Franklin Women Mentoring Program


The Franklin Women Mentoring Program is a cross-organisational and structured 6-month program that combines informal mentoring sessions with formal sessions facilitated by experts in inclusive leadership.

It aims to support high-potential women in health and medical research careers progress into leadership positions, retaining their skill in the sector. It also provides male and female leaders the opportunity to develop their mentorship skills as well as increase their awareness of the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and the role they play in achieving this.

Since its inaugural year in 2017, the mentoring program has connected more than 200 mentees and mentors from 17 different organisations contributing to the health and medical research sector.

Franklin Women is proud to deliver an initiative that is having such a positive impact on our sector.  An evaluation of the inaugural program in 2017 found participation had tangible impact on the careers of both mentees and mentors that were maintained 12 months down the track. For mentees this included new collaborations, research funding and career promotions. For mentors, increased inclusive leadership skills, tools for effective mentoring and changes to how they manage their teams.

“The Franklin Women Mentoring Program has been the most rewarding and productive activity I have undertaken in a long time.

It has opened my horizon to a whole new range of possibilities and given me tools to take back to my roles to have a positive engagement with others. My mentor has been so terrific and thoroughly generous with his time and availability.”

Previous Mentee

“I have done a lot of mentoring however the structured nature of this program takes it to another level where there is a sense of focus, momentum and achievement.”

Previous Mentor

“An excellent program. I acquired lifelong skills. A wonderful confidence booster. The tools and frameworks have been useful particularly having a structured program with regular “workshops” to reflect/regroup”

Previous Mentee

What Sets It Apart?

Professionally Facilitated


We believe women in health and medical research deserve the same high-quality professional programs that are available to women in other sectors. Our Mentoring Program is delivered in collaboration with leadership consultants Serendis, who are experts in developing female leaders.

Connecting Across Organisations


Our Mentoring Program connects female mentees with male and female mentors, from different research organisations and varied roles, through a highly detailed matching process. In 2018 we are proud to welcome 16 Participating Organisations from across the sector (refer to below).

Professional Development


Franklin Women is committed to providing women in the health and medical research sector with professional skills outside of the technical sciences. Our Mentoring Program includes facilitated events and workshops for both mentees and mentors over a 5-month period. These events will provide training in resilience, inclusive leadership and mentoring.  

Please note. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 Program will be delivered virtually

How To Participate

Franklin Women welcomes organisations who carry out any form of research that contributes to improving health, such as University Science, Medicine and Health faculties, Medical Research Institutes, Not-for-Profit organisations and Industry, to participate in our Mentoring Program. As a Participating Organisation you are eligible to put forward mentees (female researchers) and mentors (female and male senior leaders) who meet the program criteria, will then be matched from within the overall participating cohort.

Organisations who wish to take part in the 2020 Mentoring Program can request the Terms of Participation document by contacting Participating Organisations are to be confirmed by 1st of April 2020.

If you are an individual working in the sector and are interested in participating in the FW Mentoring Program as a mentee or mentor, please enquire within your organisation with respects to if they participate and how to nominate yourself. Please contact Franklin Women if you are not sure if your organisation participates in our program.

Franklin Women sponsors one mentee place for Franklin Women members (refer to eligibility criteria below) who are not from one of the Participating Organisations. The heavily subsidised fee for participation will be $645. The application form can be completed via the link below between 2nd March until 17th April 2020.

Please log in to access the application link.

Applications for the FW sponsored placement will be reviewed by independent leadership consultants taking into account aims of program and applicants current goals/needs. The outcome will be notified by the end of May 2020.


Program Criteria

The Franklin Women mentoring program is targeted to mid-career women who are interested in, or have the potential to, assume leadership roles in our sector. For this reason we have targeted the program to mentees at the point in career trajectory where the proportion of women declines relatively to men. This tends to be later in career for the health and medical research sector compared to other sciences. The mentee and mentor participation criteria are outlined below.


  • A female whose work contributes to improving health outcomes. This can be in academic or non-academic capacity and in any discipline (e.g. laboratory, public health, clinical research, health technology, medical engineering etc).
  • A minimum of 8–10 years professional experience (not limited to professional experience post-PhD acknowledging many individuals commence post-graduate study after working in the sector). This typically equates to University C (or research scale equivalent).
  • Has the capacity, availability and commitment to work with a mentor for the entirety of the program (refer to 2020 Program Flyer)


  • A female or male who has demonstrated significant experience in the sector at a leadership level, either in a research, academic or executive capacity.
  • A minimum of 15 years professional experience and currently in a leadership role (in research or other role in the sector).
  • Has the capacity, availability and commitment to work with a mentee for the entirety of the program (refer to 2020 Program Flyer).

2019 Participating Organisations

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!