relevant time period for receipt of applications during the following year.

9. What can I do to improve my chances of being awarded a mentorship?

As above, whether you are awarded a mentorship is only partially based on your application. Still, as the strength of your application is in your control the most important thing is to prepare carefully before filling out the online application form.

Read the programme document for MENTOR-VIP as well as all the links related to MENTOR-VIP on this website. Think carefully about the skills you want to further develop and how you would see this strengthening injury and violence prevention in your setting. And finally, ensure you have addressed all points covered in the application checklist before filling out the form.

10. How may somebody apply to be a mentor?

People who are potential mentors for the programme should have well developed skills in at least one of MENTOR-VIP's skill categories (available on this website and in Annex 5 of the programme document), and an established ability and interest in exchange of skills with less experienced individuals.

Individuals who are interested to serve as potential mentors are invited to make this known to WHO by sending an email to vip@who.int. The email should state clearly what particular aspects of injury and violence field you feel capable of mentoring an individual, as well as indicating what language or languages you would be prepared to mentor an individual in. The email should also include a current CV as an attachment.

WHO will approach individuals from among the pool of potential mentors available to it each year, and will attempt to ensure that each year there is a diversity among the skill sets held within the overall pool of mentors and regional and linguistic diversity. This means that submission of your interest and willingness to serve as a mentor does not necessarily mean that you will be approached to do so in any given year.

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