IEEE CIS Student and Early Career Mentoring Program

The mentoring programs held at Fuzz-IEEE 2019 (New Orleans) and WCCI 2020 (Glasgow/virtual) were rated exceptionally high, with around 90% of participants rating the programs Very Useful or Useful and about 9 out of 10 confirming they would recommend participation to a friend.

Fuzz-IEEE 2021 will offer an expanded IEEE CIS mentoring program, keeping the best parts of the 2019 and 2020 editions, while adding new activities, such as the Paper Development Workshop (PDW) to support authors aspiring to submit their best work to flagship journals. The PDW is supported and will be run by the IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems journal, putting participants in touch with its editorial team.

The mentoring program will take place in-person if the conference goes ahead in-person as planned. In case the conference is forced to take place virtually, the mentoring program too will go ahead virtually as it did in 2020. For further details on the mentoring program and key activities, read on.

What is it?

In 2021, the mentoring program is based on three activities (click on each activity to see more details):

Activity I One-to-One publication feedback and community point-of-contact

The program matches eligible presenters (mentees) with senior academics (mentors) from the field in order to provide mentees both with constructive feedback on their Fuzz-IEEE publication and paper presentation, as well as a community point of contact during the conference. During the conference:

  • the mentor is encouraged to attend the presentation of the paper (where possible) and to engage with the presenter for example through contributing constructive questions in the Q&A part
  • following the paper’s presentation, mentor and mentee are encouraged to meet up (e.g., in the coffee break) for feedback and potential follow-on discussion (where desired).

Activity II Paper Development Workshop (PDW)

<Application required!> the purpose of the PDW is to provide the mentoring program’s participants the opportunity to hear from and engage with the editorial team(s) from the IEEE CIS flagship journals. The focus of the PDW is for potential authors to learn about paper development for publication in top journals and get hands-on feedback on their own papers. At Fuzz-IEEE, the PDW will be run by members (Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors) of the IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems (TFS) editorial team, offering both an overview of the journal and its priorities, as well as small-group, hands-on sessions for participants. The PDW will last for three hours and will take place in the afternoon on Sunday 11th July 2021. Application to attend the PDW is MANDATORY, to do so, mentoring program participants are required to submit a draft TFS journal paper (which may be based on their accepted conference paper), following these guidelines:

  • All draft papers should follow the IEEE TFS paper submission guidelines in format and size. Specifically, draft may of course be shorter and be partially incomplete, but they should not exceed the maximum number of pages.
  • As a minimum, all papers should include an abstract as well as draft versions of key sections, in particular highlighting contributions, methodology, experiments, results and conclusions. It is acceptable for some sections to be only minimally developed, e.g. as bullet points.
  • Participants are encouraged to include clearly highlighted questions and areas for discussion in their draft papers.

All draft papers should be submitted to Prof. João Sousa via email (in the email, please confirm that your participation as a mentee in the mentoring program has been confirmed, include your full name and affiliation, as well as the title and number of your accepted Fuzz-IEEE 2021 paper). Prof. Sousa will select and notify successful applicants, working with the IEEE TFS Editorial Team.

Activity III Networking Event

All mentoring program participants will be invited to an exclusive networking event to support interaction and networking across the mentee and mentor cohorts.

Who is it for?

The program is provisionally* open to all students and early career researchers who are presenting a paper at Fuzz-IEEE 2021. Students who are first authors of an accepted paper which they will present, will automatically be assigned a mentor. If you are a student but would prefer not to take part in the mentoring program (e.g. because you will not present your paper), please email. Early career researchers are not automatically assigned a mentor, but are invited to opt-in by emailing. In all cases, please include your full name and affiliation, as well as the title and number of your accepted Fuzz-IEEE paper.
Note:

  • there is no formal restriction on who qualifies as an ‘early career researcher’;
  • participation in the program is free of charge to registered presenters;
  • *depending on demand, the number of mentees accepted to the program will have to be limited. In this situation, successful applicants to the program will be selected primarily based on their paper review scores.

All presenters accepted to the mentoring program will be explicitly notified via email. Applications to participate in the program submitted after the Early Registration Deadline may not be considered.

How does it work?

All program participants (see above) will be contacted via email prior to the conference.
Before the conference, mentor and mentee contact details will be shared between them to support Activity I; mentees are expected to drive engagement with their mentors, e.g. sending their accepted conference paper to the mentor in advance of their presentation so as to allow the mentors to read the paper and provide some feedback.
Mentee participants who would like to attend the PDW (see Activity II above) must submit their draft papers by June 20th as described above. Successful PDW applicants will be notified by July 1st. Again to clarify: the PDW is open to all mentees, but in order to participate, you must apply as outlined above and be selected.

Will there be prizes?

While participants have found the program very rewarding in its own right in previous years and while we believe that the new PDW component provides even more value to the participant, we are proud to announce that indeed – there will be prizes! 🙂
Specifically, IEEE CIS is sponsoring a selected number of Mentoring Research Grants which will support mentees to continue working with their mentors (and vice versa) as part of a specific project after the conference. The grants will follow a similar model as the IEEE CIS Graduate Student Research Grants and mentees who are members of IEEE CIS and who would like to continue working with their mentor will be invited to apply. More information to follow soon.

Questions? Please email us!

The Fuzz-IEEE 2021 Mentoring Program Team
Keeley Crockett, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
Marie-Jeanne Lesot, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France