Ulrike Schumann: 2021 NECTAR Champion

I am honoured to be selected as one of two College Champions for the mentoring program delivered by the Early Career Network here at ANU (NECTAR). A very exciting role that supports NECTAR and the College Dean in implementing and delivering the hugely successful mentoring program, which matches early-career researchers and academics (ECR) with a mentor depending on their needs.


Academia often only offers insecure employment, with a string of short-term contracts being the norm. Additionally, ECRs often feel they have to choose between their dedication to research, publishing high quality research and their role within their family – which can be particularly difficult for primary carers. The Mentoring program has been established to offer supervisor-independent support to ECRs to navigate these difficulties and fulfill their career aspirations whether within academia or outside.


I’m very privileged to be working as a College Champion, as I myself have benefited from the NECTAR Mentoring Program. I have learned to recognise my strengths and the value I bring to a lab as an experienced scientist. With my mentors support I have become more confident in myself and to pursue my dream of becoming an independent researcher. I encourage all academics, whatever their career stage, to seek mentorship and act as a mentor so we can build a supportive, strong and resilient scientific community.