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The O'Brien Institute for Public Health Mentorship Program aims to support the development of Institute members* and stimulate the Institute’s research endeavour.

Mentorship is recognized as an important contributor to career development in academic researchers, and a 2015 needs assessment confirmed the desire of O’Brien Institute members to avail themselves of mentorship and mentorship training.

The Program:

  • functions as a ‘matchmaker’ service between volunteer mentors and mentees within the Institute
  • is designed to be extremely flexible, to best suit the needs of participants
  • supports time-limited, activity-defined relationships (which, according to mentorship literature may be the easiest to arrange, maintain, and assess) as well as more informal, ongoing relationships
  • focuses on research-related activities, and was designed to meet University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, and Department of Community Health Sciences requirements, but may be adapted (upon request) to support other activities and members with other affiliations
  • is broader in scope and complementary to the Institute’s existing Internal Peer Review program, which will continue to run in parallel

The process:

  • Identify your development needs and your areas of experience/expertise, and register your interest to participate in the Program as a mentor, a mentee, or both, using the Intake Form.
  • Submit the completed Intake Form to and wait for the Institute team to get back to you with suggested matches.  This could take up to several weeks, in the case of mentees seeking mentors, or an undetermined amount of time, for mentors offering to be matched with mentees.
  • The Institute will confirm a successful match with a ‘launch’ email to both mentor and mentee.
  • Matched partners are encouraged to review the variety of resources below, and use as desired to support the relationship. 
  • The Institute will “check in” at some point(s) to gauge satisfaction, and Program participants are encouraged to adapt (expectations, timelines, etc) or terminate the partnership at any time, by friendly agreement, with or without the confidential involvement of the Institute.   
  • The program will be ongoing - registrations, activity completions, and re-registrations possible at any time.
  • The Institute may also contact participants to request feedback to inform Program improvements.

*Students looking for mentorship programs are encouraged to use the following resources:

University of Calgary Emerging Leaders Program:    

Graduate Students Association:

My GradSkills:


Mentorship Program Guiding Principles and Program Description - overview of the program.

Mentorship Program Intake form - register your interest in becoming a mentor and/or mentee.

Start-Up Agreement templaterecommended by experts in the field, the discussions involved in populating this formal agreement template help avoid frequently reported challenges in mentoring relationships

Start-Up checklist – a more informal way to guide initial discussions that will set the tone for the mentorship relationship

Mentorship Matching Flowchart - demonstrates the process for matching mentee to mentor

Reading list useful resources from the scientific literature and elsewhere

Mentor Workbook  Module 1 – course materials from the first Mentor workshop

Mentor Workbook Module 2 - course materials from the second Mentor workshop

Mentor Workbook Module 3 - course materials from the third Mentor workshop

Mentee Workbook  Module 1 – course materials from the Mentee workshop

The O'Brien Institute would like to acknowledge Kairos Coaching Ltd. and Poole Consulting Inc. for the use of their materials.

Please watch the videos below for firsthand accounts of how mentorship has impacted our members.