PHD-MBC Mentorship Program

In Articles by hmtannenbaum

To support MBC students’ short time at Scripps, we are proud to offer the annual PhD-MBC Mentorship Program.

SIO PHDS: RSVP to the Mentorship Mixer on August 28th here!

The 2023/24 MBC cohort has an average of 7 years of professional working experience since their undergraduate degree, and students come from a variety of non-science backgrounds including IT, TV production, Journalism, Jewelry and more! PhDs working with MBC students can gain an outsider perspective, insight into interdisciplinary conservation, and creative new ways to approach their own scientific research.

PhD mentors will be offered $500 compensation for their generous participation at the end of the year of mentorship. See details below. 

For the MBC students who are only at SIO for 12-months, PhD students can provide valuable insights into professors, labs, coursework, and tapping into the SIO community, and of course, coping with the stress that comes with being in grad school. (Photo of Tammy Russel, PhD Candidate, and their Mentees: Kimberly LeRoy & Nicole Rosenberg MBC ’23. Photo by Nicole Rosenberg.)

Step 1: Find a Match! 

  • Send a Headshot & Bio to Hannah ( by August 28th.
  • Save the date! August 28th, 12-2pm for the PhD-MBC Mixer! Please RSVP Here. 
  • Find Common Ground: You might have common research interests, life experiences, or senses of humor. You might have schedules that align naturally. Through headshots & bios, and the MBC mixer, and your own initiative, we hope you will carve the space to make these valuable connections.

Step 2: Formalize Your Match 

Once you have found your mentor/mentee, please confirm the match by sending an email to Hannah Tannenbaum ( with each other cc’d. Your stipend cannot be processed without this. 

Step 3: Be Available to Meet Regularly

We encourage meeting in-person at least twice a quarter, but we encourage you to figure what works for both of you!Some things to discuss during your first Mentor/Mentee meeting:

  • Communication strategies – How often will you meet or communicate?
  • Do you prefer email/text/IG/etc?
  • What are your hopes and goals for this mentorship?
  • Classes, favorite professors, upcoming opportunities
  • Work-life balance
  • Career support and ideas

Step 4: End of the Year

At the end of the academic year, mentors will submit a short narrative to Hannah ( detailing the mentorship experience and will receive a $500 stipend. PhD students will be provided with a Project Number which will allow them to charge travel and/or purchasing through UCSD to that project number.

Some blurbs from PhD Mentors in 2022-2023:

“It was an honor to participate in the PhD-MBC mentorship program this year…When reflecting on the experience, I found the program rewarding as it allowed me to share the knowledge and skillsets I have developed during my time at UC San Diego and experience the joy in helping other students realize their projects in new and exciting ways.” ~ Eric Rodriguez, PhD Candidate

“Mentoring [] has been a great experience. I’m so happy that I was able to serve as her mentor and provide personal and research advice and share my experiences. Having mentored multiple times now, I have learned that each student is different and you need to have flexibility on what the needs of that student are. I look forward to mentoring another student in the future.” ~ Tammy Russel, PhD Candidate

“Some of the prominent themes/topics we discussed include getting the most out of her UCSD/SIO education—making sure she was aware of and has access to important information.” ~ Anaí Novoa, PhD Candidate

This program continues to be mutually beneficial for MBC and PhD students, and we hope you consider participating! 

If you have any questions, contact Hannah Tannenbaum,