Mentoring program developed for postdoctoral researchers in economics
During the 2021 fall semester, a pilot mentoring program was launched by Professor Giacomo De Giorgi for postdoctoral researchers at the Institute of Economics and Econometrics. This new support program focuses on career advice and the accelerated development of new research ideas.
The mentoring program is based on Prof. De Giorgi’s experience in leading research institutions such as University College London, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University. Prof. De Giorgi realized the value of having access to career advice and the importance of having a community of researchers where preliminary research ideas can be discussed in a constructive and friendly environment.
The first part of the program focused on career advice, navigating the transition from Ph.D. student to faculty, and the progression of an academic career. Discussions included advice on publishing, how to disseminate research ideas at conferences, and how to choose which projects to be involved in.
The second part of the program consisted of regular meetings, similar to brown-bag sessions, where the group discussed preliminary ideas in an open format. Presentations were short and kept to few figures and text - the aim being to present the concept as simply as possible. These sessions provided the opportunity to approach new research questions, explore and refine ideas, receive feedback, and determine which were worth pursuing.
As participant Dr. Davide Pietrobon said: "The postdoc meetings are a great platform to discuss new ideas informally. Friendly and demanding at once, they also significantly improved team building within the postdoc fellows".
In addition, the program recognizes the importance of open research discussions and dissemination, and this contributed to the creation of a video series, where the postdoctoral researchers could share their research.