Web-based mentoring for students in statistics at Universities in developing countries

Would you like to mentor a PhD or masters student in a developing country from a distance, over the internet? Join us at http://statmentoring.nr.no.

Statistical communities, academic and governmental, are growing in many developing countries, and statisticians play key roles in production, decision and government, from health to agriculture, from business to energy, from transport to education. But resources and infrastructure are still incomplete. This mentoring programme is based on volunteering senior statisticians, from all over the world, who act as mentors over the internet for PhD and masters students in the developing countries, in particular in Africa and Asia. We use the internet to create a network of support and mentoring, at the individual level.

Mentoring works like this. PhD students and masters students from developing countries enrol the programme by filling out a form available on the web site. Volunteer mentors also join the programme by registering on the same web site. The tutor will typically be a professor or senior professional statistician at a university in North America, Europe or Australia. In Norway, we match each student with a mentor, taking into account language, area of research, gender and more. Student and mentor will have contact by email. This programme is not able to provide funding for travel and therefore mentoring is at a distance.

Mentoring means:

•    Providing access to scientific material (papers, chapters of books, preprints etc) and software.

•     Suggesting appropriate reading.

•     Suggesting journals to which the student could submit her/his papers.

•     Suggesting conferences, summer schools, workshops to attend, and signposting to funding possibilities.

•     Helping with preparing presentations.

•     Discussing job and career opportunities, help in writing CV. Important note: the mentor does not provide funding for studies.

•     Occasionally, helping solve problems related to the thesis. Important: the mentor has no responsibilities with respect to the progression of the studies of the student. Mentoring does not mean supervision.

Mentor in applied statistics

We are looking for new mentors, especially in applied statistics. Join the programme from our web page! Email your colleagues! You can also help the programme by emailing information on statmentoring.nr.no to students you know in Africa and Asia. If you cc us too, then this will help to create a contact network in these countries.

This mentoring programme is run by members of the International Statistical Institute and the Bernoulli Society based in Oslo, Norway, including Magne Aldrin and Arnoldo Frigessi. You can email them at statmentoring@nr.no.


MASTMO (MSc programme in MAthematical and STatistical MOdelling) students of the University of Hawassa, Ethiopia, March 2012 (photo taken by Arnoldo Frigessi)