Mentoring Austrian Scientists in North America – ASciNA Program Presented in Vienna with Alumni Club MedUni Wien

bridges, vol. 33, May 2012 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad
By Elke Wagner and Michael Graf

logo smallASciNA stands for Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America. Further information can be found at: On March 21, 2012, the Alumni Club MedUni Wien and ASciNA held a presentation about the ASciNA Mentoring Program (AMP) in the form of an information and networking event at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW). Professor Karin Gutiérrez-Lobos, vice chancellor of the MUW, kindly opened the event in the Rektoratssaal, which was decorated in ASciNA colors and provided a very sympathetic and exchange-fostering ambience. Professor Karin Gutiérrez-Lobos is also president of the Alumni Club MedUni Wien and is actively involved in promoting the AMP with the sponsorship of two mentor-mentee pairs. This sponsorship helps to continue the program itself, and also provides an important motivating factor for ASciNA to continue its work. Professor Gutiérrez-Lobos emphasized the benefits of participating in such a mentoring program, helping scientists to cross borders and giving them assistance and encouragement to gain professional and personal experience in North America.

Hubert ZajicekHubert Zajicek, ASciNA President / © Michaela PautyHubert Zajicek, the president of ASciNA and an alumnus of MUW, presented the AMP and gave a short introduction to ASciNA with its 12 chapters and more than1000 members across North America. One of his key messages was the mission of ASciNA: to support young Austrian scientists and scholars in North America by establishing contacts and exchanging experiences, and also by providing efficient career planning for Austrian academics during their stays in North America.

In the AMP, a mentor who has already gained academic experience in North America will support a mentee – a student, postdoctoral fellow, research associate, or new assistant professor. This mentoring lasts for one year. After successful matching of the mentor-mentee pair and their first personal contact, a career workshop, suggested bimonthly meetings, and at least one sponsored personal meeting are scheduled for long-distance pairs. The goal is personal benefit for both mentee and mentor, as well as a long-lasting contact between the two. A few mentor-mentee pairs were presented in Dr. Zajicek's talk, demonstrating the success of the AMP. One of the mentors even made the trip from Canada to Vienna to give his personal impression of the mentoring program:

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