The CIRES Mentoring program is modeled after the American Geophysical Union’s Mentoring365 program. This program aims to foster professional growth and career development for mentees and mentors. Through an exchange of professional knowledge, skills, insights and experience, mentors can support mentees with planning career goals, navigating work-life balance, getting past roadblocks etc. In particular, this program provides a framework for mentees to find mentors within CIRES who can provide unique insight into the CIRES-NOAA ecosystem. In return, mentors benefit from the program by and gaining experience with mentoring, expanding their own network, and promoting self-reflection.

Who is Eligibile?

Mentors: All CIRES employees at any career stage and federal employees at the David Skaggs Research Laboratory are eligible to participate as mentors! We seek mentors from all career tracks (Research Scientists, Associate Scientists, and Administrative Associates) and career stages (early to senior levels). This includes people who work in finance, education and outreach, human resources, instrument development, information technology, software engineering and science. The most important qualifications for a mentor are a desire to help a colleague, a willingness to share knowledge and experience, an aspiration to improve the work culture within CIRES and the CIRES/NOAA cooperative agreement, and the ability to commit an hour a month to your mentee.

Mentees: All CIRES employees from any career stage (early career to senior level) and any career track (Research Scientists, Associate Scientists, Administrative Associates, and Post-Docs) are eligible! This means that administrators, administrative support people, educators, engineers, technicians, researchers, writers, and scientists are all eligible to participate as a mentee. The most important requirements are that a mentee has a desire to learn, improve the culture of work in CIRES and honors their mentor's time and commitment in the program.

Mentors will be paired with one mentee, however this year we have adapted the program to allow CIRES employees to sign up as both a mentor and a mentee should they choose to do so. To sign up as both a mentor and mentee, the participant will need to register and create two accounts, using two different email addresses. Note the system may "match" these two accounts, so the registrant will obviously need select a mentor that is actually a different person.

Time Requirements

Mentors and mentees are expected to meet for roughly one hour once a month for the duration of the eight-month program (Oct-May).

Due to the hybrid nature of our workplace, we anticipate that monthly meetings between mentors and mentees may take place virtually or in person, based on each member’s preferred venue. We expect all participants to respect each other’s choices.

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Suggested Monthly Mentoring Themes


Topic 1

Topic 2


Establishing career goals and how best to achieve them


Networking, presentation, and communication skills

Professional development: Are your needs being met? What types of development should you seek? How to request resources?


Career Track Promotion Packages

Work/Life balance


Writing (manuscripts, proposals, blogs, writing styles relevant to your position)

Adapting to changing professional priorities


Career Advancement and leadership/managerial skills


Peer review (how to become involved? how much should you review? Exuding confidence in your ability as a peer reviewer.)

How to say “No”: Tips on being selective in accepting more responsibilities and service positions with emphasis on avoiding overcommitment and burnout.


Advocating for your science / field

Dealing with workplace challenges


Advocating for yourself in your career

Annual Summary of Accomplishments (ASA)