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Sustainable Mentorship Program

Pilot Launch: Fall 2020

Starting in fall 2020, the American Musicological Society will launch a pilot Sustainable Mentorship Program (SMP), designed to provide robust support to members transitioning from graduate student to a variety of career paths. The SMP is targeted at musicologists who fall along the continuum of ABD status to the first five years post-degree. Mentees must apply to the program. Participants will be selected by lottery, with strong efforts made to encourage the inclusion of members of historically underrepresented groups. Two mentoring sections will be offered this year and prospective mentees must apply to a specific stream. The first, “Diverse Careers: Identifying and Finding A Career for You,” is aimed at musicologists engaged in or exploring the diverse range of career options available to musicologists.  The second, “Publishing (and not Perishing) in Academic Musicology,” is primarily aimed at junior faculty and post-doctoral scholars.

From October 2020 until October 2021, mentees will attend regular, virtual meetings facilitated by experienced mentors. Participants will learn valuable skills for building momentum and perseverance in order to achieve their professional goals. Mentees will receive regular feedback and participate in activities to improve professional skills. This year, the SMP will also host a digital networking event held in conjunction with the Annual meeting of the American Musicological Society. Mentees chosen for the SMP will have meeting registration fees waived.


Any musicologist who falls between ABD status and the first five years post-graduation is eligible to apply. This includes students, part-time/adjunct instructors, pre-tenure faculty, and/or those working in careers beyond the professoriate. Members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.


How to apply:

The application form for the SMP is deliberately short and should take no more than ten minutes to complete. The form will close on 31 August 2020, 11:59pm ET. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 September 2020.


2020-2021 Mentors:

Rob Pearson, Emory University
Emily Wilbourne, Queen’s College and the CUNY Graduate Center




Will the names of SMP mentees be made public?
Yes, participants will be announced on the AMS website.


Does it cost anything to participate in this program?
No, there is no cost to this program. Mentees will also have registration fees for the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society waived.


Can I participate in more than one of the Mentorship Groups?
No. In the interests of serving the largest possible cohort, mentees will be assigned to only one of the mentorship groups.


How many mentee slots are available?
Because this is a pilot program, the number of mentee positions has been limited to six (three per mentor). Should the pilot prove successful, the AMS will look at expanding the SMP.


What will meetings look like?
Groups will meet virtually throughout the year, at intervals that suit the goals of group members (most likely monthly, though exact schedules are yet to be determined). Active participation in these meetings must be maintained for mentees to remain enrolled in the program. Meetings will focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to articulate and accomplish professional goals, as well as the team-building and networking skills that will allow participants to support one another during the program.


Do I need any specific technology to participate?
Meetings will be hosted via Zoom accounts overseen by mentors. So long as you have a means to participate in zoom calls, there is no additional technology necessary to participate as a mentee. Meetings will be synchronous, but every effort will be made to schedule meetings in a way that will include all participants.


This is a great idea! Is there a way to serve as a mentor?
Sure. Anyone interested in being a part of the Sustainable Mentorship Program as a mentor or in sharing thoughts about possible mentorship activities, please contact the program chair: Kimberly Francis,