Academic Mentoring Program
Academic Mentoring Program

An academic member is expected to have diverse roles in the University. These include the role of a teacher, researcher, administrator, student supporter, clinician, supervisor or a coach and many other roles. It is also necessary to ensure quality, professionalism and ethical acceptability of the different outputs expected from an individual. To obtain a satisfactory outcome in all these multiple different roles, an individual must develop his/her knowledge, experience and skills, together with a positive attitude. However, self-navigation by an individual who is new to the field through such a complex system that embraces different aspects, different methodologies and different goals needs to be well supported by more experienced individuals. It is also important to ensure that this support is given equally to all who deserve such support, and to ensure such a support system is well maintained, monitored and improved to be in line with the changing needs and goals of the individuals and institution. Mentoring is a strong tool used by university systems in achieving this goal.

Message from Dean

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, established in 1870, is committed to educating and training students who have entered the Faculty having academically excelled in school from all over the country. The Faculty is dedicated to teaching, research and innovation at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In order to maintain a high standard in all our activities it is important that each academic staff member that we recruit is guided and molded to become a role model to the students and to peers alike.

The Academic Mentoring Program of our Faculty, which is the trailblazer to such programs in the entire university system of our country, has been guiding our academics along that path ever since its inception in September 2016. This program builds a professional relationship between a junior academic (mentee) and an experienced senior academic (mentor) with the goal of developing the mentee to achieve a high level, both in their personal as well as professional lives, which in turn would result in the development of the Faculty.

Building on the success of the initial phases, the program, which is now in its third phase, has spread its wings beyond the Faculty. In this phase, it would continue to assist the Sripali Campus and other faculties and institutions of the University of Colombo to establish Academic Mentoring Programs of their own. To support that process, a University Network in mentoring and a University Pool of Mentors have also been established. Plans are also afoot to support both state and non-state higher education institutions and professional colleges in the field of medicine to establish academic mentoring programmes. This would augur well for the higher education and professional development sectors of Sri Lanka the results of which would be seen in the years to come.

I wish the program team, mentors, mentees, and all participants, great success.

Vidya Jyothi Senior Professor (Chair) Vajira H. W. Dissanayake,

Dean.

Announcements

Certificates – “Induction Program 2021 for Early-career Academics of University of Colombo”

“Induction Program 2021 for Early-career Academics of University of Colombo” Organized by the Academic Mentoring Programme, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, 2nd of July 2021 Dear Participant, You can download your certificate of participation from the link relevant to your name & serial number given below. Ind2021_001 S.S. Ediriweera Download Ind2021_002 E. Lokupitiya Download…
All Announcements  

Message from Former Dean

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (UCFM), being the second oldest medical school in Asia has been a center of excellence for both teaching and medical research. This is evidenced by its high-quality research out puts and the performance of the graduating medical professionals. Correct guidance, support and review of the newly recruited academics is necessary to maintain such standards in the long term to ensure good quality teaching, research, administration, and an academic who has a holistic approach. Facilitation of a newly recruited member will also improve their job satisfaction and retention in the same university upon completion of the probationary period.

There are various formal and informal activities conducted by this institution to support many academic activities including teaching, learning and research. Availability of a more formal program to facilitate career advancement of junior academics is an important need currently. Academic Mentoring Program was initiated for the newly recruited academics since September 2016, with a view to establishing a process in which each newly recruited academic (mentee) will have an opportunity to develop a professional relationship with an experienced academic member (mentor) aimed at enhancing their career, professional and personal development which will ultimately positively contribute to a high-quality output of both the individual and the institution. I sincerely hope that the young academic staff members will benefit through this new program.

I thank Dr Yamuna Siriwardana for initiating this program and wish all participants a very enjoyable, productive and successful future in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

Emeritus Professor Jennifer Perera

Former Dean

Message from Chairperson, AMP.

The Academic mentoring program of the faculty of Medicine of University of Colombo in Sri Lanka (AMP-UCFM) welcomes you. We are dedicated to strengthening mentoring, through raising awareness, training mentors, and providing support to establish formal programs in mentoring. I invite you to take a moment to browse through our web pages and read about the activities carried out under this program. I hope you will join, support and/or collaborate with us in popularizing mentoring, and formal academic mentoring programs which are still relatively new concepts in local academia.

University teacher in an academic setting is expected to play multiple roles. Teaching, practicing, generating and disseminating knowledge and developing science and technology (S&T), are prime requirements in national development. Academic mentoring is a well-recognized tool in many established Universities at a global scale employed to enhance the strength and quality of staff.

In 2016, the Faculty of Medicine of University of Colombo (UCFM) initiated the institution’s first formal Academic Mentoring Program. This is also the first such senate approved formal program in a University setting in Sri Lanka. This Program has four main streams. The in-house program stream ensures the continuation of an in-house program for mentees and mentors. The University of Colombo program provides support to faculties, institutes, schools and campuses of the University in establishing and running mentoring programs. The other two streams work on improving infrastructure and raising awareness of mentoring on a wider scale.

In house program was established during the first academic year. During its pilot program, recruitment of mentees, selection of mentors, initial surveys to identify mentees’ needs and profiles, orientation sessions, further facilitation sessions, annual program evaluations, all staff surveys to identify faculty level needs, formal appreciation of mentor’s contributions and many other activities were conducted. Following this, a series of formal mentor training sessions were also completed during the second year of the program. During its third year, AMP-UCFM provided support to all its fellow faculties, institutes, and campuses to establish formal in-house mentoring programs.

Following the completion of the first two phases, we are now moving into the third phase of the program. Our focus is on supporting wider academia and professional organizations in Sri Lanka that includes professional colleges and other Universities.

AMP-UCFM has offered over 25 training sessions during this short period. Activities of AMP-UCFM have been immensely supported at various times by many of our international collaborators that include, Academy of Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge in UK, South Asian University, Monash University in Malaysia, University of California, San Francisco and many of our senior academics in the local setting.

As the first chairperson, it was both challenging and rewarding for me to establish this program. Formal programs in mentoring were not known or scarce in Sri Lankan academia though there is a significant amount of informally efforts at every level. Organizing events to raise awareness, finding a group of members with enthusiasm in mentoring, developing a formal program, obtaining funds and infrastructure support, offering workshops of high quality in spite of lack of expert resources have eventually turned out to be very rewarding.

Our success is the result of team work. I remain sincerely thankful to present and former Vice chancellors of the University and present and former deans of this Faculty for providing their active guidance, encouragement and support in establishing and continuing this program. I am also thankful to our local and international advisors, members of the AMP core group, resource persons, senior mentors, mentees and all our well-wishers. I hope you will benefit from the activities conducted through this program.

Best wishes,

Prof. Yamuna Siriwardana,

Program Chairperson/Academic Mentoring,

Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.

Scope of mentoring as adopted by AMP-UCFM

Mentoring covers all key areas in which a newly recruited academic member (either senior or junior in their fields or careers) will have to perform and demonstrate a satisfactory outcome. Self-development of the mentee that enables mentee to perform in many academic roles (teaching, research, administration, learning, service provision in the field etc.) is supported by the mentor.

 

Working definition of mentoring as adopted by AMP-UCFM

Mentoring is defined as a process through which a less experienced academic member (mentee) is supported by a more experienced individual (mentor) in his/her overall development that includes professional, career and other related aspects. Mentor acts as a sounding board while mentee leads the mentoring process.

 

Objectives of mentoring through a mentoring program as adopted by AMP-UCFM.

  1. To support overall career progression of an individual while demonstrating quality, ethical acceptability and professionalism in outputs
  2. To support improving job satisfaction of mentees
  3. To ensure mentoring support is provided to all newly recruited/less experienced academic members.
  4. To support, monitor and improve the mentoring processes
  5. To conduct, monitor and improve the mentoring programs
  6. To raise awareness in mentoring among universities and other professional bodies
  7. To develop capacity in mentoring in the University and other professional bodies

Dean’s Message

The Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (UCFM), being the second oldest medical school in Asia has been a center of excellence for both teaching and medical research. This is evidenced by its high quality research out puts and the performance of the graduating medical professionals. Correct guidance, support and review of the newly recruited academics is necessary to maintain such standards in the long term to ensure good quality teaching, research, administration, and an academic who has a holistic approach. Facilitation of a newly recruited member will also improve the job satisfaction and retention in the same university upon completion of the probationary period.
There are various formal and informal activities conducted by this institution to support many academic activities including teaching, learning and research. Availability of a more formal program to facilitate career advancement of junior academics is an important need currently. Academic Mentoring Program was initiated for the newly recruited academics since September 2016, with a view to establishing a process in which each newly recruited academic (mentee) will have an opportunity to develop a professional relationship with an experienced academic member (mentor) aimed at enhancing the career, professional and personal development which will ultimately positively contribute to a high quality output of both the individual and the institution. I sincerely hope that the young academic staff members will benefit through this new program.
I thank Dr Yamuna Siriwardene for initiating this programme and wish all participants a very enjoyable, productive and successful future in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

Professor Jennifer Perera,

Dean, Faculty of Medicine.

Coordinator’s Message

Advancements in healthcare, science and technology is a prime requirement for national development. Higher education institutions play a major role in improving the output in S & T sectors around the globe. Career development of the academics and researchers serving these institutions is critical in enhancing the output and achieving the goals of respective institutions. Job satisfaction, an improved mindset, active facilitation and encouragement of young University academics and other researchers is important in this regard.

Academic mentoring is a well-recognized tool employed for career development in many established Universities at a global scale. Formal mentoring is considered superior to informal ways of mentoring. Mentor’s role is different from that of a coach, supervisor and an administrator.

Faculty of Medicine of University of Colombo (UCFM) initiated the institution’s first formal Academic Mentoring Program in year 2016. The program aims at supporting the young academics and inculcating a mentoring culture in academia. Sensitization workshops on mentoring and a needs assessment survey were conducted, broad areas for action were identified, mentee facilitation sessions were conducted and pilot year program evaluation has also been completed. Program is now on-going.

I remain sincerely thankful to Dean, Faculty of Medicine, the advisory panel, all our resource persons, working group members, senior mentors and mentees of the program for the valuable guidance and support given and the keen interest shown in all program activities. I hope that academic members will benefit from the activities conducted through this program.

Best wishes,

Dr. Yamuna Siriwardana,

Program Coordinator