June 8, 2020
Given that COVID-19 has stopped international travel, the Crawford Fund is developing an e-mentoring program to ensure that we continue to help develop the technical and organisational skills and expertise of agricultural researchers, scientists and policy makers in developing countries.
The program will build on the successful outcomes of our long term existing Mentoring Program, which has seen face-to-face interaction in overseas countries, also backed up by electronic contact, and the Fund’s conference scholar mentoring program, matching young NextGen researchers with experienced Australians who attend our conference.
“We are confident there are wonderful Australian senior or recently retired scientists and managers who might be interested in contributing a small amount of their time to serve as mentors to colleagues in developing countries,” explained the Fund’s CEO, Dr Colin Chartres.
We will link mentees in developing countries with these experienced Australians and envisage that interaction between mentor and mentee will take place by a mix of email, phone and/or internet conferencing.
We are currently calling for expressions of interest from possible volunteer mentors before we seek potential mentees. You can indicate your interest and areas of expertise by completing this simple online form. And further details on the arrangements are in our e-Mentoring Description and Guidelines.
“While the traditional research silos such as horticulture, livestock, fisheries and crop science immediately come to mind and are certainly needed along with soil fertility, field agronomy, plant pathology, irrigation technology and agricultural economics, I think some of the potential mentees may also be interested in broader cross-cutting issues such as sustainability, climate-smart agriculture, carbon sequestration in agriculture, natural resource management, market and value chains, agricultural policy development and One Health initiatives,” explained the Fund’s CEO, Dr Colin Chartres who will be volunteering with his skills in water resources management, research management and science/policy linkages.
“Whilst this would be a voluntary activity, we would be prepared to pay a small honorarium to cover out of pocket expenses and internet costs,” said Colin.
So please consider volunteering a small amount of your time and all your expertise!
If you need convincing, watch Prof Lester Burgess, former Dean of Agriculture and now Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, who has been at the helm of our mentoring and volunteer program in Laos PDR for over 10 years.