School of Molecular
and Theoretical Biology

The Mentorship Programme

The SMTB Alumni Society is inviting you to participate in the Mentorship programme. The aim of the programme is to build a network between the School alumni who are currently applying to or studying at a university and those who have already gone through this experience.

You can apply for the programme if you are an SMTB Alumni and are currently in your last year of high school or in your early years at a university. The Alumni society is a vibrant community and you will have an opportunity to gain advice on a wide variety of topics such as possible career paths, summer internships or other academic issues. On top of that, you might discover more about intriguing scientific questions and build new, invaluable skills. To participate, please email Sasha Eremina at, under “Mentorship programme” subject.

This is what alumni themselves can tell about the project:

“Over a period of 7 years, around 400 people have become SMTB alumni who are now studying at universities and colleges across Russia and abroad. That’s a lot of people and we are keen to keep in touch with each other, not only at the School but also after it finishes. We want to share our experience and discuss important questions of career and science with like-minded people. That is what the SMTB Alumni Society has been introduced for - to provide a platform on which older alumni (tutors) can consult and advise the younger ones (tutees).”

The importance of the Tutor role

Moving to another city or country, processing vast volumes of new information, and a variety of other practical issues might affect the student’s mood and performance. Dealing with these problems is not a trivial task and many students are in need of support. Thus, a tutor is a person who might advise on how to choose courses at the university, with whom you can discuss various aspects of science, or which lab you may choose for an internship. A tutor is someone who can help you write a cover letter that will stand out among the crowd.

This person might help you look at certain concepts in education and science from a different, new angle, especially when they work or study at a different university or in a different country. In such cases the tutor’s experience will not directly translate to tutee’s, but rather complement it.

Interaction with your tutor is an excellent opportunity not only to meet an older School alumni, but also keep in touch with a like-minded person who is ready to share their experience and facilitate the tutee’s academic and personal development.

Interaction format

Tutors and tutees interact with each other whenever the need arises, but not less frequently than once a month. Some of our tutors live abroad and in these cases the contact can be maintained online through Skype or instant messengers. The tutor-tutee interaction is not mandatory and can be discontinued at any time.

Tutors do not have all the answers, but they can help you find your own, sometimes by referring you for advice to other competent alumni or people outside the Society. Tutors cannot solve the tutees’ problems, but they help find solutions. The tutor is required to treat any information from the tutee as strictly confidential that can be shared with others only with the tutee’s consent.

Incoming programme participants are chosen in the beginning of each academic year. Tutors and tutees fill in similar forms and their answers serve as a basis for the formation of mentorship pairs. We seek to find partners for everyone who applies as a tutee, however, we reserve the right to decline the application on the basis of inadequate programme expectations or inability to guarantee the tutor’s responsibilities.

Who is eligible to participate in the programme

Alumni who are not yet enrolled with a university or are in their 1st/2nd year are eligible to apply as tutees. Our tutors are earlier SMTB alumni. Some of them have been to SMTB as lab technicians or as faculty. They actively participate in the School’s life and are studying on various degree programmes from biophysics and psychology to computer science and working in Russia or abroad.

We invite to participate as tutors everyone who are eager to share their experiences, and to support the personal and academic development of members of the SMTB alumni community. The programme is currently run in Russian only.